Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is performed to remove tissue (skin and fat) from the upper lids, lower lids, or both. The type of procedure that is right for you depends on the amount of visible aging.
Why Do Patients Choose Blepharoplasty?
Usually, blepharoplasty is performed for cosmetic reasons. However, occasionally, patients need it to improve visibility because their sagging upper lids obstruct vision.
With age, our skin loses elasticity. Excess skin, with gravity, collects on the lower and upper eyelids. Your eyelids and eyebrows may start to droop and sag. Excess skin on the upper eyelids may obstruct vision. On the lower eyelid, wrinkles and bulges will cause bags under the eye. Fat can cause bulges in both upper and lower eyelids because, with age, the internal supportive connective tissue can weaken and relax, revealing the bulging fat cushion that protects your eyes.
Genetics also has a lot to do with our aging process and anatomy – and likely if your parents have had or needed blepharoplasty, you are more likely to need or want it in your lifetime.
The purpose of the blepharoplasty may affect whether the procedure is covered by your insurance. If it is to correct a condition that obstructs your vision, the procedure is potentially covered by health insurance plans with special tests and medical documentation along with photographs. If it is solely to improve your appearance, it will not be covered by insurance.
Upper vs Lower Blepharoplasty
Before the surgery, your surgeon may recommend that you:
- Stop taking any medication or supplements that might increase bleeding such as NSAID medications, fish oil, or other herbal supplements.
- Quit smoking for a minimum of 6 weeks prior to and after surgery.
- Arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and stay with you the night of the procedure.
Normally, upper blepharoplasty is done in an outpatient setting. Local anesthesia is typically used, but you may also be given additional pain or anti-anxiety medications to relax you.
To begin an upper blepharoplasty, your surgeon will mark the surgical plan for skin removal, numb the skin with anesthesia injections, and clean the skin with surgical soap. They will then create an incision in the upper fold of the eyelid to remove excess skin and or/fat, then close the incision with sutures that will be in place for approximately 5-7 days.
During a lower blepharoplasty, the surgeon will make an incision either from within the lower eyelid or below the lashes on the skin to remove sagging skin, muscle, or fat.
After the surgery, you will go directly home with your caretaker and transportation. Your eyes will have lubricating drops or ointment applied and you may be prescribed pain medications and/or antibiotics. It is important to gently apply crushed ice or cold gel packs to the eyes every hour for the first 24-72 hours to minimize swelling and bruising.
You might have some temporary symptoms such as:
- Blurred vision from the ointment
- Light sensitivity
- Swollen eyelids
- Swelling and bruising around the eyes
- Mild discomfort or pain
Schedule a Consultation
Overall, the right eyelid surgery for you will depend on your individual goals and the amount of sagging skin present. You will get personal, compassionate, and expert eyelid surgery from our double board-certified plastic surgeons, Drs. Rebecca Novo and Renee Gasgarth, at For Your Best Self in Melbourne, FL. We welcome you to schedule a consultation online or by calling our office.