Cosmetic eyelid surgery, called blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both, and give a rejuvenated appearance to the surrounding area of your eyes, making you look more rested and alert.
Specifically, eyelid surgery can treat:
Is it right for me?
- Loose or sagging skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid, sometimes impairing vision
- Excess fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the upper eyelids
- Bags under the eyes
- Droopiness of the lower eyelids, showing white below the iris (colored portion of the eye)
- Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid
Eyelid surgery is usually performed on adult men and women who have healthy facial tissue and muscles and have realistic goals for improvement of the upper and/or lower eyelids and surrounding area.
You should do it for yourself, not to fulfill someone else's desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.
Good candidates are:
You must tell your doctor if you have any of these medical conditions:
- Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
- Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for blepharoplasty
- Individuals without serious eye conditions
- Eye disease such as glaucoma, dry eye or a detached retina
- Thyroid disorders such as Graves' disease and under or overactive thyroid
- Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure or other circulatory disorders or diabetes
What happens during eyelid surgery?
Step 1 - Anesthesia
Eyelid surgery is almost always done under local anesthesia and intravenous sedation. If your eyelid surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
Step 2 - The incision
The incision lines for eyelid surgery are designed for scars to be well concealed within the natural structures of the eyelid region.
Droopy conditions of the upper eyelid can be corrected through an incision within the natural crease of the upper eyelid allowing repositioning of fat deposits, tightening of muscles and tissue, and/or removal of excess skin.
Conditions of the lower eyelid may be corrected with an incision just below the lower lash line. Through this incision, excess skin in the lower eyelids is removed.
A transconjunctival incision, one hidden inside the lower eyelid, is an alternate technique to correct lower eyelid conditions and redistribute or remove excess fat.
Step 3 - Closing the incisions
Eyelid incisions typically are closed with:
Step 4 - See the results
- Removable or absorbable sutures
- Skin adhesives
- Surgical tape
The results of eyelid surgery will appear gradually as swelling and bruising subside to reveal a smooth, better-defined eyelid and surrounding region, and an alert and rejuvenated appearance.
After your procedure is completed, lubricating ointment and cold compresses may be applied, and in some cases your eyes may be loosely covered with gauze.
The results will be long-lasting
Your final results will appear within several weeks, but it may take up to a year for incision lines to fully refine.
While eyelid surgery can be expected to correct certain conditions permanently, you will continue to age naturally. Life-long sun protection will help to maintain your results.
Most health insurance does not cover cosmetic surgery or its complications. When eyelid surgery is performed to eliminate the redundant skin covering the eyelashes, it may be covered by insurance. When choosing a plastic surgeon for eyelid surgery, remember that the surgeon's experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.