I am one of the few eyelid specialists in Denver. There are only a handful of these specialized plastic surgeons who work primarily on the eyelids of patients. Most of the common procedures involve removing excess skin and fat to restore the youthful appearance of the eyelid. This surgery is referred to as a blepharoplasty or eyelid lift. There are other procedures on the eyelid, eye socket and tear duct I perform that are reconstructive as well but I do perform a lot of blepharoplasty. That is the work of an Oculoplastic surgeon especially in a place like Denver where people are active, there is sun aging and retaining youthfulness is valued.
Covid has presented some interesting challenges and changes to our practice. Like most businesses we shut down completely in March and April in order to reduce spread the disease to our patients. I did perform emergency procedures on the eyelid, tear duct and eye socket during that time. Covid did not reduce the number of eyelid traumas, infection of the tear duct or eye socket cancer. Other than those handful of procedures, there was not much we were doing. My practice would have an occasional patient who received nonsurgical procedures such as Botox or fillers would call asking when they could get a treatment. Pre covid most of these patients were very busy with their personal and professional lives. Looking in the mirror or analyzing their face was not part of their daily routine. Life was busy and though people liked to look their best, most of the time their focus was on other things.
During the lockdown in Denver however, something changed for most patients and people in general. At home with little to do, people started examining their homes but also themselves. Flaws were noted and this was magnified with use of a mask which eliminates the rest of the face other than the eyes and forehead.
Once the lockdown was over, our office received a lot of phone calls. Some were patients who wanted to return to see us for cosmetic work. Not all of them were old however. Many were new patients who had never had a cosmetic procedure before…surgical or nonsurgical. They wanted to know what their options were for reduce fine lines and wrinkles around the face specifically the eyelid and forehead. Also, they wanted to know what could be done to improve their sagging eyelids or puffy eyes. My partner and I in the last several months have performed many cosmeic procedures to improve these signs of aging. It is interesting to me the why of the increased volume of cosmetic improvement demands for us.
Eyelid surgery is specialized so in our practice as oculplastic surgeons or eyelid specialist we see a lot of patients for issues around the eye. After Covid that number exploded. Often when I spoke to patients concerning what they noticed, they seemed to emphasize that this was a relatively new phenomenon. Additionally, what the working patients who used video chatting such as zoom pointed out was fascinating. What they noticed was not only their signs of aging on zoom video chats but also everyone elses. By noticing these signs of aging, it made them self reflect on how others were perceiving them.
I thought I would post a blog about this interesting change in our practice in the last several months during a pandemic. Covid may change our society in many ways that have not surfaced yet but one change is the increased demand for medical and cosmetic services of the eyelid and face.