Facial Cosmetic Surgery/Oculoplastic Surgery
Sagging, bulging eyelids not only have a cosmetic impact but can also reduce a person’s functional vision. Fortunately, both problems can be corrected with natural, yet dramatic, results.
Joanne Quillen noticed that she was losing some of her peripheral vision.
“My eyelids were impairing my sight,” confides the retired commercial land development title insurance sales representative. “I wasn’t seeing as well as I had in the past, and the loss was ongoing.”
The grandmother of five says she first contacted her ophthalmologist: “Then I learned how critical it is to have an oculoplastic surgeon perform the kind of surgery I was going to need. I started reading and searching and researching.”
Joanne says she consulted two other physicians before choosing William P. Mack, MD, a fellowship-trained oculoplastic surgeon, whose medical facility is located in Tampa and who has been featured on Fox 13 News and News Channel 8.
“One of the doctors I consulted was located five hours from my home,” remembers Joanne, “but I would have been willing to go that far to make certain I had the right person. That physician and the other doctor I interviewed were very fine, but I still wasn’t feeling totally comfortable with either of them, so I continued searching.”
“Then, when I found Dr. Mack, I was just thrilled.”
Interestingly, Joanne made her first contact with Dr. Mack online: “It was at the beginning of September. I’d gotten up early in the morning and went to his website, where I told them a little bit about myself and what my concerns were. That afternoon, I received a response from the office manager. She was so accommodating and informative.”
“The entire staff is really kind. They understand any apprehension that a patient may be feeling. They’re amazing.”
Joanne’s main concern, she says, is that she wanted her results to look natural: “I had a long consultation with Dr. Mack, and he answered all of my concerns.”
“The eye region is the most important aesthetic component of the face,” observes Dr. Mack. “When eye contact is made, we immediately begin forming our first impressions. Judging someone to be tired, sad, angry, or pleasant are all based on the appearance of the area around the eyes. With aging, the upper eyelids may become droopy or baggy, giving patients a tired look that decreases the overall attractiveness of a person’s eyes.”
Dr. Mack explains that folds and bags of excess skin form when the connective tissue beneath the eyelids is too weak to hold the protective layer of fat in place around the eye and allows the tissue to bulge forward. As the skin loses its tone and elasticity, the condition worsens.
“The condition affects both men and women,” says Dr. Mack. “It is often hereditary and becomes more pronounced with age, but exposure to the sun, wind, and other extreme weather conditions can make the problem worse for patients of any age.”
Cosmetic upper eyelid blepharoplasty refers to the surgical procedure that reduces the tired, baggy appearance of the upper eyelids. During the blepharoplasty surgery, incisions are made in the crease of the upper eyelid to remove excess skin and fat. The advantage of making the incision in the eyelid crease is that the scar is barely noticeable after a few months.
Lower eyelid transconjunctival blepharoplasty reduces bagginess from lower eyelids. Drooping lower lids can prevent the lids from closing properly and can expose too much of the lower surface of the eye, drying it out and leaving it unprotected against debris and infection.
“Patients tolerate this eyelid surgery very well and get dramatic improvement,” says Dr. Mack, “and the results often last a lifetime.”
Dr. Mack performs the blepharoplasty as an outpatient surgery. If appropriate, upper eyelid blepharoplasty can be combined with other cosmetic surgeries, such as lower eyelid transconjunctival blepharoplasty, endoscopic brow lift, to assist in the process of rejuvenation.
“My ultimate goal is to create a natural, more youthful, refreshed appearance,” says Dr. Mack.
BETTER FUNCTIONAL VISION
Dr. Mack adds that bulging, sagging eyelids not only have a cosmetic impact but also can reduce a person’s functional vision, as they did with Joanne.
Patients may not realize that a reduction in functional vision will often make blepharoplasty a covered procedure with insurance carriers. If a patient looks in the mirror and sees the eyelids resting on the eyelashes, there is a chance that the patient qualifies for medically necessary blepharoplasty.
However, eyelid skin does not have to roll onto the eyelashes or bulge outward to meet medical criteria for insurance coverage. Sometimes, the weight of the skin simply pushes the eyelid down, giving patients a half-mast, or sleepy appearance. For every millimeter the eyelid is pushed downward, a patient will lose about twelve degrees of visual field.
SAFE AND EFFECTIVE
“Blepharoplasty, whether performed for cosmetic or functional reasons, is a safe, effective, and cosmetically appealing option for removing excess tissue from the eyelids,” says Dr. Mack. “It is performed under local anesthesia. The patient typically has the sutures removed five to seven days following the surgery. Postoperatively, the patient is instructed to use cold compresses for two to three days and antibiotic ointment for one week.
Joanne says she couldn’t believe her recovery time: “They gave me one pain pill at the surgery center, and I never took another one after that. I literally had no pain; it was really wild. It didn’t even hurt.”
She admits she did have some swelling: “But my husband kept providing me with little ice packs. I rested, and by the second or third day, I was looking great. It was fantastic. I had no problems.”
“I’m just so thrilled. I can see so much better. I didn’t realize just how much vision I’d lost until I had it repaired.”
“And it looks so natural. It was probably eight weeks post surgery when I saw my children in Ohio. They think it looks terrific.”
“I didn’t tell most people, and when my girlfriend saw me, she asked if I’d gotten my hair done differently. I have a sister who didn’t guess either; she just thought I looked very rested and relaxed.”
“I truly am,” she adds with a giggle. “I feel like the clock has been turned back.”
Joanne was so thrilled with her results that she wrote the following to Dr. Mack and his staff: I want to let you know how thankful I am that I have met each of you this past year. My experience as a patient has been so wonderful.
Thank you for your exceptional work, Dr. Mack! I am still thrilled each day since surgery on October 14th. My sight is so much better, my mirror reflects a “me” I had not seen in a while, and it is great to see my eyelids and eyelashes again! You have no idea how apprehensive I was to make the choice to move forward with surgery … but after meeting you and everyone at your office, I knew I was in good hands.
Joanne’s letter went on to compliment Dr. Mack’s licensed facial specialist and licensed massage therapist: Working with Marcia, my skin also has improved a lot. I have been faithfully using the products she recommended. I can’t wait to show her my improvement….
She then closes with a congratulatory message on Dr. Mack’s new facility: You truly deserve this accomplishment! It is evidence of your hard work, extraordinary gift of vision for natural results, and excellence in eye and facial rejuvenation.
FHCN – Kris Kline