Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)

Eyelid surgery, also called an eyelid lift or blepharoplasty, can rejuvenate puffy, sagging or tired-looking eyes by removing excess fat, skin and, if necessary, muscle from the upper and/or lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery is typically performed for cosmetic reasons, but is sometimes indicated to lift droopy eyelids out of a patient's field of vision. Youthful eye appearance is critical to restoring any man or woman's face to a more rested and energetic appearance.

What can eyelid surgery do for me?

Blepharoplasty is ideal for the correction of:

  • Loose, sagging and/or folded upper eyelids
  • Puffy fat deposits involving the upper or lower eyelids, or both
  • Lower eyelid bags
  • Drooping lower eyelids that may show the white of the eyes below the iris
  • Excess skin in the lower eyelids
  • Fine wrinkles in the lower eyelids

What won't blepharoplasty correct?

Blepharoplasty cannot raise the eyebrows or reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles, crow's feet or dark circles under the eyes. However, eyelid lifts can be combined with other procedures such as brow lifts, BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments and laser procedures to achieve these results.

Am I a good candidate for an eyelid lift?

The best candidates for blepharoplasty:

  • Are generally healthy
  • Non-smokers
  • Have realistic expectations
  • Do not have any serious eye conditions, such as chronic dry eye syndrome or narrow angle glaucoma

During your initial cosmetic consultation, your doctor will talk to you about whether you are a good candidate for eyelid surgery.

How is a blepharoplasty performed?

Eyelid surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia with intravenous (IV) sedation. The length of the procedure can vary based upon the severity of the age related changes and number of procedures being performed. Blepharoplasty, if performed alone, may take between 1 – 2 hours, but is often combined with other cosmetic procedures, such as eyebrow lifting, laser treatment or injecting with BOTOX® or fillers that can extend operative times.

Incisions are typically made in inconspicuous places, for example, along the natural creases of the upper lids for upper eyelid blepharoplasty or just below the lash line on the lower lids for lower eyelid blepharoplasty. If no skin needs to be removed, the surgeon will likely perform a transconjunctival blepharoplasty, where the incision is made inside the lower eyelid and there are no visible scars.

In all cases, the surgeon then removes excess fat and, if necessary, skin from the eyelids using a scalpel, laser or radiofrequency (RF) tool. He then closes the incisions with fine sutures, tissue glue or surgical tape.

What is recovery from eyelid surgery like?

Bruising, swelling and a sense of tightness in the eyelids are common after eyelid surgery. These should subside within 2-4 weeks. Contact lenses may not be worn for two weeks. Eyes can be sensitive to light and wind or may become slightly irritated for a short period of time. Any of these symptoms should be reported to your surgeon who may prescribe eye drops or cool compress treatments to relieve these symptoms. Most patients resume activities in 3-5 days following removal of non-absorbable sutures, and return to work in about 10 days. If absorbable sutures are used during the procedure, suture removal is unnecessary and can speed the recovery process.

A common question is: "What kind of results can I expect to see and how soon after the surgery?" Like most operative cosmetic procedures, the effects clearly become visible by the third week post-operatively, but continue to appreciably improve over time and are most noticeable at 6 weeks, 3 months and as long as 6 months post-operatively. The results produce a more youthful, energetic, yet relaxed appearance to the eyes designed to improve overall appearance and enhance self-confidence. Patient's are often asked as to what may have changed in their lives, such as having gone on a recent vacation, having experienced a new life change making them happier, or simply being more rested, rather than suspecting that improvement in their appearance has resulted from plastic surgery.

Subtle, refined results with successful impact are the keys to obtaining the type of successful outcome our doctors take pride in achieving. They come from careful pre-operative planning and discussions with the patient, meticulous attention to detail and use of refined intra-operative techniques, and close, caring follow-up by both Physician and supporting staff to make each person’s experience comfortable, easy and successful.

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