Blepharoplasty – or as it’s commonly known, eyelid surgery – is a cosmetic procedure aimed at repairing droopy eyelids. In some cases, the technique can involve the removal of excess skin, fat, and muscle.
For the past ten years, eyelid surgery has remained one of the top five most requested cosmetic procedures, ranking up there with breast augmentation, tummy tuck, breast lift, and liposuction.
The surgery produces natural-looking results and doesn’t take much time at all.
If you have loose or saggy eyelids, puffiness on your upper lids, or bags under your eyes, you may be a good candidate for this procedure. Want to know more? You’ve come to the right place. The following is all you need to know about eyelid cosmetic surgery.
Who is a Good Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?
As we age, the skin that makes up our eyelids can begin to stretch. The muscles supporting our lids can also weaken. The result is a droopy effect that can make you look older than your chronological years. Other symptoms of this problem include saggy eyebrows and dark bags under your eyes, which can make you look exhausted, even when you feel well-rested.
In some cases, the excess tissue around your eyelids can negatively affect your peripheral vision, which can be dangerous in some situations, such as while driving.
If you exhibit these symptoms, whether due to age or genetics, you can determine if you are a good candidate for eyelid surgery by scheduling a consultation with a qualified cosmetic surgeon.
Will Insurance Pay for Eyelid Surgery?
Since eyelid surgery is mainly cosmetic in nature, insurance may not cover the costs of the procedure. However, if your droopy eyelids interfere with your vision, that’s a different story. An insurance company may accept your claim since you would have a medically significant reason to undergo the surgical technique.
Are There Risks to Eyelid Surgery?
All surgeries come with some element of risk. You can reduce your chance of developing complications with eyelid surgery by choosing a qualified and experienced cosmetic surgeon like Dr. Babak Moein of Moein Surgical Arts.
Possible risks of blepharoplasty include dry and irritated eyes, infection, bleeding, scarring, muscle injury, skin discoloration, blurred vision, and the need for revision surgery.
How Much Does Eyelid Surgery Cost?
According to Real Self, the average cost of blepharoplasty is $4,725 and a whopping 94% of patients surveyed claimed the surgery was well worth it.
Can You Combine Eyelid Surgery with Another Surgery?
Some patients choose to combine their blepharoplasty procedure with another cosmetic surgery, such as a facelift, brow lift, or laser skin resurfacing.
What’s the Best Way to Prepare for Eyelid Surgery?
Before having surgery on your upper or lower eyelids, you will need to be physically examined by your cosmetic surgeon. This exam may include tests of your tear production and measurements of your eyelids.
Your surgeon will also examine your eyes using various high-tech tools to determine the extent of your vision. Part of this test includes an examination of your peripheral vision. The latter is necessary if you hope to file an insurance claim.
Finally, eyelid photography is conducted by your surgeon. During this process, the doctor will take graphic images of your eyes from several different angles. These photos will help with surgery planning and can also be used to support an insurance claim.
If you smoke, you’ll be asked to quit several weeks prior to surgery. This is important because smoking can reduce your ability to heal following the eyelid procedure.
If you take certain medications like Coumadin, Jantoven, or you regularly take aspirin, ibuprofen, or Aleve, you’ll be asked to stop for safety reasons. You should only take medications that have been suggested by your surgeon.
Lastly, to prepare for eyelid surgery, plan to have someone drive you home from the cosmetic surgical center. If you live alone, it might be best to have someone stay with you for at least one night following surgery.
What are the Three Types of Eyelid Surgery?
There are three distinct types of eyelid surgery. The type your surgeon recommends will depend on the problems you face.
Upper Eyelid: This surgery is aimed at repairing droopy lids that can affect your appearance and vision. The procedure can restore eye function and make your eyes look more open and alert.
Lower Eyelid: Your surgeon may recommend lower eyelid surgery to remove wrinkles and correct eye bags. This procedure can also boost your appearance and leave you appearing better rested.
Double Eyelid: This surgery makes your eyes wider and larger. This type of blepharoplasty is very popular in East Asia.
What is Eyelid Surgery Like?
Eyelid cosmetic surgery is done in an outpatient setting. Your surgeon will inject a numbing medication into your eyelids before administering medication intravenously to induce relaxation.
The steps of the procedure vary depending on which parts of the eyelids are being worked on. For surgery on the upper and lower eyelids, the cosmetic surgeon will typically start on the upper lids first. An incision will be made along the fold of the lid, whereby excess muscle, skin, and fat will be removed. The incision is then closed before the lower eyelid surgery begins.
For the lower eyelid, the surgeon will make an incision below the lashes along your eye’s natural crease. The excess muscle, skin, and fat will then be removed or redistributed before the incision is closed.
If you suffer from droopy eyelids so severe that they lie near your pupil, your surgeon may perform an additional technique known as ptosis that provides greater support to the muscles of the eyebrow.
What to Expect After the Procedure
When the surgery is over, you will spend time in a recovery room. The nursing staff will monitor your vital signs for complications during this time to ensure your safety. If there are no complications and after you’ve had some time to rest, you’ll be able to leave the facility to recover at home.
You can experience temporary side effects as you heal from surgery. These include watery eyes, blurred vision (from the lubricating ointment your surgeon applied to your eyes), sensitivity to light, double vision, and puffy eyelids.
You may have some bruising that resembles black eyes and mild discomfort, though these will subside in around 10 to 14 days. Scars may take months to fade, but your surgeon will strive to hide them within the natural folds of your eyes. Keep your eyelid skin safe from too much sun exposure as you heal to get the best results.
Steps to Combat Post-Surgical Side Effects
If you do experience any side effects following eyelid surgery, you can try using ice packs on your eyes for ten minutes every hour on the night home from surgery. The next day, try ice packs every so often throughout the day.
Keep your eyelids clean and use any prescribed eyedrops your surgeon gives you.
Avoid straining, swimming, and heavy lifting for a week after surgery.
Don’t rub your eyes, avoid contacts for at least two weeks, and wear dark sunglasses in the sun and wind to keep your eyes protected.
When sleeping, sleep with your head raised higher than your chest for at least a few days.
You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Severe eye pain
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Vision issues
How Long is the Recovery Period Following Eyelid Surgery?
Recovery from blepharoplasty can take a few weeks. Though, you can expect to return to work and normal activities within about two weeks, in most cases. The true effects of the procedure may take a year to manifest after eyelid surgery.
What Results Can You Expect from Eyelid Surgery?
Blepharoplasty makes your eyes more prominent. You could say the procedure makes your eyes pop! After the procedure, you will appear more youthful and well-rested, which can have amazing benefits to your self-esteem.
The results can last a lifetime in many cases. For a rare few, the droopy eyelid problem may recur. Speak to your surgeon about your chances of requiring follow-up surgery.
Does Eyelid Surgery Dramatically Alter Your Appearance?
Eyelid surgery won’t change the structure of your eyes. You will still look like you when you are fully healed from surgery. In that sense, don’t think of blepharoplasty as reconstructive surgery. Instead, eyelid surgery makes your eyes appear younger and your face rejuvenated.
Choose a Skilled & Experienced Surgeon for Eyelid Surgery
In the wrong hands, eyelid surgery can produce substellar results. Not only that, but an unskilled surgeon can hinder your ability to blink properly and produce adequate eye moisture. The eyelids are delicate structures and therefore need to be worked on by the best cosmetic surgeon you can find. For example, Dr. Babak Moein of Moein Surgical Arts possesses the skill and experience to give you the amazing results you might expect with eyelid surgery. Located in Los Angeles and serving all of L.A. County, Encino, and Glendale, Dr. Moein and his surgical staff are ready to serve you. Call (310)694-4486.