As you age, sagging eyelids and puffy under-eye bags can make you look much older than you feel. Don’t let aging features hold you back! Regain your youthful outlook on life with the help of eyelid surgery, a procedure that can restore a smooth, alert appearance to the eye area by excising excess skin, fat, and muscle from the upper eyelid and sometimes the lower eyelid as well. While mainly a cosmetic procedure, health insurance may cover the cost of blepharoplasty if extreme hooding of the upper eyelids is obscuring vision.
Blepharoplasty is a highly customizable procedure. Eyelid surgery can address the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both, utilizing various techniques to address the extent and location of excess tissue.
Eyelid surgery at our practice is often combined with facelift or browlift surgery for more comprehensive facial rejuvenation.
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What Makes Someone a Good Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?
Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is helpful for men and women who have sagging of the eyelids as a result of aging or genetics. While most patients who undergo eyelid surgery are over the age of 35, eyelid surgery can be performed at nearly any age. Good candidates for eyelid surgery are healthy, mentally stable, and understanding of the procedure’s limitations.
During your blepharoplasty consultation with our board certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Charles Perry will advise you on which type of procedure can give your eye area the look you desire. In some cases, a patient’s cosmetic complaints are best addressed with a browlift rather than eyelid surgery. As a general rule, if your eyelids have excess skin and fat, either with our without under-eye bags, you are an ideal candidate for eyelid surgery; if your primary problem is drooping eyebrows, browlift surgery may be the better choice.
Eyelid surgery is not recommended for:
- Individuals suffering from certain medical conditions – Medical issues including diabetes, dry eyes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, hypothyroidism, Graves’ disease, detached retina, or glaucoma could cause complications. In many cases, these medical conditions will not disqualify you from undergoing eyelid surgery, but you should discuss them with your surgeon and eye doctor.
- Individuals with unrealistic cosmetic expectations
- Individuals wishing to address wrinkles, dark under-eye bags, or sagging eyebrows – These conditions are best addressed with BOTOX® Cosmetic, browlift surgery, and other procedures.
Things to Consider Before Undergoing Eyelid Surgery
Fees for blepharoplasty are not covered by health insurance. Surgical fees include the cost of anesthesia, lab tests, medications, cost of surgical supplies, surgery center charges, and more. If complications develop, you will incur additional charges. However, if the complication poses a health risk, your health plan will cover hospitalization, anesthesia, and/or secondary surgery.
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How is eyelid surgery performed?
Blepharoplasty is most often performed under a combination of local anesthesia and oral or intravenous sedation. This approach best allows the surgeon to assess the progress of the surgery. In some cases, however, eyelid surgery is performed under general anesthesia. Eyelid surgery is an outpatient surgery, meaning you will return home the same day.
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Risks of Eyelid Surgery
Eyelid surgery , just like any surgical procedure, carries some risks. Patients should be aware that it is possible to experience one or more complications following blepharoplasty, and their incidence is usually impossible to predict. Be aware that the following list is not comprehensive; Dr. Perry will discuss other potential risks at your consultation.
Though unlikely, it is possible for eyelid surgery to cause excessive bleeding, either during or after surgery. To decrease the chance of bleeding, avoid aspirin, anti-inflammatory medications, nonprescription herbs, and dietary supplements, as directed by Dr. Perry. High blood pressure can also predispose a patient to bleeding.
The eyeball’s abundant blood supply makes infection extremely rare, though it is possible. In the case of infection, additional treatment, such as the prescription of antibiotics and hospitalization, may be required.
It is possible for abnormal scarring to occur in the eyelid and the deeper tissues following blepharoplasty. In addition, sutures can cause cysts or visible marks along the eyelid. Scarring may necessitate additional treatment.
Damage to the eye’s structures
The eye is delicate, and eyelid surgery is a complicated surgery that involves a great deal of skill. Even when undergoing eyelid surgery with the most experienced surgeon, it’s possible for deeper structures — eye muscles, nerves, blood vessels, etc. — to be damaged. This injury can be temporary or lasting. Eyelash loss, double vision, and drooping of the eyelid can occur, as well as blindness.
Dry eye problems
Dry eye problems caused by decreased tear production are a possible complication of eyelid surgery. This side effect is rare and impossible to predict, and can be treated with eye drops and ointments. If you suffer from dry eyes, mention this to Dr. Perry when considering eyelid surgery, as it may affect your candidacy.
Just as the eyelids are usually naturally asymmetrical, they may still be asymmetrical following eyelid surgery. While surgeons take care to give the same treatment to each eyelid, symmetry is impossible to predict.
This is rare and usually resolved in six weeks.
Drooping of the upper eyelid
This is rare and usually resolves as post-surgery swelling goes down, but if this drooping persists for more than three months, additional surgery may be necessary.
Undercorrection (residual skin folds)
Many surgeons approach eyelid surgery conservatively. As a result, some residual skin folds may remain. These can be easily addressed, whereas removing too much skin during eyelid surgery is much more difficult to repair. In some cases, residual skin folds may indicate the need for browlift surgery.
Eyelash loss in the lower lid area following blepharoplasty is impossible to predict and can be either temporary or permanent.
A poor blepharoplasty result can stem from visible deformities, loss of eyesight, wound disruption, loss of sensation, and other factors. In rare cases, additional surgery, possibly browlift, may be necessary to improve results. Additionally, long-term alterations in the eyelids’ appearance can occur.
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Complete Pre- and Post-operative Instructions for Eyelid Surgery Patients
To make your eyelid surgery experience at our practice a positive one, we have prepared this comprehensive list of instructions. We recommend that you read them over as soon as your surgery day is scheduled. On your surgery day, print them out and bring them with you.
Eyelid Surgery (blepharoplasty) Instructions (printer-friendly)
Feel relaxed, rejuvenated, and confident with eyelid surgery! Those who are interested in blepharoplasty should contact our practice today for more information about the procedure or to schedule a consultation with Dr. Perry.
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*Individual Results May Vary