Dermatochalasis refers to excess loose skin of the eyelids.
Reasons for eye surgery
If severe, the excess drooping eyelid skin can hang over the lashes, causing difficulty with seeing to drive, read, work, or enjoy certain hobbies. Or it may be mild, yet still cause symptoms of eye fatigue and difficulty applying makeup. Dermatochalasis can be repaired by blepharoplasty, also known as an eyelid lift, a surgery to remove the excess skin. When mild, this surgery is not covered by insurance. When severe, this surgery may sometimes be covered by insurance if the excess skin blocks vision to a certain degree. An office test called a visual field is used to demonstrate the visual blockage. Photographs are taken to document how the excess skin is covering the eyes and pupils.
What to expect after eyelid lift
Because the eyelid skin is so thin, the incision typically heals as a very fine line. It is placed in the natural crease hidden by the eyelid fold. In some people, the outer part of the incision may be visible, but typically blends well into smile lines or crowsfeet.
Blepharoplasty can be performed with local anesthesia in the office, or under sedation at an ambulatory surgery center. For office surgery, some patients may be given oral medications to help them relax.
To keep bruising and swelling at a minimum, patients should stay home for 2-3 days after the procedure in order to frequently apply soft, lightweight, cold compresses to the eyelids. Sleeping with the head elevated in a recliner chair also helps prevent additional swelling. It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks for the bruising to disappear completely, although for some patients on blood thinners, it may take longer.
Physical activity should be limited for the first week in order to prevent bleeding. Sutures are removed at one week. Final results can be seen as early as 3-4 weeks, but in some patients may take 3-4 months, when the swelling fully resolves and the incision softens completely.
Healing progress depends a lot upon adherence to postoperative instructions as well as individual health status.