By the time you reach your mid- to late-thirties, your eyes may begin to show signs of aging. The upper eyelids may droop due to looseness or laxity of the skin, the lower eyelid region may have a tired look or puffy appearance, and excess eyelid skin may impair vision. Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, can be performed on the upper lids, lower lids, or both to restore a more youthful appearance to the area around the eyes. Lower blepharoplasty is used to correct bags and improve the lower eyelid’s contour. Upper blepharoplasty can alleviate the tired, hooded look that can be seen in the aging process.
What is Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid surgery or eyelid lift, is a type of cosmetic procedure that removes skin and fat from the eyelids to restore a natural, more youthful shape and appearance to the eyelids. It is designed to reduce the look of puffy under-eye bags, dark circles, and drooping lids.
Eyelid plastic surgery can treat:
- Loose or sagging skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid, sometimes impairing vision
- Fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the eyelids
- Bags under the eyes
- Drooping lower eyelids that reveal white below the iris
- Excess eyelid skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid
A good candidate for blepharoplasty is a nonsmoker who is of good health, does not have serious eye conditions, and wants to improve the signs of aging around the eyes, such as dark, puffy bags under the eye, loose skin and fat, and drooping lids. Ideally, we want you to be able to avoid blood-thinning medication for at least two weeks prior to the procedure.
Eye Lift Procedure
The specifics of the procedure are different for everyone, depending on the patient’s individual needs. It may include removing excess skin, fat, and loosened muscles, repositioning fat, or flattening out other areas. You will meet with one of our experienced plastic surgeons, Dr. Bauer or Dr. Young, to discuss your goals for the surgery. They will assess your eyelids, skin, and muscles to determine if you are a good candidate for blepharoplasty and develop a tailored surgical plan.
Eyelid surgery is an outpatient procedure and is performed under general anesthesia for your comfort and safety. Your surgeon will make an incision in the natural crease of the upper eyelid or on the inner lining of the lower lid and remove the herniated fat and/or excess eyelid skin. Lower eyelid surgery incisions are hidden behind the lid so there is no external scar. They may also contour the skin and fat around your eye to make it more shaped and toned. The incision is then closed with small sutures used for healing. The whole process takes about 1-2 hours.
Recovery from Eyelid Surgery
As it is a surgery, blepharoplasty will require a bit of recovery time but not extensive. You are allowed to return home within the same day, but you must have someone else drive you to and from the site. Immediately following your surgery, you will be asked to elevate your head, apply ointment, eye drops, and ice to your eye area.
After the surgery, there may be swelling and bruising around the eyes for the first week due to swelling in the tissues; this is normal and can be diminished with ice packs and sleeping with your head elevated. You should also avoid any activity that will increase blood flow to your face or dry out your eyes. There is very little pain associated with eyelid surgery and patients are typically able to return to work in as little as one week.
Your sutures will be removed by our trained medical staff within 5-7 days of your surgery. Patients are allowed to wear makeup after this time and you may return to light activities in just a day or two and normal activities in 2-3 weeks.
Once the swelling subsides, you will be able to see an immediate improvement around your eyes. The appearance of your eyes will continue to gradually improve over the following 4-6 weeks. There is very minimal scarring with eyelid surgery. The skin around the eyes is some of the thinnest throughout the body and will heal well. Also, the incisions will most likely be made in the creases of your upper eyes, so it will likely be unnoticeable within the folds. The incisions for the lower eyes are often completely hidden in the lining of the lower eyelid.
The effects of the tighter and brighter skin will look natural and you will look more alert, vibrant, and youthful for years to come! In most cases, the results of eyelid surgery can last up to 10 years; however, as with any area of the body, you can expect gravity and age to gradually affect results over time.
Risks/Complications of Eyelid Surgery
As with any surgery, there are possible side effects and risks. The minor risks include blurry vision after the first few days, small white pimples around the eyes, swelling, and tenderness. Any discomfort due to these side effects can be resolved with pain medications that are either over-the-counter or prescribed.
Other more serious complications include permanent asymmetry and difficulty shutting eyes or keeping them shut. It is important that you trust your surgeon and discuss any of these issues so that you can fully understand the risks going into the surgery.
Does Insurance Cover the Cost of Blepharoplasty?
Insurance does not normally cover the cost of blepharoplasty because it is typically deemed as a cosmetic procedure. However, if the excess skin around your eye is somehow obstructing your ability to see properly, then insurance may cover some or all of the cost. First, talk to your insurance provider to see what coverage you might be entitled to. Then you can even schedule an appointment with an eye physician to perform visual field testing to see if your sagging skin justifies needing blepharoplasty to correct vision problems.
Blepharoplasty Little Rock
Arkansas Plastic Surgery has been at the forefront of plastic surgery in Little Rock for over 20 years. Our dedicated and highly qualified team is committed to the best possible care and outcomes for our patients. Find out if a blepharoplasty is right for you — schedule a consultation with our expert team today to discuss your options!