Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is among the top five most commonly requested cosmetic surgery procedures in the United States. Both men and women typically seek this procedure to combat the signs of aging. A specialized version of this surgery is also popular among Asian Americans in their 20s and 30s who want to create a crease in their upper eyelid.
You may benefit from this procedure if you’re dissatisfied with the appearance of sagging skin or constant puffiness around your eyes. Ideally, you should be in good overall health and have realistic goals for plastic surgery – including understanding that there are risks involved. Smokers or patients who have a medical problem that increases the risk of surgical complications may not be good candidates for this procedure. If you have dry eye or other eye conditions, be sure to tell your surgeon.
Patient Consultation Overview
Correction can be done on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both depending on what you perceive as your problem areas. Your cosmetic surgeon will discuss your options for tightening and smoothing the skin around your eyes along with the risks and benefits of each procedure. Typical issues patients want improved include:
- Skin that sags down over the crease in the upper eyelids
- Puffy upper eyelids
- Bags (sagging and/or puffy skin) under the eyes
- Wrinkles around the eyes
In some cases, a brow lift is needed for patients who have upper eyelid sagging as the result of a drooping brow. Botox, dermal fillers and chemical peels may be recommended for rejuvenation in combination with eyelid correction for maximum results. Eyelid surgery prices vary based on the techniques used and other factors. You can discuss eyelid surgery costs with the patient coordinator to determine an affordable payment schedule.
This surgery is often done using local anesthesia as the amount of tissue being removed is small. Intravenous sedation is given to help ease discomfort and anxiety. For surgery on the upper eyelid, the plastic surgeon will typically make an incision in the crease of the eyelid that reaches to just past the outside corner of the eye. For the lower lid, the incision is often made just below the lash line or on the inside of the lid.
These techniques help make eyelid surgery scars less noticeable than scars from many other types of cosmetic surgery. Excess skin is excised if necessary and fat may be removed or redistributed to restore lost volume in other areas of the eyelid. Patients are usually able to go home the same day (with someone else driving).
You should be prepared to experience some blurred vision during the first few days of eyelid surgery recovery. A sensation of tightness around the eyes, sensitivity to light, dry eyes, excessive tear production, swelling and bruising are also common side effects. These should resolve over time. Resting with your head elevated and applying cold packs to your eyes can help with discomfort.
Stitches are taken out after about a week. You may begin wearing makeup to cover up bruising within the first week if you’re healing well. Most patients can resume normal activities within two weeks. It takes time for the final results of eyelid surgery to become apparent. Be patient and follow your surgeon’s instructions for optimal results.
This operation carries many of the same complication risks as other types of plastic surgery. Potential complications that are unique to blepharoplasty include:
- Damage to the muscles and nerves that control the eyelids
- Changes in eyelid sensation
- Persistent eye dryness or irritation
- Asymmetrical or unsatisfactory results requiring revision surgery
Removing sagging skin from the upper eyelids makes the eye look more open and alert. Reducing sagging and puffiness in the lower lids minimizes signs of persistent fatigue. Many patients appreciate the rejuvenating effects of eyelid surgery since it can make their whole upper face look younger.