Blepharoplasty, or eyelift surgery, is a popular cosmetic procedure in the United States. This type of surgery is performed on patients whose top or bottom eyelids droop and sag, sometimes to the point of impairing their vision.
One effect of aging or losing a great deal of weight is that the skin becomes less elastic. Over time, loose skin can droop over the eyelids and down the sides of the eyes. For some, this is a problem purely affecting the appearance of their eyes. For others, their peripheral vision is negatively impacted.
Sometimes fatty deposits can also collect above and below the eyes, causing puffiness and making people look older or more tired. These deposits can appear around the eyes even if someone is not otherwise overweight. When drooping, sagging or puffiness affect the appearance or impair the vision, blepharoplasty is an option that can improve these issues.
What to expect from blepharoplasty
Patients considering blepharoplasty should be prepared to invest time in their recovery before the full benefits of the surgery are evident. Patients must stop using NSAIDs, aspirin, and other medications that increase bleeding for at least two weeks before and after surgery. Quitting smoking for two weeks before and after surgery is also recommended.
The surgery itself involves removing loose skin, muscle and fatty deposits, as well as sometimes adding fat into the area below the eyes to give it a smoother look. Incisions are made at or near the natural folds of the eye to avoid the appearance of scars.
After surgery, which takes about two hours, patients will have bruising and puffiness for a few days up to a few weeks. Scars will be at the folds of skin where they are least noticeable, but will remain for up to six months or sometimes longer. Wearing protective eye wear like dark sunglasses until scars have completely faded will protect your eyes from sun damage. For pain relief, acetaminophen (such as Tylenol) may be used.
Most people express satisfaction with blepharoplasty once healing is complete. Patients will look younger and less tired, which can help improve their self-image. Impaired vision is also typically improved, and insurance may cover the cost of this surgery if impaired vision is the primary incentive.
More information about blepharoplasty
Blepharoplasty can be done in coordination with other cosmetic procedures such as a brow lift, facelift or skin resurfacing. Risks with this surgery are few, and complications are rare, but your doctor should go over everything you can expect from eyelid surgery before you decide to undergo the procedure. Your medical history and expectations are other things to discuss at this time.
Patients with certain eye conditions may not be good candidates for eyelift surgery. For many patients, the effects of blepharoplasty are long-lasting, but for some, the drooping may return and make additional surgery necessary to maintain the benefits. Maintaining a stable weight usually helps the effects last longer, but every patient is different.
If you’re considering eyelift surgery and want expert advice on blepharoplasty, request a consultation with GLOW Surgical Arts. GLOW offers cosmetic procedures to improve the health and well-being of our patients. View successful results of GLOW Surgical Arts patients who have undergone eyelift surgery in our Before After photo gallery.