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Functional Blepharoplasty in Phoenix

Written by Dr. Ali Ghafouri

Also Serving Patients in Scottsdale

Sagging and drooping upper eyelids are not only unattractive, but they can also make it difficult to see clearly. This problem is often caused by a combination of drooping eyebrows and extra eyelid skin, resulting in hanging eyelid skin that falls into a person’s line of vision, causing them to look older and tired while also limiting their vision. Reading, driving and other everyday activities are affected as the eyes struggle to see from under heavy, drooping lids. Many patients have to raise eyebrows up and use forehead muscles in order to keep their eyes open. This may cause fatigue and headache toward end of the day. Functional blepharoplasty is a procedure designed to correct this issue by removing excess skin from the upper lid and lifting the remaining skin to a higher position that doesn’t fall into the vision line.

Functional Blepharoplasty ScottsdaleAs a trained oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Ghafouri combines his ophthalmologic and plastic surgery training to both preserve the function and improve the appearance of the eyelids when performing functional blepharoplasty. If you are struggling with vision problems resulting from a heavy, drooping brow and upper lids, talk to Dr. Ghafouri about whether functional blepharoplasty is right for you. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Ghafouri, call Arizona Oculoplastic Specialists today!

Would You Benefit from Functional Blepharoplasty?

Functional blepharoplasty addresses the following issues:

  • Drooping, sagging upper lids and/or brow
  • Obstructed vision due to upper lids falling into line of sight
  • A “collapsed” or “hooded” eye appearance
  • Brow aching and fatigue due to heaviness
  • Droopy eyelids not allowing enough light get into eyes resulting in difficulty with driving at night

Functional Blepharoplasty Procedure Details

Functional blepharoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis, and is a procedure that takes an average of 30 minutes to perform. This form of eyelid surgery actually is an upper blepharoplasty procedure, where an incision is made along the upper eyelid’s natural folds; however, this procedure extends the incision into the “crow’s feet” lines along the eye’s outer edges, allowing for more excess skin and fat to be removed from those areas. The underlying eyelid muscle may also be tightened at this time, to prevent further sagging. Dr. Ghafouri will then finish the procedure by closing the incisions with dissolvable sutures.

Recovering from Surgery

After surgery, there will be a mild to moderate amount of swelling and bruising in the eye area. This swelling will dissipate over time, and is typically gone completely after two weeks. To assist with swelling and ensure that you heal as quickly and completely as possible, follow the post-operative instructions provided by Dr. Ghafouri. For the first few days, it is important to rest as much as possible so that your body can focus on healing. Avoid strenuous exercising and heavy lifting for the first ten days. Most patients are healed sufficiently to where they can return to work and other daily activities 5-7 days after surgery.


Are functional blepharoplasty and upper blepharoplasty the same thing?

Though both procedures address upper eyelid sagging, the functional blepharoplasty procedure is considered a medically necessary procedure used to address the obstruction of vision caused by sagging lids (and, as such, typically involves a more extensive removal of excess skin and fat than upper blepharoplasty). The upper blepharoplasty procedure is a cosmetic procedure used to give the face a more youthful, refreshed appearance. However, though not cosmetic in nature, the functional blepharoplasty procedure has the same cosmetic benefits as the upper blepharoplasty procedure.

Is the functional blepharoplasty procedure covered by medical insurance?

Medical insurance (like Medicare and other private health insurances) will typically pay for a portion of the functional blepharoplasty procedure, as it is considered a medically necessary (instead of cosmetic) procedure.

How long does the functional blepharoplasty procedure take?

The procedure itself takes approximately 30 minutes, though you will need to arrive at the surgery center approximately one hour before surgery and will be discharged about 30-45 minutes after the surgery.

Is the surgery painful?

Functional blepharoplasty is a procedure that involves minimal discomfort. Afterwards, most patients find that taking Tylenol and gently applying a clean, cold compress to the eyes provides all the relief they need. Dr. Ghafouri also provides post-operative instructions for each of his patients to follow in order to ensure a comfortable recovery.

What type of anesthesia is used for functional blepharoplasty?

The procedure is performed under local anesthesia with IV (intravenous) sedation administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist. The IV sedation will put you in a twilight sleep while the local anesthesia numbs the eyelid skin.

Will the surgery leave a noticeable scar?

Since the surgical incisions are small and strategically placed in the upper eyelid crease, extending into the fine lines around the eyes, any scarring will be minimal and unnoticeable.

How long will my results last?

The effects of your functional blepharoplasty surgery will last for the rest of your life. The vast majority of patients undergo eyelid surgery only once in their lives.

What are the possible risks and complications of the surgery?

As with any type of plastic surgery, general risks include infection, poor healing, scarring, and bleeding. The risks specifically associated with blepharoplasty include, dry eyes, photosensitivity, eye irritation and visual changes. Please read our informed consent form for a more detail discussion. In the hands of an experienced and specialized surgeon like Dr. Ghafouri, eyelid surgery is very safe with minimal risk of complications.

Why should I have Dr. Ghafouri perform my eyelid surgery?

Dr. Ghafouri is an oculoplastic surgeon who uses both his functional knowledge of the eyelid area along with his specialized training as a facial plastic surgeon while performing functional blepharoplasty. Because he specialized in eyelid surgery, he has performed thousands of procedures and knows how to achieve natural-looking results that preserve eyelid function while at the same time enhancing a patient’s appearance.


Arizona Oculoplastic Specialists

9431 E. Ironwood Square Dr.
Scottsdale, AZ 85258

Phone: (480) 905-1010

Fax: (480) 905-6988

Office Hours

Monday: 8 am - 5 pm

Tuesday: 8 am - 5 pm

Wednesday: 8 am - 5 pm

Thursday: 8 am - 5 pm

Friday: 8 am - 4 pm

Saturday: Closed

Sunday: Closed