Other Eye Surgeries & Care
Blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery is a surgical modification of the eyelid. Excess tissue such as skin and fat are removed or repositioned and surrounding muscles and tendons may be reinforced. Blepharoplasty is often done as an elective surgery for cosmetic reasons, however Ophthalmology Associates specializes in non-cosmetic lid surgery for functional reasons.
When an advanced amount of upper eyelid skin is present, the skin may protrude over the eyelashes and causes a loss of peripheral vision. The outer and upper parts of the visual field are most commonly affected and the condition may cause difficulty with activities such as driving or reading. In this circumstance, upper eyelid surgery non-cosmetic blepharoplasty is performed to improve peripheral vision.
Blepharoplasty is usually performed through external incisions made along the natural skin lines of the eyelids, such as the creases of the upper lids and below the lashes of the lower lids. The operation typically takes one to three hours to complete. Initial swelling and bruising resolve in one to two weeks but several months are needed until the final result becomes stable.
The anatomy of the eyelids, skin quality, age and the adjacent tissue all affect the functional outcomes. During the first few weeks after a blepharoplasty, patients normally experience excessive tearing, light sensitivity and sometimes double or even blurred vision. The whites of the patient’s eyes can turn red or have red splotches. These symptoms usually disappear on their own within two or three weeks after the operation.
BLEPHAROSPASM & HEMIFACIAL SPASM
Blepharospasm is when one or both of your eyelids close involuntarily. This can last for a few seconds to a few hours. When it first starts, you might blink, wink or pinch up your face. In advanced stages, your eyelids may shut so tightly you cannot see. These facial nerve spasms can also affect other muscles in your face. It may be hard to climb stairs, drive a car or go to work. It’s known that blepharospasm is caused by a nerve impulse, but doctors are not sure why it happens.
There are a few options for treating blepharospasm. The most effective treatment is botulinum toxin injections (Botox), a muscle-relaxing substance. A very slender needle is used to inject the medicine into muscles above and below your eye. Facial nerve spasms begin to disappear anywhere from a day to two weeks after the injection. This relief lasts about three months. Surgery is an option when Botox injections and medicine do not work. There are two common types of surgery for essential blepharospasm. One type removes the facial muscle that is causing facial nerve spasms. Another type removes a portion of the nerve to make spasms less severe. Ophthalmology Associates can discuss treatment options for your case of blepharospasm.
Hemifacial spasm is when muscles on one side of your face constrict (tighten up). These facial nerve spasms may start near your eye and then affect other parts of your face. In advanced cases, a hemifacial spasm can last for several days to a few months. Hemifacial spasms seem to develop when a blood vessel presses on a facial nerve.
Most people with hemifacial spasms find treatment with botulinum toxin injections (Botox) to work well. As with blepharospasm treatment, these injections are used to relax the nerve in hemifacial spasms. Occasionally, drug treatments are used, but they are generally less effective than injections. Rarely, surgery is used to relieve pressure on the nerve. Ophthalmology Associates can discuss which type of treatment is right for you.
BASAL CELL CARCINOMA
Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer, beginning in the basal cells—a type of cell within the skin that produces new skin cells as old ones die off. Basal cell carcinoma often appears as a slightly transparent bump on the skin, though it can take other forms. Basal cell carcinoma occurs most often on areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun, such as your head and neck.
Most basal cell carcinomas are thought to be caused by long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from sunlight. Avoiding the sun and using sunscreen may help protect against basal cell carcinoma—skin cancer on head or skin cancer on neck.
If you notice changes in the appearance of your skin, such as a new growth, a change in a previous growth or a recurring sore contact Ophthalmology Associates at 507-345-6151 to schedule an appointment.
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Meet Dr. Emily Birkholz
Dr. Birkholz specializes in cataract surgery, LASIK eye surgery, medical retina, glaucoma management and more.
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