Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
Eyelid surgery is one of the most effective ways to improve facial appearance. As we age, the eyelid skin stretches, muscles weaken and fat protrudes. Through tiny incisions along the natural crease of the upper lid, inside the lower eyelids, or just below the lash line, the doctor removes excess skin and fat that cause bags and puffiness. The result is a refreshed appearance with a younger, firmer looking eyelid. In some patients, a browlift is recommended with eyelid surgery to correct a drooping brow and smooth the forehead. Due to the nature of the skin in these areas, recovery time is minimal and scars are almost nonexistent.
In upper eyelid surgery, individual lines and creases of the lids are marked in order to keep the scars as invisible as possible along these natural folds. The incision is made, and excess fat, muscle, and loose skin are removed. Fine sutures are used to close the incisions, thereby minimizing the visibility of any scar.
In lower eyelid surgery, an incision in an inconspicuous site along the lashline and smile creases of the lower lid. Excess fat, muscle, and skin are then trimmed away before the incision is closed with fine sutures. Eyelid puffiness caused primarily by excess fatty material is removed. When sutures are used to close this kind of incision, they are visible to the eye. They are also self dissolving and leave no visible scar. Under normal conditions, blepharoplasty can take from one to two hours.
Immediately after the surgery has been completed, tiny sterile bandages may be applied. This is not done for transconjunctival blepharoplasty. It is not crucial that the eyes be covered. However, an ointment to prevent dryness of the eye area may be used. A certain degree of swelling and bruising is normal. Cold compress, as well as head elevation when lying down, will enhance healing and relieve discomfort. Medication can be prescribed for discomfort.
For a week and a half following blepharoplasty, you will clean the eye area (the eyes may feel sticky, dry, and itchy). Eye drops may be recommended. You will be provided with a list of activities and environments to avoid in the weeks immediately following surgery. Permanent stitches will be removed in three to five days after surgery. Self-absorbing stitches will dissolve on their own.
Insurance does not generally cover surgery that is done purely for cosmetic reasons. Surgery to correct or improve vision or surgery for eye deformity or injury may be reimbursable in whole or in part.