Blepharoplasty, AKA eyelid surgery, is a surgery that addresses issues related to the vision of a patient by removing extra muscle, fat and skin that is located around the eyelids. The end result is an improvement in the vision of the person and a rejuvenated look to the eyelids. Blepharoplasty is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in the United States. As recently as 2018, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported over 206,000 blepharoplasty surgeries performed that year in the United States.
Some of the most common reasons patients want to have eyelid surgery include:
Ideal candidates for blepharoplasty include patients that have an excess amount of skin or fat on the upper eyelid or people that have eyelids that are saggy or droopy in appearance. In addition, ideal patients include those that have droopy eyelids that make them look tired or have excess skin or fat that is causing vision issues.
Patients with preexisting eye conditions such as glaucoma and cataracts might not be a good candidate for eyelid surgery.
Eyelid surgery is normally performed as an outpatient surgery and the amount of work performed on the patient depends on whether the surgeon is performing upper blepharoplasty, lower blepharoplasty or both techniques.
During upper eyelid blepharoplasty, the surgeon makes an incision through the folds of the eyelid. The doctor then removes excess muscle, skin and fat in order to make the desired changes in the appearance and/or function of the eyelid.
During lower blepharoplasty, the surgeon makes an incision under the lashes or inside the eyelid. The doctor then proceeds to removed excess fat, skin and muscle before closing the incision and providing under-eye rejuvenation.
Eyelid surgery can be performed by plastic surgeon as well as oculoplastic surgeons that are trained and experienced in performing blepharoplasty. Oculoplastic surgeons are specifically trained in performing eye surgery so they have a vast amount of knowledge about the eye and the structures that surround it.
After the surgery, patients will need to keep their head elevated for a few days when they return home. They can use an ointment to prevent dryness of the eye.
Patients might experience some sensitivity to light, blurry vision and pain for a few weeks after blepharoplasty. Any stitches that were used to close the incision will be removed within the first week after the procedure.
The healing process usually takes anywhere from seven to ten days. Patients should avoid performing any strenuous activities during this time period. Any scars from the surgery will eventually fade on their own.
Some of the most common complications patients will experience after blepharoplasty include:
The cost of blepharoplasty depends on whether the procedure is upper eyelid surgery or lower eyelid surgery or a combination of the two techniques. The cost also depends on the area of the country where it is performed, the experience of the surgeon and any fees charged by the doctor or the facility. If the surgery is for aesthetic purposes only, eyelid surgery will not be covered by insurance. If the surgery is performed for functional purposes to help improve the ability of the patient to see, insurance might cover some of the cost of blepharoplasty.
In general, the cost of the surgery is anywhere from $3500-$5500. Patients are advised to check with their surgeon of choice for more details about the cost of their specific blepharoplasty surgery.
The results of blepharoplasty can last anywhere from 10-15 years. Patients should know that the final results are impacted by the aging process as well as genetics.
Eyelid surgery can provide patients with a younger and more rejuvenated look as well as increased self-confidence and a better self-image. A person that has the surgery to address any vision issues will enjoy improved vision thanks to the elimination of excess skin, fat and muscle in the eyelid area.
A patient that is interested in undergoing eyelid surgery should schedule an appointment with a board-certified surgeon that has experience in performing blepharoplasty. The surgeon will examine the current condition of the eyelids to determine the amount of changes that can be made to their appearance or function. The doctor will also discuss the desired results with the patient and decide if the changes can be made through upper blepharoplasty or lower blepharoplasty or a combination of the two techniques. Once the doctor and the patient are in agreement about the final results, the procedure can be performed on the eyelids of the person.