Blepharoplasty is primarily used to treat common signs of aging that develop around your eyes. If you’re concerned about excessive amounts of skin or sagginess around your eyes, talk to a dermatologist about your options. In some cases, you may not need surgery.
Blepharoplasty is a procedure used to treat droopy eyelids. During this type of plastic surgery, a doctor removes skin, muscle, and sometimes fat that may be causing the area around your eyes to sag.
Blepharoplasties are performed on an outpatient basis. That means you can go home shortly after the procedure. General anesthesia is only used for some people. Your surgeon will usually inject a numbing agent into your eyelids.
The upper eyelids are addressed first. Here, your surgeon will make a small cut and remove excess skin, as well as muscle and sometimes fat. Some of these tissues might be moved to other areas surrounding the eye before your surgeon closes the incision.
The lower lid blepharoplasty usually involves removal of fat, which contributes to the under-eye bags, as well as sometimes removing a small amount of skin. The incision may either be on the inside of the eyelid or on the outside underneath the lower eyelashes. In some people, the lower eyelid may be tightened or secured to the bony skeleton.
Unless you’re undergoing eyelid surgery for vision concerns, insurance won’t likely cover the procedure. Talk to your doctor about all the costs involved ahead of time. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons estimates that the average cost for eyelid surgery is $3,022.
Recovery from blepharoplasty is relatively short compared with other types of surgeries. Immediately after the procedure you’ll be moved to a recovery room. You’ll be monitored for side effects and, unless there are any complications, you’ll go home the same day.
It’s important to rest for a few days immediately following eyelid surgery. You might experience some swelling and pain. Your doctor may recommend you take ibuprofen to relieve these symptoms. It can take a week or two for these symptoms to fully go away. Your surgeon may also recommend ice packs for the next couple of days.
Blurry vision and sensitivity to light are also possible short-term side effects. Call your doctor if these symptoms last longer than a day or two.
You can’t wear contact lenses for two weeks following eyelid surgery. Be sure to have an alternative, such as prescription glasses, on hand.
You don’t need to keep your eyes covered throughout the entire recovery phase, but you might be sent home with gauze to protect the area. You’ll also need to make sure you gently wash the area and keep it clean. After a few days, you’ll see the surgeon again for an evaluation and to remove any stitches as necessary.
Sometimes a blepharoplasty is used in conjunction with another related procedure to improve the results. Some people with significant saggy eyebrows might opt for a brow lift. Others may even undergo a full facelift to address other cosmetic concerns at the same time. You might consider asking your surgeon if other procedures would help increase the effects of eyelid surgery.
Ideally, eyelid surgery is a one-time procedure. However, you may need follow-up surgeries if you don’t like the results, or if your eyelids don’t heal properly the first time around.