Your eyes are the first thing people notice when they look at you. In a sense, they are the "barometer" of your moods - Do I look happy? Sad? Worried? Angry? Unfortunately, you may not even be aware of the the appearance you convey. Droopy upper eyelids give the appearance of "sleepiness." Baggy lower lids often get the comment "you look tired." Droopy eyebrows can give the impression of sadness or anger. Dr. Higa specializes in eyelid and eyebrow correction which can freshen your appearance and send out the impression that you look as good as you feel. Make an appointment with us today.
Upper Eyelid Ptosis
Upper eyelid drooping may be caused by one or more conditions at the same time. Ptosis is a condition which affects the ability of the muscle (levators) to lift the eyelid. The most common causes include aging, nerve paralysis, muscle weakness, and injury. Dr. Higa performs ptosis repair surgery by tightening the upper eyelid muscles (levator) and elevating the lids to a desirable position. Great care is taken to make sure the eyelids will close normally after surgery. Many of these conditions may be covered by insurance.
Upper Eyelid Dermatochalasis (Excess Skin)
Dermatochalasis is a condition in which the skin of the upper eyelids loses its elasticity. Normal aging changes are the primary reason for this condition, however, dermatochalasis may be accelerated by excessive sun exposure, eyelid rubbing, and/or weight gain/loss. The resultant overhanging skin may block vision as well and prevent wide peripheral vision. This condition is addressed by removing the excess skin and fat (as necessary) in a procedure known as a upper eyelid blepharoplasty. During a blepharoplasty, great care is taken to reconstruct the crease to give a natural appearance. As with other upper eyelid conditions, this procedure may be covered by insurance.
Lower Eyelid Dermatochalasis (Baggy Lids)
Our lower eyelids have a layer, known as the septum, behind which fat pads are located. This septum is just behind the eyelid skin. Lower eyelid dermatochalasis results when this septum breaks down through aging, excessive eyelid rubbing, chronic allergies, and/or weight gain or loss. This leads to fat bulging. Loose eyelid skin of the lower eyelids is also commonly seen. Surgical correction to remove/reposition fat and tighten skin is known as a lower eyelid blepharoplasty. This procedure is generally not covered by insurance.
Entropion, or in-turning, of the upper or lower eyelids is a condition caused by normal aging, but many non-elderly patients may present with this. It may involve the upper or lower eyelids. Causes include eye rubbing, infection, floppy eyelids, and trauma. When a patient presents with entropion, the primary complaint is tearing caused from a foreign body sensation. The foreign body in this case are the lashes which are now directed towards the eyeball. Surgical correction is performed to restore the eyelid position.
Ectropion, or out-turning, of the upper or lower eyelids is a condition caused by normal aging, but many non-elderly patients may present with this. This generally involves the lower eyelids. Causes include eye rubbing, infection, scarring, previous eyelid surgery, and trauma. When a patient presents with ectropion, the primary complaint is tearing caused from a foreign body sensation. The foreign body in this case is inadequate wetting of the ocular surface because the eyelid is not against the eyeball. Any tears produced drain out instead of coating the ocular surface. This leads to exposure of the eyeball followed by pain. Surgical correction is performed to restore the eyelid position.
Incomplete Eyelid Closure
Incomplete eyelid closure, or exposure, is usually the result of previous eyelid surgery. This may affect the upper or lower eyelids. In many cases, excess eyelid skin was removed which prevents the eyelid from closing properly. Too little skin remains. Medical management includes eye lubricants, patching, and time. If this fails, surgically correction is indicated by loosening the levator muscle and/or performing a skin graft to replace the shortened skin.
Eyelid Reconstruction After Trauma or Cancer
Eyelid reconstruction is generally performed 1) as a treatment for skin cancer involving the eyelids, 2) to correct the adverse results of previous eyelid surgery, and 3) to repair eyelids following traumatic injury. Dr. Higa has many years of experience in performing reconstructive surgery of eyelids and periorbital skin which surrounds the eyelids. Various repair methods include direct closure, skin grafting, and the use of flaps. The goal is to restore an as aesthetically pleasant appearance as possible through surgery.