When most patients think of drooping eyeid surgery, they think of a procedure called blepharoplasty. As an oculofacial plastic surgeon in Denver, I perform a large number of blepharoplasties but a greater number of eyelid surgery I perform is also ptosis repair. A Blepharplasty is a surgery that is done to remove excess skin or fat from the upper or lower eyelid. A drooping eyelid as in the picture of the great patient in the first photo is from a weak muscle of the eyelid. As one can see, there is no excess skin in the first photo. By making a small incision in the skin, one can tighten the muscle in the eyelid (also called the levator muscle) to lift the eyelid and open it more. The patient is approximately 1 week post op in the second picture.
In the case of this patient insurance covers the procedure as there were three criteria that were met. First, the patient's eyelids are physically low, as can be seen by the photos. Second, the patient was having trouble seeing out of the right and left eyes because they were so low. Third, a test called a visual field test was performed at the office showing a blockage of the vision that was improved when the eyelid was taped. Blepharoplasty is sometimes combined with ptosis repair if there is excess eyelid skin that the patient would like to have cleaned up at the same time. This patient actually has a little less bruising and swelling than most of my patients in Denver who followup at one week after eyelid surgery.
As a patient it is important to understand the differences between "a drooping eyelid" or an "eyelid lift". Those lay phrases can mean very different things. Hopefully this helps clear up any confusion.