Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, is a surgery performed to correct baggy eyelids by removing excess fat, skin, and muscle from the eyelids. Eyelid surgery can serve both functional and cosmetic goals. Sometimes droopy eyelids may block one’s point of view, and this surgery can correct the eyelids. Therefore, this surgery makes you look younger and improves your sight as well.
You can have other facial surgeries with a blepharoplasty at the same time.
Reasons for Blepharoplasty
There are a number of different reasons for undergoing blepharoplasty:
- Bags under the eyes
- Droopy eyelids that block your vision
- Saggy eyelids that make you appear older
- Being unable to open your eyes because of excess skin or fat in the eyelids
Most patients’ main reason for receiving this surgery is to improve their appearance. Furthermore, there are cases where the surgeon may recommend performing other facial surgeries at the same time as an eyelid surgery to enhance the results. These surgeries may include a brow lift, facelift, laser resurfacing, or a forehead lift. An eyelift doesn’t treat crow’s feet or other facial wrinkles.
Who Is a Good Candidate
Suitable candidates for a blepharoplasty have these characteristics:
- They are generally healthy and have no serious illnesses.
- They don’t smoke.
- Have no serious eye conditions.
- Have clear and realistic goals in mind.
To elaborate on these features, a good candidate is one who understands how much this procedure helps them with their looks. While it is true that this surgery helps with your appearance, it can’t change your facial structure or fix an asymmetrical face.
Make inquiries during your consultation session about the effectiveness of the procedure in your particular case.
Risks of a Blepharoplasty
Like every other major surgery, eyelid surgery has its own risks. Every individual who is considering undergoing this surgery should first make sure they are familiar with all the possible risks. Here is a list of complications and risks:
- Anesthesia risks
- Being unable to close your eyes for a while
- Blurry vision (temporary)
- Discoloration of the skin near the eyes
- Dry eyes
- Irritation of the eyes
- Loss of sight (rare)
- The eye muscles could get injured
- You may need a revision surgery
Your surgeon provides you with a full list of all possible complications before a blepharoplasty. Thoroughly explain your medical history so that your surgeon can predict the risks more accurately.
Blepharoplasty Surgery Costs and Insurance
Blepharoplasty costs range from $3000-4000. However, this does not cover the total cost. As with any other surgery, there are other factors involved in the surgery for which you have to pay separately. Other costs involve:
- Anesthesia costs
- Costs for the operation room
- Prescriptions for medicine
- Medical tests
The surgeon’s experience also affects the price of your surgery.
As for insurance, insurance companies may cover the costs in case the surgery corrects a functional defect. For example, if you’re getting surgery because your eyelids have blocked your vision. Since this operation is mostly done for cosmetic purposes, it is usually not covered by insurance.
Preparing for Eyelid surgery
First, make sure your doctor is specialized and experienced in the field.
You will meet with your plastic surgeon and explain your conditions. They will ask you about previous surgeries you have undergone, past and present medical conditions, and whether you are on any form of medication. They will likely ask you to stop taking medications that can inflict more bleeding, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, warfarin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements that cause bleeding. Furthermore, you will be asked to stop smoking in case you are a smoker. This is because smoking can increase the chances of complications and risks.
You can explain the goal you have in mind for the blepharoplasty. Be clear and straightforward. This will help your doctor evaluate the situation with more information to see whether an eyelift will serve your purpose or not.
Moreover, you may be required to undergo a physical examination and a number of lab tests. The physical examination involves measuring your eyes and eyelids. They will also run a test to see if your eyes produce enough tears. A vision test will similarly be conducted. Finally, the surgeon takes several photos of your eyes to determine the required approach and the procedure.
Eyelid Surgery Procedure
Your plastic surgeon will instruct you on how to take care of the surgical area. He/she will also prescribe medicine that will speed up your recovery and prevent infection. In addition, he/she will set a date for a follow-up visit. Your stitches will be removed after a week.
Swelling and pain are common for the first few days after blepharoplasty. Your eyes might water up, feel dry, or irritated. They will also feel more sensitive to light. You can apply cold compresses or ice packs to your eyes to reduce the pain. Keep your eyelids clean by washing them gently. You can use a wet soft cloth to do this. Sterile gauze pads soaked in saline solution are another way to clean the eyes. Inform your doctor about the side effects, and ask them how long they are going to persist.
It typically takes two weeks for the bruising and swelling to subside and the eyes to look normal.
A short list of dos and don’ts
- Try to rest for the first few days after your eyelid surgery.
- Avoid wearing contact lenses for 14 days.
- Avoid strenuous activities.
- You may be instructed to cover your eyes with a gauze pad.
- Protect your eyes from the sun by wearing tinted sunglasses.
- While sleeping, place your head in an elevated position to your body.
- Stop taking medications that can inflict bleeding: aspirin, ibuprofen, warfarin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbals supplements that can cause bleeding.
Results of Eyelid Surgery
Blepharoplasty often has permanent results. Adhere to your surgeon’s instructions to achieve the best results. However, this procedure does not stop your eyes from aging. There is also no guarantee that one surgery will be enough to get the intended results, so you may need further surgeries.
These are a set of frequently asked questions. If you have undergone eyelid surgery, make sure to ask your doctor and not just rely on what you read on the web.
- Is it ok to wear eyeglasses after an eyelid surgery?
- By all means. You should avoid contacts, but eyeglasses are not a problem.
- When do I start exercising after eyelid surgery?
- Wait 2-3 weeks before you resume exercising.
- Can I take showers/baths after my surgery?
- You can shower one day after surgery. However, keep your eyes dry.
- What questions should I ask during my consultation?
- Is the surgeon certified? How much experience do they have?
- Have they specialized in the field of plastic surgery?
- Will my blepharoplasty be performed in an accredited facility?
- Am I a good candidate?
- Where is the operation performed?
- What do I need to do to get the intended results?
- How long will the recovery take?
- What medications should I take after the surgery?
- How often should I visit for follow-up consultations?
- What should I do if I’m unhappy with the results?
- What are the possible risks?
- Are there any before-and-after images I can look at?