What is blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is plastic surgery of the eyelids. It usually involves the removal of extra skin, fat and muscle from around the eyes. It is performed on the upper eyelids when the normal aging process or genetics cause the eyelids to droop excessively. It can also be used under the eyes to remove the sagging skin responsible for under-eye bags.
How is blepharoplasty performed?
|Before & After Photos|
Blepharoplasty is usually preformed as an outpatient surgery and can take from one to two hours. The patient will check in to a surgery center in the morning and, if all goes well, after a period of carefully monitored recovery, will be released the same day to finish recuperating at home. During the surgery, a qualified plastic surgeon will make a careful incision within the creases of the eyelid. The extra or sagging tissue will then be removed and the wound carefully stitched. Scarring is usually minimal and hidden by the normal creases in the eyelid. The procedure can be preformed alone or as part of a more comprehensive cosmetic treatment which may include a face lift, brow lift or other skin treatments.
When the lower eyelids are involved, the surgeon will use natural smile creases and the lash line to hide the incision. If under-eye puffiness is caused mostly by excess fat, the whole procedure can be preformed through a small incision made on the inside of the lower lid. In these cases, dissolving sutures will be used and no scar will be visible.
What are the benefits of blepharoplasty?
The procedure can be performed for cosmetic reasons, to improve vision or for a combination of these reasons. For some people, particularly those with a genetic predisposition to droopy eyelids, the extra upper eyelid tissue can sag into and block the field of vision. When this is the case, the procedure is deemed medically necessary and can substantially improve a patient’s quality of life.
Sagging eyelids and under-eye bags can also be unattractive. Some patients chose to have them removed to achieve a more rested or youthful appearance.
Who is a candidate for blepharoplasty?
As with any surgery, only a qualified physician can tell a patient if he or she is healthy enough for this procedure. A patient’s past medical history and overall health should be reviewed to determine if the benefits of the surgery outweigh its risks. Special attention should be paid to underlying medical conditions that affect circulation, the eyes themselves or the ability of a patient to heal properly. Age, weight, skin type and ethnic background can also affect the outcome of this type of surgery and should be discussed with a physician.
What does blepharoplasty cost?
The cost of blepharoplasty can range from $1,000 to over $4,000. If the surgery is deemed medically necessary because of the obstruction of vision, some or all of the expenses may be covered by health insurance. If the procedure is purely cosmetic, the costs will not be covered by most insurance companies.
- Will I need a new prescription for my glasses after blepharoplasty?
No. Other than removing skin that is blocking vision, blepharoplasty does not affect eyesight.
- How long is the recovery time?
Swelling and bruising caused by the surgery itself usually resolves within one to two weeks. The final outcome will be apparent within several months.
- Is the blepharoplasty procedure safe?
Blepharoplasty is considered a safe, minor surgery. As with all surgical procedures, there is a small risk of postoperative bleeding and infection. Any concerns should be discussed with a trusted physician before having surgery.
For blepharoplasty post-op instructions click here.