Am I a good candidate for Blepharoplasty (eyelid) surgery?

Considering Blepharoplasty surgery

As we age, some of us notice changes to our faces that may make us appear older or more tired than we are, and the eye area is one of the fist places that can show signs of ageing. During the ageing process, skin around the upper and lower eyes may lose elasticity and begin to sag. When there is excess skin on the upper eyelids, it can hang over the eye area and lashes obstructing vision and causing the upper lids to feel heavy.  If there is excess skin on the lower eyelids, it can create wrinkles and deep lines in the skin.

If you notice the skin around the eyes is bulging or looks like the lids are retaining fluid, it could be the result of weakened membranes – that hold fat in place from the skull – allowing fat to move forward into the lids causing bulging.

What is Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty is the medical term for eyelid surgery or an eyelift. It can be performed on either the upper or lower eyelids, and in some patients, both the upper and lower lids. The procedure removes excess skin and reduces bagginess around the eyes.  While this surgery is mostly done for cosmetic reasons, it can be ordered by an ophthalmologist for patients whose sagging or bulging upper eyelids are impairing their vision. A Blepharoplasty can be performed alone or with laser resurfacing, forehead lifts, filler injections, such as BOTOX® and various facelift procedures.

Who is a good candidate for Blepharoplasty?

You may be a good candidate for Blepharoplasty if…

  • You are in good health and are 35 years or older
  • You are over 18 and under 35 years old and droopy or saggy eyelids run in your family
  • The skin on your upper and/or lower lids is sagging and obstructing vision or causing the eyes to feel heavy
  • Your eyelids look like they are retaining fluid or have a buildup of fat deposits
  • You have tried topical solutions, lasers or injections that have not worked
  • You have a realistic idea of Blepharoplasty outcomes
  • You can take off work and refrain from strenuous activities including driving, for several days

Are you awake during Blepharoplasty?

For a Blepharoplasty you will likely be under local anesthesia consisting of oral sedation and a numbing medication injected around the eye area. You may receive IV sedation if your eyelift procedure is performed at a surgical center or a hospital.

Is Blepharoplasty major surgery?

Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that can take up to two (2) hours for both upper and lower eyelids. After surgery you will not be able to drive – someone will need to accompany you home and stay with you for at least one (1) night after surgery. Most patients stay home from work and perform limited activities for one (1) week after surgery.

How long does it take to recover from Blepharoplasty?

After a few days most patients can resume normal activity, including driving. The eyes may be sensitive after surgery, and it is best to avoid the sun and UV exposure until the incisions have completely healed. If you have stiches placed in your eyelids, they will stay in place for up to one (1) week. For up to two (2) weeks, patients may experience dry eyes, which is completely normal. If symptoms of dry eyes last longer than two (2) weeks, please contact your surgeon right away. Your eyelids should look normal after four (4) to six (6) weeks as the swelling subsides.

How painful is Blepharoplasty?

Pain from eyelift surgery is mild to moderate and for many patients, the pain peaks a few hours after surgery. Bruising, swelling and blurred vision are normal and can cause discomfort after surgery, however recovery is fast, and results are noticed immediately after the procedure. To manage pain after eyelid surgery, your doctor may recommend over-the-counter painkillers or prescription pain management. For some patients, putting ice packs or bags of frozen peas on the eyes will help with pain and swelling.

How long do Blepharoplasty results last?

A lift to the upper eyelids may last for five (5) to ten (10) years, and lower eyelids can last indefinitely depending on your age and skin elasticity. It is possible for eyelids to sag again due to the natural process of aging, if this occurs, you can consider another eyelift or consult with your doctor to see if another procedure, such as a forehead or facelift is right for you.

Will health insurance cover Blepharoplasty surgery?

For those undergoing an eyelift procedure for a medical reason, your insurance may cover the cost. Check with your eyecare physician and insurance company to determine what costs, if any, will be covered by your insurance. 

What are some of the complications from Blepharoplasty surgery?

Blepharoplasty complications

There are risks for every surgery and although eyelift surgery complications are rare, they do occur and can include the following:

  • Infection
  • Loss of vision
  • Difficulty closing your eyes
  • Bleeding
  • Dry eyes
  • Eyelid discoloration
  • Folding or creasing eyelid skin

If you experience any of the above complications, please contact your surgeon right away.

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