What is a Blepharoplasty?
Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the eyelids. Eyelid surgery can rejuvenate the area surrounding your eyes to improve the appearance or fix your eyelids if you are experiencing functional problems because of them. Drooping eyelids can make you look older and tired, but can also impair vision. Blepharoplasty corrects these problems and also eliminates puffiness and bags under the eyes that make you look worn and fatigued.
Who is a Good Candidate?
- Bags and dark circles under the eyes
- Loose skin that creates folds of the upper eyelid, sometimes impairing vision
- Excess skin and wrinkles of the lower eyelid
- A puffy appearance of the upper eyelids, making the eyes look tired
- Nonsmokers (no active smoking for 4 weeks prior to surgery or after surgery)
- Reasonable expectations
Types of Blepharoplasty
- Upper Blepharoplasty
- An upper blepharoplasty is done to the upper eyelids only. This involves the removal of excess skin and fat. If the lid is droopy and causing visual impairment, the muscle that raises the upper lid can be tightened.
- Lower Blepharoplasty
- A lower blepharoplasty eliminates puffiness and bags under the eyes that make you look fatigued. The cause of a puffy lower eyelid is due to a combination of excess fat, skin, and edema (water retention). During a lower blepharoplasty excess fat and skin in the lower eyelids can be removed or repositioned for a more aesthetically pleasing look.
- Entropion Reconstruction
- Entropion is the turning in of the eyelid. This causes the skin and lashes to rub against the cornea and is very uncomfortable and painful to many. Entropion usually arises as a result of aging. This is due to the progressive weakening of the muscles surrounding the eyes.
- To correct entropion, it typically involves a brief surgical procedure in which the eyelids are repositioned. For entropion due to muscle weakness, the surgery involves the removal of a very small section of the eyelid in order to tighten the surrounding muscles. When the entropion is caused by scars or previous surgery, the procedure may require a small skin graft to allow repositioning of the eyelid.
- Ectropion is the turning out of the eyelid. This exposes the skin if the inner lid preventing tears from draining from the eye correctly, resulting in irritation. Ectropion also arises as a result of aging and weakening of the connective tissues surrounding the eyes. Tumors, cancer, burns, and excessive sun damage are also common causes of ectropion.
- To fully correct ectropion, surgery is necessary. It is a quick surgical procedure that focuses primarily on tightening the eyelid. For ectropion due to muscle weakness, the surgery involves the removal of a very small section of the eyelid in order to tighten the surrounding muscles. When the ectropion is caused by scars or previous surgery, the procedure may require a small skin graft to allow repositioning of the eyelid.
- Cancer of the Eyelid
- Skin cancer of the eyelid account for up to five to 10 percent of all skin cancers. Tumors that affect eyelids can be on the skin of the eyelid or on the inside layer of the eyelid. Proper diagnosis and removal is crucial in order to keep the tumor from progressing or reoccurring.
- Surgical excision is imperative to completely remove the tumor and a small amount of healthy tissue from around the tumor. If the initial surgery caused a defect to the eyelid, it can be repaired using reconstructive surgery.
- Eyelid Reconstruction
- Eyelid reconstruction is considered when a defect in the eyelid is present. Defects may arise from a variety of situations including but not limited to trauma and/or tumor extraction. “Flaps” and “skin grafts” are occasionally necessary to complete more complex eyelid reconstruction.
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What is Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is a procedure that improved the upper and lower eyelids. Upper blepharoplasty is aimed at correcting a saggy and droopy upper lid. This is done by removing mostly skin and fat. The lower blepharoplasty is aimed at fixing “bags” underneath the eye. Both the upper and lower blepharoplasty result in a natural and fresh look.
What should I expect postoperatively?
After your surgery, your eyes will be swollen and sore, and you will likely have some bruising. These should all subside within a few days. Any discomfort can usually be controlled with pain medications prescribed by Dr. Sufyan.
At what age can a blepharoplasty be performed?
Fat and loose skin around the eyes typically come with age, but some young people can be genetically prone to it, so there is no specific age range to when a blepharoplasty can be performed.
What other procedures may be combined with cosmetic eyelid surgery?
A number of other cosmetic procedures may be safely performed at the same time as blepharoplasty. These include skin resurfacing, facelift, neck lift, and brow or forehead lift. Doing multiple procedures on the same day may increase recovery time, but will allow the patient to achieve many goals with one surgery.
How long does the procedure take?
Blepharoplasties take about one hour to complete.
Does a blepharoplasty require an overnight hospital stay?
Rarely. This procedure can be performed in the hospital or in an outpatient surgical center. You will most likely be able to go home a few hours after your blepharoplasty surgery.
How long will I be out of work following a blepharoplasty?
Rest and relaxation are strongly advised during the first week following surgery in order to help speed up recovery and minimize bruising and swelling. Although some bruising is common upon bandage removal one week after surgery, patients with sedentary jobs may safely return back to work. However, those whose jobs require physical exertion may need an additional 2-3 weeks before returning to work.
In every case, it is recommended to avoid unnecessary exertion for at least one month after surgery to avoid prolonged swelling.
Will insurance cover a blepharoplasty?
It’s important to understand that cosmetic surgery is typically not covered under most insurance plans. Because most insurance companies cover that which is medically necessary, some insurance companies will cover blepharoplasty procedures when excess skin is causing visual impairment. Coverage will depend on your insurance carrier.
Are there any medications that need to be avoided before surgery?
It is important to avoid taking certain medications, vitamins and herbs two week prior to your surgery. This is because some medications may cause you to bleed more than normal.
What are the risks of blepharoplasty?
Though blepharoplasty has fewer risks than other cosmetic procedures, all patients should expect some bruising and swelling following surgery, as well as possible blurry vision from the use of eye ointments immediately after surgery. More serious and rare complications include chronic dry eye, bleeding, infection, heavy scarring, out-folding of the eyelid and inability to close the eyelid.
When will I be able to see results?
Results will be visible after the swelling and bruising have subsided. Because all individuals are unique, this time period varies. Most improve within one to two weeks.
Where are the incisions made for a blepharoplasty? Are there scars after a blepharoplasty?
Dr. Sufyan uses a minimally invasive technique when performing blepharoplasty. This means the incision is made in such a way that it will heal into a tiny, virtually hidden scar.