Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, is one of the most common surgeries performed by an oculoplastic surgeon. Blepharoplasty corrects droopy or baggy excess skin that has collected on the upper or lower eyelids as a result of the aging process or heredity factors. Blepharoplasty of the upper eyelids is sometimes used to improve the field of vision, as excess skin can interfere with the ability to see peripherally. Blepharoplasty of the upper and lower eyelids also can enhance the appearance of the face by restoring a youthful and rejuvenated look to the eye area without greatly altering one’s identity.
How do I know if cosmetic blepharoplasty is right for me?
Blepharoplasty can be performed on the upper eyelids and lower eyelids, depending on the needs of the patient. You may benefit from having a blepharoplasty procedure if you are in overall good health and have no serious eye conditions or diseases.
Candidates for upper eyelid blepharoplasty often complain of excess skin, puffiness, or wrinkles of the upper eyelids. Patients with skin that touches or hangs over the eyelashes may benefit from this procedure. Women may also notice that placing makeup on their eyelids has become more difficult due to this excess skin. Additionally, the excess skin can hang over the smile lines of the eyes and cause irritation of the skin. Most commonly, however, candidates for upper eyelid blepharoplasty notice a decrease in their field of vision, most notable in the upper portion of the vision and the sides of the vision. This decreased peripheral vision can make daily activities such as driving less safe. At Eyesthetica, we offer special testing to determine if your visual field is affected by your eyelids.
Candidates for lower eyelid blepharoplasty have puffy, baggy, or wrinkly lower eyelids. Patients may notice dark circles of the lower eyelids or cheeks and may constantly feel like their eyelids make them look tired or sad.
To find out more about if blepharoplasty surgery is right for you, schedule an appointment with one of our skilled doctors.
How do the doctors at Eyesthetica approach blepharoplasty?
The doctors at Eyesthetica approach blepharoplasty in a unique way that maintains the health of the eye and quality of the vision as the top priority. Upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty procedures are appropriate for both women and men but must be planned differently for each gender. For men, the incision is usually made lower on the upper eyelid than for women, and a much more conservative removal of fat is recommended in order to maintain the natural, masculine features.
At Eyesthetica, our blepharoplasty technique is tailored for each patient, taking into account their specific anatomy, ethnicity, and personal goals. Why trust your eyelids to anyone else? Schedule an appointment with one of our skilled doctors to learn more.
Click on the links below to see articles written by the doctors of Eyesthetica on blepharoplasty.
- Safety of Blepharoplasty in Patients With Preoperative Dry Eyes
- Upper Blepharoplasty: A Novel Approach to Improving Progressive Myopathic Blepharoptosis
Types of Eyelid Procedures
Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty
In an upper blepharoplasty procedure the fat and excess skin causing upper eyelid fullness and drooping is removed. The amount of excision removed is tailored to each patient’s individual anatomy. The doctors at Eyesthetica utilize a technique of delicately removing excess upper eyelid skin without disturbing or removing the delicate underlying muscle that surrounds the eye, the orbicularis oculi muscle. The preserved function of this muscle is extremely important, as it is responsible for eyelid closure and natural blinking. Eyesthetica’s special, tailored technique of blepharoplasty allows for surgical results to appear natural without appearing surgical or “done,” and decreases the risk of post-operative dry eyes and other problems.
In Asian blepharoplasty, a “single” eyelid (an upper eyelid without a crease) is changed to a “double fold” eyelid (with the crease). This procedure is performed with a careful technique that creates a subtle difference without significantly altering a patient’s appearance or identity. During the procedure, skin and fat is excised from the upper eyelid. Additionally, a small strip of the orbicularis muscle is sculpted to help form the new eyelid crease. The incision is then closed with sutures in a technique called “supratarsal fixation,” which helps to create a natural-looking eyelid crease and fold that doesn’t look surgically altered.
Rejuvenating the lower eyelid with a lower blepharoplasty procedure involves the repositioning or removal of fat and/or skin from the lower eyelid. Eyesthetica oculofacial surgeons use a technique called transconjunctival lower blepharoplasty, which involves excising or repositioning the fatty compartments of the lower eyelid through a hidden incision inside the lid. This approach provides a natural look that also preserves the structure and function of the orbicularis muscles in the lower eyelid.
What are the causes of lower eyelid bags and wrinkles?
There are many factors that contribute to the changes in appearance of the lower eyelid and midface. The natural aging process of the face causes volume loss of the youthful fullness to the cheeks due to changes in the underlying natural fat and bony structures. This volume loss makes the fat underneath the eye appear more prominent, which can cause the “bags” of the lower eyelid. Secondly, both age and chronic sun exposure can lead to facial and eyelid skin changes. Due to our natural anatomy, the lower eyelid receives a proportionally higher level of sun exposure in comparison to the rest of the face. This exposure increases the risk of UV damage, wrinkles, pigment changes, and contour abnormalities.
Additionally, factors such as chronic systemic or skin diseases can lead to devitalization or other abnormality of the eyelid skin and fat that can lead to appearance and contour changes.
How is a lower eyelid blepharoplasty performed?
For a lower blepharoplasty procedure, there are many different surgical methods that may be used depending on the patient’s anatomy and desires. In general the surgeons at Eyesthetica use state-of-the-art minimally invasive techniques designed to avoid any external incisions if possible and preserve youthful volume and eyelid muscle. Lower eyed fat is usually addressed through a hidden “transconjunctival” incision on the inner surface of the eyelid. A “skin pinch” technique may be used to address the lower lid skin wrinkles where a small amount of skin is removed through an incision hidden along the eyelash line. Volume augmentation through the use of a patient’s own abdominal fat or fillers such as Restylane is used to reduce the “hollowing” effect under the eyes and restore youthful cheek projection. Laser skin resurfacing may be used to tighten or smooth the skin of the lower eyelid. Lateral canthopexy tightens and elevates the position of the lower lid, correcting drooping or sagging lower eyelids. Canthoplasty (the detachment of the canthal tendon from the orbital bone to reinforce lower eyelid support) or a full-thickness lower eyelid tightening procedure (the removal of a small portion of the lower eyelid, with the edges then sewn together) is used for patients with significant lower eyelid laxity, to prevent any eyelid positional changes after surgery.
What to Expect During Your Consultation
The eyelid surgery consultation is a good opportunity to discuss your treatment goals with our doctors and for us to evaluate you as a surgical candidate. You will be asked to describe your ideal outcome of treatment, and we discuss how eyelid surgery can help to achieve your goals. We will perform a detailed health history including your current medications, chronic medical conditions, and any previous surgeries to confirm that you are a good candidate. If we determine that eyelid surgery is suitable for your needs and goals, we can discuss the procedure in more detail. We will go over the surgical steps, your anesthesia options, how to prepare for the day of surgery, and how to plan for your recovery. You will have ample time to ask any questions you have about the operation and its likely outcomes.
Eyelid Surgery Recovery
Blepharoplasty is an outpatient surgery that allows you to return home after surgery. After surgery, eyelids may feel tight and sore. The head should be elevated for several days with cold compresses used for bruising and swelling. For the first few weeks, there may temporary changes in your eyesight, sensitivity to light, and tearing, but normal activities can usually be resumed within a few days of surgery.
Cost of Eyelid Surgery
The cost of eyelid surgery varies, depending on the patient and the scope of the case. We can provide specific pricing information upon consultation, once we have a clearer idea of your needs. Typically, eyelid surgery cost includes the facility fees, surgeon’s fees, and cost of anesthesia.
Will Blepharoplasty Surgery Be Covered by Insurance?
In many cases, eyelid surgery is considered an elective cosmetic procedure and therefore patients do not qualify for health insurance coverage (including coverage in the case of a complication). However, sometimes upper eyelid surgery is performed to eliminate redundant skin that hangs over the eyelash line into the line of sight. In this case, surgery may be covered by insurance because of the element of visual impairment. Please check with your individual policy and insurer for details.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Will blepharoplasty get rid of my eye wrinkles?
It depends on the type of wrinkles. Blepharoplasty can reduce or eliminate wrinkles in the eyelids, but not around the corners of the eye (i.e., “crow’s feet”). Eyelid wrinkles can also be treated with botulinum toxin (BOTOX), laser resurfacing, and chemical peels. It is best to consult with a qualified surgeon that can evaluate your needs and recommend an appropriate solution.
When will I be able to see the results?
Every patient heals at his or her own pace, but typically patients see noticeable improvement in their eyelids two to four weeks after surgery. The final results of eyelid surgery can usually be seen two to three months after the operation.
What are the risks of blepharoplasty?
When performed by a qualified surgeon, eyelid surgery is safe and complications are rare. However, any surgery carries some degree of risk. Possible complications include infection, bleeding, adverse reaction to anesthesia, damage to the eye or nerves, chronic dry eye, poor results, and recurrence of the problem.
Browlift vs. blepharoplasty: Which is best for sagging eyelids?
Browlift and upper eyelid blepharoplasty are designed to accomplish different goals. Blepharoplasty focuses on correcting loose, sagging skin on the eyelids while a browlift raises a drooping brow to a more youthful position. By elevating the brow, browlift can sometimes lift the eyelid skin, but in general, upper eyelid blepharoplasty is the more appropriate treatment option for sagging eyelids.
Want to learn more? Check out these related articles:
- What Causes Droopy Eyelids?
- Questions You Should Ask Your Eyelid Surgeon During a Consultation
- Brow Lift vs. Eyelid Surgery: What’s the Difference?