Every week I perform several eyelid lifts. It is the surgery that I am specialty trained to perform. In fact it is the most common surgery I perform. When a patient comes with a drooping eyelid there are three main ways that I can fix it. First, it is important to understand why someone gets a drooping eyelid. Inside the eyelid is a muscle (called the levator muscle) that becomes weaker with time.
There are several ways that I raise the eyelid to a higher position. I test patients in the office to determine the technique that works best. What are the key points that patient should know?
If insurance covers this procedure, it is about vision improvement not how you look
If insurance like Medicare, Kaiser, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna etc. cover eyelid lifting surgery, it is to improve your vision, it is not so you look better. There should be a vision problem from the drooping eyelid that is improved with the eyelid being lifted. You may care about its appearance but that has nothing to do with the insurance companies paying for it
The surgery has a 90 to 95% success rate
One of the risks of the surgery is overcorrection or under correction Between 5-10% of patients needs to have a touchup procedure to get the eyelid height up or down more. Though it is matched in the operating room, the outcome is not 100% and there may be a need for second procedure.
Recovery is 2 weeks but the eyelid position takes 12 weeks to settle
Having surgery on the eyelid involves bruising and swelling. Often it takes two weeks for bruising and swelling to go down. The eyelid height and contour can take 3 months to stabilize and normalize. Often, we ask patients to be patient as the eyelid heals. Prematurely believing that the surgery is a success or failure is not in a patients interest.