Functional Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty
Functional upper eyelid blepharoplasty is performed when excess upper eyelid skin blocks the visual field. Often there is enough excess eyelid skin that is encroaches on the pupil. Sometimes, the excess eyelid skin will rest on or pushes down the eyelashes. The medical term for this condition is dermatochalasis. Common signs and symptoms of dermatochalasis include a decreased upper field of vision; headaches or brow aches from constantly raising the eyebrow, and irritated eyelid skin. Patients will sometimes complain that they have to actually use their fingers to help raise the eyelid or tilt their head back to help see. A visual field test can determine if the excess skin blocks enough of the visual field to the point of “visual significance”. If dermatochalasis is determined to be visually significant, then insurance may cover an upper eyelid blepharoplasty.
A functional upper eyelid blepharoplasty can be performed to correct visually significant dermatochalasis and help improve the field of vision. Functional upper eyelid blepharoplasty takes about 30-45 minutes and can be performed either in the office or at an outpatient surgery center. A small incision is made in the upper eyelid fold and excess skin is removed. Sutures are used to close the incision and are removed in about a week. There is usually little to no postoperative pain, and swelling and bruising generally resolve in a week or so.