"Eyelifts" for Better Vision


"Eyelifts" for Better Vision
By: Wendy Ray

Many people have eye lifts because they want to look younger, but for some people the surgery is necessary for better vision. The surgery is called blepharoplasty, people have it done when their eyelids droop and literally block their vision.

Blepharoplasty patient Babs Tranter says, "My eyelids drooped so it was very difficult to see peripheral vision." Tranter's eyelids gradually started to droop as she got older. It runs in her family, so she expected it to happen. She knew that blepharoplasty, surgery for your eyelids, would correct the problem. But before the surgery could be done, Tranter had to get checked to make sure she was a candidate.

Technician Lynetta Baldwin says, "She has a little button on a machine that she'll push when she sees a flash on the screen. We go 30 degrees up, 30 degrees down, if she has any peripheral loss, it will show up." And she did have a lot. Looking at her before and after pictures, you can see how droopy her eyelids were before, compared to the way they looked after the procedure.

Baldwin explains what doctors do after they find a patient needs the surgery. "Dr. Santos measures and takes a ruler and a skin marker and draws a little line. Then he takes forceps and pulls the skin together," Baldwin says. Then a laser outlines and cuts a small incision on the eyelid. Extra skin is removed, leaving patients with two fine lines across their eyelids.

Tranter saw results almost immediately. "My eyelids had drooped into my eyes so long they would get dry. They were open for the first time in ages," Tranter says.

People should have eye exams before going ahead with the surgery. If you have eye problems like glaucoma, you may not be able to have this operation. Recovery takes a few weeks, and patients have to use cold compresses to keep the swelling down. There are no bandages, just a few stitches that need to be removed a few days afterwards.