When Is Eye Surgery Cosmetic Versus Corrective?
There are many types of surgical procedures for the eyes. Corrective eye surgeries are those that are performed in order to restore or improve a patient’s vision. Most procedures work to reshape the cornea so that light passing through it can focus on the retina. Some surgeries replace the lens of the eye.
In some cases, these surgeries are medically necessary to correct vision loss or prevent blindness from diseases such as:
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Macular degeneration
- Orbital tumors
In other cases, patients elect to have corrective eye surgeries to reduce their dependence on glasses or contact lenses. In recent years, eye surgeons have made incredible advancements in vision correction surgery, also known as refractive and laser eye surgery. Vision correction surgeries like LASIK are ideal for patients who are nearsighted, farsighted, or have astigmatism.
Cosmetic eye surgeries are those that are performed in order to improve a patient’s appearance and are not typically medically necessary for improving vision. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons eyelid surgeries remain the fourth most common type of cosmetic surgical procedure, just behind breast augmentation, liposuction, and nose reshaping. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can include:
- Lifting loose or sagging skin in droopy or heavy eyelids
- Removing fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the eyelids
- Removing under-eye bags
- Lifting drooping lower eyelids
- Removing excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid
The purpose of blepharoplasty is to improve a patient’s appearance and reduce signs of aging around the eyes. However, when a droopy eyelid is limiting a person’s vision, blepharoplasty is considered medically necessary and so is a corrective, or functional, surgery rather than purely cosmetic.
There are also nonsurgical procedures that can improve the appearance of droopy eyelids or sagging under-eye bags. Injections such as Botox and hyaluronic acid fillers can help tighten sagging skin and smooth out wrinkles around the eyes.
At Baptist Eye Surgeons is an ophthalmological eye surgery practice that performs both corrective and cosmetic procedures such as blepharoplasty. To request an appointment or get directions to our Knoxville and Morristown locations, visit our website. Call us at 865-579-3920 for more information or visit us online to schedule an appointment.