What’s the Difference Between Cosmetic and Functional Blepharoplasty?

Cosmetic vs. Functional Blepharoplasty in Atlanta 

Over time, the eye area is one of the first to show signs of aging. The skin of the eyelids is very delicate, making it susceptible to wrinkles, fine lines, and sagging or drooping. A blepharoplasty is a popular surgical option that can help you look more alert, awake, and youthful. There are two basic types and reasons for choosing a blepharoplasty: cosmetic and functional. 

What is a Cosmetic Blepharoplasty?

A cosmetic blepharoplasty is performed solely for the purpose of improving the appearance. Through a cosmetic blepharoplasty, Dr. Walker can create a more youthful looking eye area with reduced wrinkles or sagging skin. Younger patients are more commonly choosing cosmetic blepharoplasty as well to change the overall shape or appearance of their eyes before aging signs even set in. A cosmetic blepharoplasty may involve incisions to the upper eyelid, lower eyelid, or both depending on your goals for the procedure. 

What is a Functional Blepharoplasty?

Some patients may have excessive sagging or puffiness in the eyelids that begins to affect their field of vision, diminishing their eyesight. In these cases, an eyelid surgery can be chosen to reduce the excess tissue and restore a normal field of vision. For some, loose or drooping skin and tissue near the eyes can also cause pain or discomfort or difficulty wearing eyeglasses. This procedure would be considered a functional blepharoplasty. In some cases, your health insurance may cover functional eyelid surgery. This usually requires an evaluation from an ophthalmologist to confirm that your field of vision is reduced. 

Can I Combine Cosmetic and Functional Blepharoplasty?

Many patients have both cosmetic and functional concerns when they are considering eyelid surgery. A blepharoplasty can be performed to both improve the appearance and function of your eyes, as the procedure is overall similar for both a cosmetic and functional blepharoplasty.

Before your surgery, be sure to explain all of your concerns during your consultation at Dr. Walker’s Atlanta office. This will allow him to create a treatment plan for your eyelid surgery that will address any cosmetic or functional concerns. 

How is Eyelid Surgery Performed?

Blepharoplasty may be performed for the upper eyelid, lower eyelid, or both. Most eyelid surgeries can be completed with twilight sedation alone, though general anesthesia may be used for some patients. An incision is made either along the upper eyelid crease or on the inside of the eyelid along the lower lash line. Through these incisions, excess skin and fat can be removed, and the muscles can be tightened for a smoother and more youthful appearance.

Am I a Candidate for Blepharoplasty?

Most people who are concerned about the appearance or function of their eyelids are good candidates for blepharoplasty. Certain eye conditions including glaucoma or chronic dry eye or other health concerns may prevent you from having an eyelid surgery. During your consultation, Dr. Walker will review your relevant health history, examine the eye area, and determine whether you are a good candidate for eyelid surgery. For some patients, particularly those seeking a functional blepharoplasty, an ophthalmology exam may also be necessary to determine your candidacy. 

Schedule a Consultation 

To learn more about cosmetic or functional eyelid surgery, schedule a consultation with Dr. Walker in Atlanta, Georgia. Call our office at (470) 900-3223 or contact us online.