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Functional vs. Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery

Even though eyelid surgery is often associated with an improved, rested, and alert appearance, many patients undergo functional — rather than cosmetic — blepharoplasty in Yuma County, Arizona. Of course, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) to correct conditions that impair vision or affect eye health may also yield excellent cosmetic results. Cosmetic and functional eyelid surgeries are primarily distinguished by the main objectives of each procedure.

Dr. Patrick Aiello is an exceptional eye surgeon whose training and experience makes him one of the leading ophthalmologists in the Southwest. Request an appointment online or call (928) 782-1980 to speak with one of our eye care professionals.

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Dr. Aiello's unique combination of compassion and qualifications sets him apart as one of the leading ophthalmologists in the field.

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Functional Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery that is deemed medically necessary is also known as functional eyelid surgery. It is normally required for eyelids changed by age or disease, and it usually is performed because a patient's vision is impaired.

Some of the primary reasons for functional eyelid surgery are:

  • To improve vision. Droopy eyelids (ptosis) can block your field of vision, especially the upper field, and lifting the eyelids may improve peripheral (side) vision.
  • To reduce eye irritation. Eyelashes turned inward — a condition called trichiasis — is common in Asian eyelids. Heavy eyelids and low position of the eyelid crease can result in lids turning inward (entropion), causing trichiasis. This can result in eyelashes scratching the cornea.
  • To reduce eye redness, tearing, and irritation caused by droopy lower eyelids. Aging can cause lower eyelids to become lax and start drooping or losing apposition to the eye (ectropion). This may result in chronic "red eye."

Although most eyelid changes can be traced to aging, other sources such as injury, disease, or congenital conditions can also cause problems that require eyelid surgery.

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Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery

Heavy, droopy eyelids can cause people to appear tired and older than they actually are. Blepharoplasty is a fairly straightforward, popular procedure that results in a more alert, youthful appearance without undergoing more extensive facial plastic surgery.

While functional eyelid surgery is usually done on the upper eyelids, cosmetic blepharoplasty is routinely performed on both the upper and lower eyelids. Surgery on the lower eyelids is usually done to remove fat and excess skin that develops as we age, creating "bags" that most people find unattractive. On the upper lids, cosmetic blepharoplasty removes excess, folded skin.

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