The eyelids are very important for vision. Eyelids not only surround and protect the eye, they also produce tears which provides the eye with nutrition and lubrication. Eyelashes prevent debris from falling into the eye. The blinking muscles also help wash away any foreign material that reaches the eye. All of these structures are necessary to maintain normal vision.
What's the difference between reconstructive and cosmetic eyelid surgery?
Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, removes excess skin from the upper and/or lower eyelids. There are many different reasons that a person might have excess tissue around the eyelids. Tumors of the eyelid or trauma to the eyelid can threaten the vision and must be corrected with surgery. Baggy eyelids can affect vision if they hang down far enough to block your sight. Any eyelid surgery that prevents or corrects vision loss is considered a reconstructive surgery.
On the other hand, some disorders of the eyelids cause a cosmetic change in the lid appearance, but do not threaten vision. For instance, baggy eyelids that hang down just enough to be noticeable but not enough to block vision can be surgically repaired. However, this would be a cosmetic procedure rather than a reconstructive procedure.
If you have an eyelid problem and would like a consultation, call our office today for an appointment.
Does insurance cover these procedures?
Every insurance policy has different benefits, but generally, insurance covers reconstructive surgery if loss of vision or a threat to vision can be documented by the physician. For cosmetic procedures, insurance rarely offers coverage.
If you have any questions about the benefits of your insurance plan, call your insurance provider for details.
Sometimes, excess skin is not the culprit behind drooping lids. In some cases, it is the muscles of the eyelids and/or forehead that are the cause. Muscles may lose tension with age, causing eyebrows and eye lids to hang lower than they used to. In this case, a different technique must be used to repair the drooping. A procedure called a ptosis repair can be used, and in some cases a brow lift might be required. For the more detailed reconstructive surgeries, the Eye Center of Central Georgia is pleased to have Dr. Eric Baylin and Dr. Javier Servat of Atlanta visit our clinic. Dr. Baylin and Dr. Servat specialize in oculofacial plastic surgery, and come to the Eye Center several times a month.
For more information about oculoplastic surgery, you can visit their website here.