Q. What is a blepharoplasty?
A. A blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure which attempts to rejuvenate aging eyelids and restore normal vision by removing excess skin and fat and smoothing eyelid wrinkles. A Blepharoplasty can refer to the upper eyelids or the lower eyelids or both.
Q. Why do most women and men get a blepharoplasty?
A. The eyes are the most expressive part of the face. Beautiful eyes compliment and enhance other facial features. But as the eyes age, the supporting framework beneath the skin weakens (sun exposure, smoking, stress, poor nutrition, hormones, genetic factors, or an unhealthy lifestyle can accelerate this). The skin of the upper lids becomes heavy and sagging—and may even obstruct normal vision. Beneath the eye, underlying fat bulges out as “bags” and the skin becomes wrinkled. This gives a person the appearance of being angry or tired—or older than he or she is.
Q. What should I expect after surgery?
A. It is important to understand that it is impossible to create “perfect eyes,” but I strive for a result that is natural in appearance, cosmetically pleasing, and more youthful. A blepharoplasty results in a fresher, more vibrant, well-rested look. The upper eyelid will be smooth and all sagging will be gone. The area under the eye will be smooth and without bags or wrinkles. Moreover, a blepharoplasty should be a “once in a lifetime” operation, and the vast majority of patients will never need any additional eyelid rejuvenation. Facial aging, however, will continue.
Q. Where are the incisions?
A. The incisions are hidden in the natural crease of the upper eyelid and are hidden under the eyelashes in the lower eyelid.
Q. Can a blepharoplasty be combined with other procedures?
A. A blepharoplasty can be combined with other procedures such as a facelift. Other than increasing the time of the surgery and the recovery period, combing a facelift with eyelid rejuvenation adds little risk to either procedure.
Q. Is this an out patient procedure?
A. You go home shortly after the procedure is complete. Since sedative drugs are used, you will need a friend or relative to drive you home afterwards.
Q. What is the recovery like?
A. Bruising is normal after a blepharoplasty and is usually resolved by 3 weeks. Swelling of the eyelids is normal after this procedure. It is at its worst during the first week after surgery. During the second week, the swelling begins to subside although some fullness persists. By the end of a month, 90% of the swelling is usually gone. Final results are not achieved until 3 to 4 months after the surgery. Some patients may see continued improvement up to 6 months, but changes beyond 4 months are usually subtle.
You should not experience pain after this procedure. Most patients describe the sensation as discomfort.All the stitches used in the eyelids are dissolvable. They slowly fall out as you shower. It usually takes one week to 10 days for the sutures to fall out. They may look like little brown threads as they fall out on their own.
Q. When can I return to work?
A. Most patients return to work between 7 and 10 days after a blepharoplasty. Some people return to work as early as 4 days after surgery, while others require a full 3 weeks for all the bruising to disappear. One’s healing capacity is unpredictable and varies depending on age, smoking, nutritional status, genetics, and overall state of health.
Q. Will insurance cover this procedure?
A. Insurance will NOT cover the lower eyelids. However, if there is visual impairment by the upper eyelids. All or part of this procedure can be covered by insurance. In order to determine the severity of the condition, a study called a “peripheral field” test is performed by an optometrist and submitted to your insurance company. Each plan is different and pre-authorizations are necessary.