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COSMETIC SURGERY

Our eyes say so much about us. They reveal what we think and they express what we feel. But sometimes, because of heredity or the aging process, our eyes do not convey the full range of human thoughts and emotions.

"Tired" eyelids or droopy eyebrows can make a person look constantly sad and worn out. An injury to the eyelid or orbit or certain health conditions, such as Graves' disease may cause an abnormal appearance as well as damage to the function of the eye. In addition to aesthetic concerns, heavy eyelids and eyebrows can obstruct vision, creating an unnecessary limitation.

Any number of eye conditions can be corrected through cosmetic plastic surgery in which the appearance of the eye can be improved to produce a younger, brighter, less tired look. Cosmetic eye surgery at Wills Eye consists of plastic surgery of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids and eyebrows. This service also offers chemical peels, laser resurfacing and cosmetic skin treatment advice.

During your initial consultation, a Wills Eye surgeon will advise you as to whether or not you are a candidate for cosmetic eye surgery. Complications are rare but your physician will discuss these with you in detail, as well as your expectations. Cosmetic eye surgery is performed in an outpatient operating room. Before the procedure begins, you will receive local anesthesia administered by a physician so that you are comfortable and do not feel any pain during surgery. Following surgery, you will be prescribed medication to reduce any pain. A regular follow-up examination will be scheduled. Following surgery, most patients are able to return to work within one week.

Baggy Eyebrows

Excessive skin below the eyebrow (between the brow and the eyelid). Also referred to as "heavy" or "droopy" eyebrows. Brow lift surgery is performed to remove excess skin in order to improve one's appearance and visual function.

Blepharoplasty

Upper eyelid blepharoplasty is the surgery performed to reduce excess skin and fat in the upper eyelids. During surgery, the surgeon makes small cuts (incisions) in the natural contours and creases of the upper eyelids. Excess skin and fat is removed and reshaped. The incisions are then closed with tiny sutures (stitches). Because the incisions are made within the eyes' natural contours, they are barely visible and the scars fade over time.

Lower eyelid blepharoplasty reduces excess fat or skin in the lower eyelids. The surgeon makes incisions in the inside or outside of the lower eyelids and gently removes excess fat. The incisions are then closed with tiny sutures. Incisions made on the inside of the eyelids are not visible. Incisions made on the outside of the lower eyelids are barely visible and the scars fade over time.

Brow Lifts

Coronal Brow Lift

This procedure raises the eyebrows and reduces creases and wrinkles on the forehead as well as excess skin at the bridge of the nose. The surgeon makes an incision across the top of the head, a few inches above the hairline. The brow and forehead are lifted upward and excess skin is removed. The incision is closed with sutures.

Direct Eyebrow Lift

This procedure elevates drooping eyebrows by removing excess skin above the eyebrows. The surgeon makes incisions directly above the eyebrow and removes excess skin. The incisions are closed with fine sutures. They fade over time and can be covered by makeup. In men, thick eyebrows hide the scars very well.

oday, hard contact lenses, soft lenses and extended wear soft lenses are available for persons who have had cataract surgery.

Bulging Eyes (Exophthalmos)

When an abnormal amount of the eye "white" is exposed, it may be because the eyeball is pushed forward. When this happens, the cause is often a swelling or growth that occurs behind the eye. The eye may feel dry and the patient may have difficulty seeing and may have double vision or blurriness. The eyelid may not close properly.

The most common cause of bulging eyes is Graves' disease, a type of hyperthyroidism (which is an overactive thyroid gland). Other causes may be eye tumors or an eye infection.

If one or both of your eyes bulge, it is important to see an ophthalmologist immediately

Chemical Peel

The chemical peel can be performed separately or in conjunction with upper blepharoplasty, lower blepharoplasty, the coronal brow lift or the direct eyebrow lift to reduce wrinkles and remove blemishes. With this procedure, the physician applies a chemical to the skin that tightens the skin by removing the top layer of the skin.

Droopy Eyelids

Individuals who have "droopy" eyelids have a condition called "ptosis" (pronounced "toe-sis"). This occurs when the tiny muscle and tendon that lifts the eyelid becomes weak or slack, causing the upper eyelid to hang too low over the eye. This often impairs vision. In order to see better, people with ptosis sometimes lean their head back, raise their eyebrows or physically lift the lid with their finge

Ptosis can be congenital, meaning that a person was born with the condition. Children with droopy eyelids tend to have additional eye problems, such as amblyopia or "lazy eye," strabismus (eyes that may cross or be unaligned), astigmatism, refractive errors or blurred vision. Ptosis can also be acquired, as a result of aging. Acquired ptosis can occur as a result of cataract or other eye surgery, when the tendon may become weakened.

Blepharoplasty is the name of the surgery that is performed to repair droopy eyelids.

Dry Eyes

When the lacrimal system does not produce enough tears to properly wet the eye, the surface of the eye dries out. If this happens, your eye will feel gritty and it may burn or sting.

Over-the-counter or prescription eye drops may temporarily resolve the situation, but it is important to see your ophthalmologist if you continue to have dry eyes. You may have a problem that requires more than a superficial solution. Chronic dry eyes can lead to an eye or tear duct infection.

If medication fails to correct dry eyes, a procedure may be performed that involves the insertion of silicone or collagen plugs to keep the tear drainage ducts open allowing tears to remain in the eye. This procedure is called "dacryocystorhinostomy."

Excessive Tearing

Eyes that continually water may have damage in the lacrimal system, the part of the eye that is responsible for producing tears. Normally, our eyes tear when we cry or when we are exposed to certain smells (like onions) or irritations (like allergies). However, the ducts that make up the lacrimal system can sometimes become blocked. This may be caused by an injury or an infection. Tearing may also be due to loose lower lids (lacrimal pump dysfunction) or even dry eye syndrome.

Also, children can be born with a blockage of the tear duct. With no place to go, tears become stagnant within the duct, leading to infection. You may notice crusting or pus to collect around the eyelids. Sometimes these obstructions resolve on their own. At other times, children may need to see an ophthalmic surgeon to correct the problem.

If your eyes tear excessively, be sure to see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

Eye Tumors

Any type of abnormal tissue growth is considered a tumor. Tumors may be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Both of these types of tumors can occur in the eye, eyelid, or orbit.

Treatment is available for eye and orbit tumors, but it is important to see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible if you are suspected of having an eye tumor. If eye tumors run in your family, you should have regular eye examinations.

Laser Resurfacing

Laser resurfacing is a procedure designed to diminish deep wrinkles, sun spots and acne scarring. It is used to improve one's appearance. It is particularly good at removing fine lines around the mouth.

The laser uses a high-density beam of light to remove thin layers of skin and/or multiple layers of skin to achieve a smooth, youthful effect. Laser resurfacing has also been found to improve the skin's elasticity and firmness.

Wrinkles

p>As skin ages, it becomes drier and less elastic. Though wrinkling is considered a natural part of aging, certain health conditions, such as dry skin, or habits (smoking, excessive alcohol use or sun exposure) contribute to premature wrinkling of the skin.