Health Watch: Droopy eyelids not a vanity problem

Drooping, or fatty eyelids are not just a vanity problem.  If you are constantly raising your eyelids to see, it is time to let a doctor help you.  "The extra skin can act like a baseball cap, which can cause people to have trouble seeing above them. I've had patients who regularly bump into cabinets or doors because they just don't see them", says SLUCare ocular plastic surgeon, Dr. Gabriela Espinoza.

Denise Carter was one of her patients who sought help.  "I had double vision.  And when I was driving at night it finally dawned on me that when you see four headlights instead of two, it's time to do something."  Graves disease also contributed to her vision issues.

Espinoza performed an upper eyelid lift, called blepharoplasty, a surgical eyelid repair. "In the upper eyelid, the procedure can get rid of excess skin that causes wrinkles or a fullness of the eyelid," Espinoza notes. "In the lower eyelid, it can get rid of bags, smooth out wrinkles and help with dark circles."

"We do it with sedation, usually.  And with a numbing agent.  And we remove the extra skin."

Carter was back to work in two days.  "In fact, I was wearing glasses, and I don't wear glasses now."

The goal with eyelid surgery is to achieve a natural look, says Espinoza, who strives to provide completely individualized care. "Every person's body is different, everyone's eyes are different," she explains. "I want to give patients a natural look that doesn't look overdone — like you've just had a wonderful vacation. It's a subtle change, but it makes people appear happier, rested and relaxed."

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