Dermatochalasis (Droopy Eyelid)

What is Dermatochalasis?

Droopy or heavy eyelids can be broken down into two categories: weakening of the upper eyelid muscle called “ptosis” (pronounced “toe-sis”), or from excess upper eyelid skin that is overhanging called “dermatochalasis.” Both of those conditions may interfere with vision, particularly your superior visual field. Patients often say it “feels like I’m wearing a baseball cap or hat on all the time,” or I “feel like my eyes are falling asleep.” In order to compensate, patients often raise their eyebrows or lift their eyelids with their fingers to see better.

Either of these conditions may be caused by aging, heredity, or trauma, or may be associated with an underlying medical condition. Dermatochalasis and ptosis may exist at the same time or independent of one another.

For dermatochalasis, upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty may be performed to remove excess skin; while ptosis surgery usually involves tightening an eyelid muscle to lift the upper eyelid.

Surgical correction is usually considered cosmetic for mild cases of droopy eyelids; however, severe cases can potentially be covered by insurance to improve visual function. Part of your evaluation will help determine whether the procedures will be considered medically necessary and covered by your insurance company.

Before and After Dermatochalasis Surgery

(Courtesy of acutal patients at EPNH. Note that individual results after blepharoplasties may vary.)

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