A patient's experience...
"Sitting across from my 87 year old mother, looking at her eyes that are over half closed, I see myself in about 15 years. I have inherited my mother's droopy eyelids. Now, I know I have to do something about it. On my next visit to my Ophthalmologist, he arranged an appointment with Dr. David Cowen. I was very nervous, but once there, he made me feel relaxed and very confident that he knew exactly what I need to have done. Surgery was scheduled. Surgery was in my hairline and left no visible scars. That evening, back home in Ashland, Dr. Cowen called to make sure I was doing ok. No other doctor that I have had has ever done this. The next day the office called. I had no bruising and very little swelling due to taking the "Arnicare" that is available at Dr. Cowen's office. As for the small amount of pain, Tylenol took care of that. After a week I was back at Dr. Cowen's office for removal of staples. I felt so good, my husband, myself and two grandchildren went shopping at the mall. I wanted to show off my new look!
I am very pleased with the surgery. I would highly recommend Dr. Cowen to anyone who would need to have this surgery. Very friendly staff, Dr. Cowen has great bedside manners, a professional, and a caring person.
I have gone from looking mad all the time to being happy with the way my eyes have changed. They are now open and my vision has improved. My husband said I look 10 years younger. I'll take that!
Thank you Dr. David Cowen
Proper eyelid position and function are necessary to ensure continued eye health and unobstructed vision. The eyelids must open and close correctly to spread tears to cleanse and moisten the eye. Sagging eyelids may cause the appearance of fatigue or anger.
As all facial structures may sag and droop with age, so may the upper lids and brows.
Baggy Eyelids (Blepharoplasty) and Droopy Brows (Brow Ptosis):
There are many factors that may cause your upper and lower lids to become baggy, including age, allergies, hereditary tendencies, sun damage and smoking. When the eyebrows droop or the forehead sags, excess skin is pushed down onto the upper lids. A brow lift followed by a lid lift may be required to smooth out the forehead and improve vision. Upper eyelid or brow surgery may be considered reconstructive if vision is obstructed. Insurances, in some cases, will cover the cost of a reconstructive browlift or blepharoplasty if vision is significantly impaired. Many patients desire to have both upper and lower eyelid surgery performed in order to rejuvenate the entire eye area, giving a more rested and youthful appearance.
Droopy Eyelids (Acquired Ptosis):
This condition can occur on one or both upper eyelids. When the edge of the eyelid falls and covers part of the pupil, it blocks the upper part of your vision, decreasing your ability to keep your eyes open and causing eye strain and eyebrow fatigue. A drooping eyelid can occur as a congenital defect in which the muscle that lifts the eyelid fails to develop properly. Acquiring ptosis may also occur as the result of trauma, muscular or neurological disease
Eyelids That Open Too Widely (Eyelid Retraction):
Eyelid retraction produces a wide stare and may result in a drying of the eye. A variety of problems can cause eyelid retraction, but the most common is thyroid eye disease. Reconstructive surgery can usually improve the eyelid function and appearance.
Eyelids That Turn Outward (Ectropion):
When a lower eyelid turns outward and no longer touches the eye it cannot properly spread the tear film across it. The exposed inner lining of the eyelid becomes dry and inflamed causing chronic irritation to the eyelid and the eye. This can result in excessive tearing, crusting of the eyelids and mucous discharge, infection irritation of the cornea (front of the eye) and impaired vision. An ectropion is usually due to relaxation of the tissues of the eyelid as the result of aging. Thus it is most often seen in elderly people who develop stretching of the structures supporting the lower eyelid. It can also arise as the result of an undetected skin cancer pulling the eyelid downward, trauma and contraction of scar tissue (from wounds, burns or surgery) involving the skin around the lower eyelid.
Eyelids That Turn Inward (Entropion):
Entropion causes the skin of the eyelid and its lashes to constantly rub against the eye’s cornea (the front of the eye) and the conjunctiva (the mucous membrane that protects it). Entropion is usually due to relaxation of the tissues of the eyelid as the result of aging. It may be caused by inflammation or scarring of the inner surface of the eyelid, eyelid injuries and tumors, or sometimes as a congenital disorder present at birth.
Eyelid Cancer and Facial Skin Cancer
Eyelid cancer (malignancy) is becoming more common. Most often it occurs on the lower eyelid, but may be found anywhere on the eyelid margins, corners of the eye, eyebrow skin, or adjacent areas of the face. All new or growing eyelid bumps and sores that will not heal must be evaluated to ensure they are not cancerous. Doctor Cowen has many specialized methods to surgically rebuild the affected area. He often works with specialist in Dermatologic surgery (Mohs surgeons). This multi-specialty approach to skin cancer reflects our commitment to excellence in patient care.
Trauma may result in injury to the eyelids and lacrimal (tear) system. Precise evaluation and repair of injuries are necessary to insure the best possible function and appearance especially when it involves the eyelids. Oculoplastic surgeons are uniquely and highly trained to reconstruct these damaged structures.