Blepharoplasty, AKA eyelid surgery, is a surgical procedure that is performed to remove excess skin and fat from the eyelids of the patient. Patients have a few options when it comes to eyelid surgery and they include both upper blepharoplasty and lower blepharoplasty. Cosmetic Town TV took an in-depth look at blepharoplasty surgery to spotlight all of the information patients need to know about this cosmetic surgery that provides eye rejuvenation:
Upper eyelid blepharoplasty is when an incision is made in the area that is approximately 6mm-8mm above the eyelash crease in the upper eyelid. The incision is made so the surgeon can remove excess skin along with a strip of muscle tissue from the orbicularis oculi muscle. The surgeon can also remove excess fat in the upper eyelid. The skin is then stitched back together to create an eyelid crease.
Lower blepharoplasty is performed through an incision made below the lower eyelash line or on the inside of the eyelid (known as a transconjunctival approach that allows the doctor to access the eyelid without making any visible incisions). The creation of the incision below the lower eyelash line allows the surgeon to remove excess skin in the targeted area and also perform under-eye fat removal. In addition to addressing issues with the eyelid, the transconjunctival approach can be combined with laser resurfacing on the skin of the eyelid to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and lines.
Patients that want to have an upper eyelid lift are often looking to address excess skin and fat that is causing an older appearance thanks to puffiness and a heavy look. The excess skin and fat can also be blocking the upper field of vision for the patient. Upper blepharoplasty removes excess skin and fat and also improves the field of vision enjoyed by the patient.
Lower blepharoplasty is ideal for patients that want to remove excess skin in the lower eyelid and also improve the contour of the eyelid by adding or removing fat to the area. Patients that have a sagging eyelid can tighten loose eyelid skin to correct the sagging.
Patients that are ideal candidates for blepharoplasty include people that have excess skin and fat on the eyelids as well as a tired or puffy appearance to them. Ideal patients should be at least 18 years of age, in overall good health and have realistic expectations about the type of results that can be achieved by the surgery.
Before making the final decision to have blepharoplasty surgery, patients should visit a board-certified doctor that is experienced in performing both upper and lower blepharoplasty. The surgeon will examine the patient to determine the current condition of the eyelids and the amount of changes that can be made to their appearance.
The doctor will also discuss the goals of the patient and make sure the person has realistic expectations about the amount of changes that can be made to the eyelids. During the consultation appointment, the surgeon will detail the benefits of the surgery and also share any potential risks involved with the procedure.
Once the final decision is made to perform upper blepharoplasty or lower blepharoplasty, the doctor will share the pre-op instructions that the patient will need to follow. Post-op instructions will also be shared so the patient can plan for the recovery process and get any necessary items, such as pain medication or gauze pads, which will be needed after the surgery.
The recovery time from blepharoplasty is normally a short length of time. There will be some bruising and swelling that will be visible after the surgery. Patients can use cool compresses to reduce the amount of bruising and swelling around the face and eyes.
The doctor might place thin bandages over the area where the incisions were made. These bandages will remain in place for several days before they are removed. Any stitches placed by the surgeon will remain in place for around a week before they are removed by the doctor. The surgeon might use self-absorbing stitches that will not require any removal by the doctor.
Most patients resume their normal activities within ten days of the surgery. The majority of the swelling and bruising will resolve a few weeks after the surgery.
The final results provide a more rejuvenated and youthful appearance to the eyelids. The results can last anywhere from 10-15 years before genetics and aging can cause a change in the results from the surgery.
Some of the most common risks of blepharoplasty include:
The cost of upper eyelid surgery and lower eyelid surgery can range anywhere from $3500-$5500. The cost depends on the extent of the surgery, the area of the country where is performed, the level of experience of the surgeon and any fees charged by the doctor of the facility.
Insurance will cover part of the cost of eyelid surgery if it is determined to be medically necessary. An example of a medically necessary blepharoplasty procedure is if the patient is experiencing some level of obstruction in their field of vision. Patients will need to get the surgeon to document the medical reasons that the surgery is needed so the necessary paperwork can be submitted to the insurance company.