Eyelid Lift FAQ
What is a blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is a procedure to improve the appearance of the eyelids, also known as an eyelid lift. This term can refer to the upper eyelids, the lower eyelids, or both. There are several variations of this procedure, which can include removal of loose skin, removal or shifting of extra fat, and adding volume and support to the eyelids.
Specifically, eyelid surgery can treat:
- 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 eyelids
- Bags under the eyes
- Drooping lower eyelids that reveal white below the iris
- Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid
Is eyelid surgery common?
Eyelid lift or blepharoplasty surgery is the 3rd most common cosmetic procedure in the United States with more than 240,000 cosmetic eyelid procedures performed each year.
What causes the eyelids to sag?
There are multiple causes of aging of the eyelids. As this skin is the thinnest in the body, it can stretch with age, creating looseness and a tired appearance. Brow and cheek sagging also contribute to the appearance of eyelid aging. Prolonged sun exposure, smoking, and other environmental factors can accelerate these aging changes. There may be hereditary influences on the way in which our eyelids age; particularly with lower eyelid bags. Frequent episodes of swelling or allergy can also play a role.
Who is a candidate for an eyelid lift?
Because the eyelid skin is so thin and elastic, it is commonly the first part of the body to show early signs of aging. Depending on a person’s desires, expectations, and overall health, someone may be ready for an eyelid lift at nearly any age. The most common reasons that someone pursues an eyelid lift is sagging or loose skin, eyelid wrinkles and lines, bulging fat or bags, and hollowness causing shadows and dark circles.
How is the procedure performed?
During blepharoplasty, incisions are made within the natural creases of the eyelids or on the inside of the eyelids. The surgeon removes some of the herniated fat and excess skin and then closes the incision with very fine sutures.
Does eyelid surgery hurt?
No. Local anesthesia is used in all patients, which consists of tiny injections of a numbing fluid. In some cases, mild sedation, either with oral or intravenous medications can be used as a supplement. The procedure is gentle and general anesthesia is not required. In fact, general anesthesia increases the cardiovascular risk of the procedure and is to be avoided for most eyelid surgeries. A skilled surgeon ensures that you are comfortable throughout the entire procedure.
How long will the procedure take?
Depending on the specific procedure and how many eyelids are being treated, the procedure can take between 45 – 90 minutes
What type of anesthesia is used during surgery?
Office procedures are performed with local anesthesia which may include eye drops and small injections under the skin in the area requiring surgery.
How long do the results last?
Eyelid surgery tends to be very long-lasting. Many people will only undergo one eyelid lift procedure in their lifetime as compared to a neck lift, which may be repeated.
What should I expect postoperatively?
After your surgery, your eyes will be tender, swollen, and sore, and you will probably have some bruising. These should all resolve in a few days. Discomfort can usually be controlled with pain medications prescribed by your surgeon. You may experience blurry vision for the first few days after your procedure, and your eyes may be watery or very dry. For additional information, read our article about eye lid surgery recovery.
How long does it take to heal after surgery?
Following surgery, cold compresses (ice packs) and a topical antibiotic ointment are applied for 3 to 4 days followed by warm compresses. Eye patches are not required. Discomfort is usually minimal and is typically handled by acetaminophen (Tylenol®). Aspirin containing compounds and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory products (Advil, Ibuprofen, etc.) should be avoided 2 weeks prior to surgery and up to 1 week following surgery. Most individuals will have swelling and some degree of bruising that will gradually improve over the first 1 to 3 weeks. Swelling make take weeks or months to completely resolve. Patient healing is variable with some individuals healing much quicker than others. Makeup can be applied to help hide residual bruising, usually starting two weeks after surgery.
Patients may have diminished blinking and incomplete eyelid closure following eyelid surgery, particularly ptosis repair. Frequent ocular lubrication may be required for several weeks or months after eyelid surgery. Contact lens wear is typically avoided during the first 3 weeks after surgery or until adequate blinking and eyelid closure returns.
How many days do I need to take off work following my surgery?
For upper eyelid blepharoplasty, 5 to 7 days off work is average while up to 10 to 14 days may be best for those patients having both an upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty. Patient’s with occupations requiring minimal physical activity may return to work sooner.
When can I wear make-up, wash my hair, or shower following my surgery?
In most cases, patients may shower the day following surgery. Hair washing can also be performed the day following surgery.. Make-up should be avoided for 2-3 weeks near incision sites. Once scabbing and crusting has resolved then make-up may be applied to the operated areas.
At what age can blepharoplasty be performed?
Fat and loose skin around the eyes usually appears with age, but some young people are genetically prone to it, so there really is no set age when blepharoplasty is performed.
Can I have an eyelid lift if I have already had LASIK (laser vision correction)?
Yes. However, it is recommended to wait at least 6 months after having laser vision correction before undergoing blepharoplasty. This is because laser vision correction can lead to dryness of the surface of the eyes which improves after several months.
Will a blepharoplasty get rid of my eye wrinkles?
No. A blepharoplasty is not designed to remove the wrinkles at the outer corners of your eyes (crow’s feet) or to fix sagging brows. There are other procedures available that can be used to remove wrinkles near the eyes, including laser resurfacing and intense pulsed light treatments.
What are the risks of blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty, like all surgery, has risks. Minor complications associated with blepharoplasty include temporary double or blurry vision, temporary swelling, and tiny white pimples around your eyes. Your eyes may also heal at different rates, which can mean that they will be temporarily asymmetrical. More serious risks include permanent asymmetry or difficulty closing your eyes and keeping them closed.
Can eyelid surgery be performed at the same time as other procedures?
Absolutely. Eyelid lifts are commonly done at the same time as Botox injections, facial fillers, brow lifts, facelifts, laser resurfacing, and facial fat transfer, to name a few. In fact, many patients enjoy the benefit of sharing the downtime when having multiple procedures performed simultaneously.
Where can I view eyelid surgery before and after pictures?
Click here to see blepharoplasty before and after pictures.
How much does eyelid surgery cost?
A surgeon’s cost for eyelid surgery may vary based on his or her experience, the type of procedure used, as well as geographic office location.
Our office offers patient financing plans to help cover blepharoplasty costs.
Eyelid surgery cost includes:
- Surgeon’s fee
- Surgical facility costs
- Anesthesia fees
How do I arrange a consultation?
Click here to schedule a free consultation to see if eyelid surgery is a good choice for you.