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Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery can be performed to the upper or lower areas of the eye, depending on the needs of our patients. There are many types of eyelid surgeries, but the most commonly performed are ectropion, entropion, ptosis and blepharoplasty. Eyelid surgery is performed by an oculofacial plastic surgeon at Wolfe Eye Clinic. Whether it is medically or cosmetically necessary, we can help. For more information on cosmetic eyelid surgeries, click here!

Wolfe Eye Clinic offers fellowship trained oculoplastic surgeons in Iowa at our Ankeny and Des Moines clinics. Dr. Douglas Casady and Dr. Audrey Ko are dedicated to improving the functionality of the eyes and assisting you through the process to making the best choice for your vision and appearance.

Upper and lower eyelid surgeries that are performed for the purposes of improving vision and decreasing irritation around the eyes may be covered by your insurance. The most common insurance-covered eyelid surgeries performed for upper and lower eyelids are:

Upper Eyelid Surgeries

  • Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty: the removal of the redundant and excess upper eyelid skin that is blocking vision

  • Upper Eyelid Ptosis Repair: lifting of the position of a droopy upper eyelid that is blocking vision

  • Upper Eyelid Retraction repair: the lowering the position of an upper eyelid that is too high, usually caused by Thyroid Eye Disease, Bell’s palsy/Facial Nerve Palsy, or previous trauma or injury

Lower Eyelid Surgeries

  • Lower Eyelid Entropion Repair: the returning of an eyelid that is turned inward (and causing the eyelashes to rub on the eyes) to its normal position

  • Lower Eyelid Ectropion Repair: the returning of an eyelid that is curled outwards (and causing the eye to dry) out to its normal position

  • Lower Eyelid Retraction Repair: the returning of a lower eyelid that is sitting too low (and causing the eye to dry out) to its normal position

Other Medical Eyelid Surgeries

  • Chalazion and Stye Excision: the excision of these lesions on the upper or lower eyelid that do not respond to medical treatment

  • Temporary or permanent tarsorrhaphy: closure of the eyelids to allow your cornea and eye to heal from an infection

  • Trichiasis and Distichiasis: the permanent removal of abnormal lashes that are growing towards the eyeball and causing irritation

How do I know what kind of eyelid surgery to have?

You are not alone! Dr. Douglas Casady and Dr. Audrey Ko at Wolfe Eye Clinic are fellowship trained oculofacial plastic surgeons who are dedicated to improving the functionality of the eyes. Your specialist will assess your unique facial characteristics and discuss which types of brow lifts would work best for you. We offer eyelid surgery consultations at our Ankeny and Des Moines clinics and our oculoplastic specialists will answer your questions and assist you through the process to making the best choice for your vision and appearance. To request an appointment, fill out our form here or give us a call at (833) 474-5850.

Will my eyelid surgery be covered by my health insurance?

As with any surgery, it is important to remember to check with your personal health insurance provider before making an appointment to ensure coverage of the provider you choose. In most cases, your health insurance will likely cover a major portion of the cost of the mentioned eyelid surgeries as long as it is performed to improve visual function or for reconstructive purposes.

To determine if the surgery is likely to improve vision, certain guidelines must be met, including visual field testing to assess the how much of your peripheral vision is being blocked by your droopy eyebrows. Our specialized oculofacial plastics team at Wolfe Eye Clinic is experienced in navigating the insurance preauthorization process and can give you an idea of the likelihood of insurance coverage during your clinic visit.

Interested in cosmetic eyelid surgery? Click here for more information!

Can I have cosmetic and insurance-covered eyelid surgeries at the same time?

Many of our patients choose to combine cosmetic surgeries with insurance-covered eyelid surgeries. For example, a common combination that patients will undergo is an insurance-covered upper eyelid blepharoplasty (removal of excess upper eyelid skin) with a cosmetic lower eyelid blepharoplasty (removal of lower eyelid bags). This is something that our oculoplastics specialists at Wolfe Eye Clinic can discuss with you during your clinic appointment so you are aware of all the options, should you wish to consider a combination. If you’d like to read more about cosmetic eyelid surgery, visit our page here.

Where are eyelid surgeries in Iowa performed?

While you can see our oculofacial specialists at our clinic in Des Moines, our upper and lower eyelid surgeries are performed at our state-of-the-art Wolfe Surgery Center in West Des Moines, Iowa.

Will I need a driver on the day of my eyelid surgery?

On the day of your eyelid surgery, you will receive anesthesia to keep you comfortable during your procedure.  Since this can make you very sleepy afterwards, you will need a driver to bring you home and to take care of you for the first 24 hours until the anesthesia wears off.  

How long does eyelid surgery take?

The length of surgery depends on the type of eyelid surgery being performed. In general, the surgery itself can take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours. However, due to the time needed to prepare you for the operating room and time needed to allow you to recover from anesthesia, you and your driver will need to set aside at least half a day for your care on the day of surgery. 

Is anesthesia used during eyelid surgeries?

Yes, an injection for numbing the surgical area is given in all eyelid surgery cases to keep you comfortable. Patients undergoing these procedures typically undergo monitored anesthesia care (MAC). 

What can I expect during the recovery period from eyelid surgery?

The restrictions after surgery are typically no heavy lifting, bending, or straining for two weeks after the date of surgery. You will have a follow up appointment for suture removal and to check for infection approximately one week after surgery. Most patients report feeling comfortable in photographs or attending public events (weddings, graduations, vacations) approximately three to four weeks after eyelid surgery.

Find an Eyelid Surgeon in Iowa for Upper or Lower Eyelid Surgery

Wolfe Eye Clinic offers upper and lower eyelid surgery in Iowa by fellowship trained oculoplastic surgeons who are here to answer any questions you may have. Dr. Douglas Casady and Dr. Audrey Ko are dedicated to improving the functionality of the eyes and offer eyelid surgery consultations at our Ankeny and Des Moines clinics. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us at (833) 474-5850 or request more information by filling out our form here.