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Dermatochalasis (Droopy Eyelid Skin)

Your eyelids are often the first thing people notice about your face and are an important component of facial attractiveness.

The tendency to develop excessive wrinkling and bagginess of the eyelids can run in families and may occur at any age. Sun exposure, allergies, swelling, etc. can aggravate this stretching of the eyelid skin. This condition called dermatochalasis. Aesthetically, this may detract from the overall attractiveness of one’s eyes and cause a “tired” or “older” appearance. The excess skin in the upper eyelid may become so severe that it droops over the eyelashes, causing a partial obstruction of your vision. This becomes more of a functional problem than a cosmetic problem and is usually covered by most insurance companies. Eyelid surgery to remove excess skin, muscle and possibly fat is termed blepharoplasty.

Surgical correction involves carefully marking the excess skin, so that the resulting incisions are “hidden” in the natural crease and contours of your eyelids. We are careful not to remove too much skin, which could cause difficulty in eyelid closure. After the skin is marked, the anesthetist, if involved, will administer a relaxing medicine intravenously. After you are fully relaxed with the “relaxing” medicine, your eyelids are anesthetized by a very small, almost painless, injection of local anesthetic. Some healthy patients elect to have their procedure performed under straight local anesthetic without intravenous sedation. The marked excess skin and muscle is then removed. If there are also prominent “bags” (fat pads) present they are carefully exposed and removed. The skin edges are then sutured together, using very fine stitches. This helps make the scar less visible. Ointment and ice packs are then applied to your eye.