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Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

The eyes are such an important focal point of the face, and they are usually one of the first areas to show signs of aging. Excess fat and skin can accumulate above and below the eye causing drooping or “puffy” lids, wrinkles, and bags. In some cases, the upper eyelids may sag so substantially that the patient’s field of vision is impaired. Eyelid surgery (medically referred to as blepharoplasty) is designed to rejuvenate the areas around the eye for a smoother, more revitalized appearance.

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What Are the Benefits of Eyelid Surgery

The accumulation of excess fat and skin around the eyes can make people appear tired or sad, even when they feel well-rested and happy. Eyelid surgery can achieve many cosmetic benefits, including:

Patients who have sagging upper eyelids that interfere with their eyesight may also have their full range of vision restored.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?

Men and women who consider eyelid surgery are typically interested in reversing signs of aging that form around the eyes, which include excess skin, skin laxity, and fat accumulation. Candidates may have cosmetic concerns regarding the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. Since there are multiple surgical and non-surgical options available to improve the appearance of the orbital region, many patients choose to combine eyelid surgery with one or more additional procedures.

The appearance of the upper eyelids is often significantly influenced by the position of the brow, in which case our board-certified plastic surgeon, John M. Sarbak, MD, may recommend brow lift surgery. Strategic injections of BOTOX® Cosmetic can be utilized around the eyes, especially to treat wrinkles between the eyebrows and lateral to the eyes. Cosmetic dermal fillers, such as JUVÉDERM® and Restylane®, can help to fill hollowed areas where the lower eyelids meet the cheeks. For patients who wish to dramatically improve the elevation of the cheeks, a facelift may be performed. In certain situations, the skin itself can be tightened with a laser or chemical peel. During the consultation process, Dr. Sarbak will perform a physical exam, carefully review your cosmetic concerns, and recommend which procedure or procedures can best meet your needs.

What Is the Eyelid Surgery Procedure Like?

The treatment goals in this particular anatomic area have changed significantly over the past few years. Eyelid surgery has shifted from procedures that remove large amounts of skin and fatty tissue to procedures that try to preserve as much of the eye’s natural appearance as possible. Past techniques usually resulted in a hollow and tight appearance that sometimes looked better but not necessarily younger. Newer techniques try to maintain volume by repositioning existing tissues. The result is not only a better appearance but a more youthful look. Incisions can be hidden along the natural crease of the eyelid for upper eyelid surgery or along the lower lash line for lower eyelid surgery.

When addressing the upper eyelids surgically, several factors must be taken into consideration. These include a critical assessment of the amount of skin, evaluation of the muscles that both open and close the eyes, and analysis of the upper eyelid fat pockets. By removing excess fat and skin, your plastic surgeon can create youthful contours, tighten lax musculature, and reverse any vision impairment due to sagging eyelids.

Lower eyelid surgery can bring about some of the most significant improvements in facial aging of any procedure. Today’s techniques involve less resection of fat pockets and more repositioning of this tissue to help mask areas that have become hollow due to aging. The lower eyelid muscles also frequently require tightening and suspension to create a more harmonious blending with the cheek. Conservative skin excision in conjunction with the above techniques can provide additional skin tightening.

What Are the Different Types of Blepharoplasty?

Upper Eyelid Surgery

Targeting the upper eyelids, this surgery can help reduce signs of puffiness and get rid of loose/sagging skin. Upper eyelid surgery can also remove extra and unwanted fat within the eyelids in order to produce a more vibrant and younger look. Patients can also expect to have any “hooding” within their upper eyelids to be smoothed out or significantly reduced.

Lower Eyelid Surgery

Lower eyelid surgery is a separate procedure from upper eyelid surgery. This version of blepharoplasty aims at restoring the appearance of patients’ lower eyelids by eliminating “bags” and/or fullness beneath the eyes. These effects can be greatly reduced by removing excess fat deposits and eliminating excess skin.

Double Eyelid Surgery

Double eyelid surgery is also referred to as Asian eyelid surgery. This type of blepharoplasty can address eyelids that have the appearance of a single fold, which can be present for many patients of Asian descent. This technique allows Dr. Sarbak to create a double eyelid that is wider in appearance.

What Should I Expect During Recovery From Eyelid Surgery?

Patients can expect mild swelling and bruising immediately after the procedure, and any postoperative discomfort can be managed with oral pain medication. Patients typically return to work or their normal daily activities after one week. At that time, the initial results of the procedure will be evident, though patients should wait until the healing process is complete and all swelling has dissipated to appreciate the final outcome of the procedure.

How Long Do Blepharoplasty Results Last?

The longevity of blepharoplasty results will vary from patient to patient, but people should expect to enjoy the benefits of their procedure for many years to come. The natural-looking results produced from eyelid surgery can last between 10 and 15 years. The benefits can often last even longer for those with healthy skincare habits.

Will I Have Eyelid Surgery Scars?

As with any surgical procedure, there is a potential for scarring. Dr. Sarbak is a board-certified plastic surgeon and takes great care to avoid the risk of noticeable scarring as much as possible. With a skilled plastic surgeon, any potential scarring from the surgery can be greatly reduced by using incisions that are strategically placed. Utilizing the natural folds and contours of the face, any incisions that are made can be hidden in discreet areas.

Is Non-Surgical Blepharoplasty Possible?

When looking for a way to effectively reinvigorate and enhance the eye area, blepharoplasty is the ideal option. Some patients want to avoid the need for a surgical procedure and instead seek out a non-surgical alternative. While there are dermal fillers, other injectables, and skin care products that can enhance the overall appearance of a patient’s face, none of these options will compare to the benefits of eyelid surgery.

How Much Does Eyelid Surgery Cost?

The cost of eyelid surgery will vary with each patient as there will be unique requirements to meet their needs. On average, the total price is $4,120, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.Contributing factors include the type of eyelid surgery and the extent of the work. For some, insurance may help mitigate the overall cost, but in most cases, insurance will only help cover the total price if it is for a health-related reason. Our practice accepts all major credit cards and offers financing options that include CareCredit® and Alphaeon™ Credit.

Frequently Asked Questions About Eyelid Surgery

Will eyelid surgery improve my vision?

Droopy eyelids can often block and obstruct your range of vision. By removing or repositioning the excess fat and tissue, you may notice an improvement in your visibility.

How does blepharoplasty and ptosis repair differ?

Blepharoplasty can help reduce signs of aging and help correct cosmetic concerns like excessive eyelid skin and fat. For patients struggling with weakened eyelid functionality, ptosis may be a preferred approach. The procedure can repair stretched upper eyelid muscles by tightening it.

How can I reduce swelling after eyelid surgery?

Swelling after eyelid surgery is a normal part of recovery, but to help reduce this side effect, incorporating the following into your post-operative care routine can help:

Additionally, Dr. Sarbak will provide you with specific post-surgical instructions. Closely adhering to those instructions can help promote a safe recovery process.

When can I wear contacts again after eyelid surgery?

Dr. Sarbak typically recommends any patients who wear contact lenses to wear eyeglasses in the couple of weeks following surgery. This not only can prevent you from touching your eyes, but can also help you avoid possible discomfort and reduce the risk of infection while you heal.

When can I wear eye makeup after blepharoplasty?

Patients should avoid wearing makeup for two to three weeks after eyelid surgery. Makeup can potentially irritate your eyes and increase the chances of infection.

Contact Us

Contact our office today if you would like to learn more about eyelid surgery, or want to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sarbak.