Droopy eyelids affect a significant amount of people in the western hemisphere, both young and old. It can affect a person’s quality of life as it interferes with daily activities, such as reading and driving. For others, it is a matter of appearance. Droopy eyelids can make a person look tired and aged, regardless of how they feel internally. In some cases, it may even hurt their self-esteem.
What is a droopy eyelid?
A person may speak about droopy eyelid to refer to excess skin hanging over the eyelashes. However, to an eyelid surgeon, droopy eyelid may refer to three different conditions. First, droopy eyelid may refer to eyelid ptosis. Eyelid ptosis is a common condition where the eyelid itself has dropped to an unusually low position. This drop happens because the muscle that raises the eyelid becomes weak. In this case, the reference of droopy eyelid is correct.
Second, a person may talk about droopy eyelid to describe excess skin hanging over the eyelashes (dermatochalasis). In this case, however, it is not actual ptosis. The distinction is essential because the correction of excess eyelid skin requires a very different approach.
The third cause of “droopy eyelids” is a droopy brow. Droopy brow is also a common condition yet misunderstood by most people. When a brow droops, the eyebrow skin descends and obstructs the lateral part of the upper eyelid, giving the false appearance of droopiness. Once again, it is important to make the distinction before deciding upon the correct treatment.
Surgical procedures to correct droopy eyelids
Like we mentioned above, the first step to correcting droopy eyelids is to determine whether ptosis, dermatochalasis or a droopy eyebrow is the true cause of the condition. Once the exact diagnosis is made, the surgeon can propose an appropriate surgical treatment.
Ptosis surgery is the correct treatment for a droopy eyelid that is caused by muscle weakness. It is an outpatient procedure that can be performed with local anesthesia. The surgeon uses a special suture to strengthen the eyelid muscle. The procedure requires an incision on the skin; however, the incision is not visible to most people because it is hidden in the natural crease of the eyelid. Recovery after ptosis surgery is usually painless and takes about two weeks.
An upper eyelid blepharoplasty (eyelid lift) is a different type of operation whose objective is to remove excess eyelid skin and restore a youthful eyelid contour. The blepharoplasty is perhaps the most common eyelid surgery. It is also an outpatient procedure, and the recovery time is somewhat shorter than ptosis surgery. As with most other surgeries, there is always some swelling and bruising after the operation.
Finally, if the problem of droopy eyelids is due to a brow descent, the correct surgical treatment is a procedure called BEAUTYlift. BEAUTYlift is an endoscopic, minimally-invasive way to lift eyebrows. One of its main advantages is that the incisions are placed in the scalp, so there is no visible scar. The recovery time for this procedure is slightly longer than for a blepharoplasty, two to three weeks on average. The procedure does require general anesthesia.
Droopy eyelid surgery in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is known for the quality of its surgeons and medical care. As one of the leading medical tourism destinations in the world, Costa Rica has a lot to offer patients. Our Oculoplastic Surgeon trained in the United States and specializes in eyelid surgery, having performed over 2,000 of these procedures with excellent results.