What is it?
Eyelid surgery or Blepharoplasty is a plastic surgery procedure whose primary aim is to reduce excess skin from the upper eyelids and reduce bagginess from the lower eyelids.
The surgery is usually carried out for cosmetic reasons. However, it may also be accompanied by other procedures such as filler injections or forehead lifts. Other candidates who may opt for the surgery include people who have sagging upper or lower eyelids due to aging. The sagging may be affecting their vision. Hereditary causes may also cause the eyelids to droop.
In general the ideal candidates for eyelid surgery are people who have realistic expectations and are in good health. 35 or older are considered as prime ages for the procedure.
It is also important to note that eyelid surgery does not completely eliminate dark circles under the eyes. The same goes for issues such as facial wrinkles or crow’s feet. It might also not give you the ideal look you want. Patients are advised to discuss their preferences and concerns with their surgeons before they go for the procedure.
How Eyelids Age
The skin gradually reduces is suppleness as it ages. This sagginess causes the skin to bunch up under or over the eyelids. Bulges may also form on the upper and lower eyelids from the fat that cushions the eyeball against the skull. The skin that holds the fat in place may weaken in age. Loose folds of skin may hang over the eyes and inhibit a person’s vision as well.
The affects of the procedure may last for five to seven years when it comes to upper eyelid surgery. Patients may need to undergo it again. Surgeons rarely need to repeat surgeries performed on lower eyelids. It is also important to remember that the eyes still age after the surgery.
What to Expect
The surgeon will ask a patient about his/her health and habits during the consultation process. People who have suffered from conditions such as glaucoma or have had life threatening condition such as heart attacks in the past are not considered to be good candidates for the procedure. Patients who have a habit of smoking are asked to quit a week before the surgery is to be performed as this may compromise the healing process. Patients might also be asked to stop taking certain types of medication such as aspirin before laboratory tests and drugs that may cause bleeding.
Blepharoplasty may be performed on the upper or lower eyelids or both at the same time. During the procedure, the surgeon makes incisions in the natural folds of the eyelid. How much muscle, skin or fat is to be removed depends on the surgeon’s judgment. This also depends on factors such as a patient’s bone structure, structure of underlying facial muscle as well as the symmetry of the eyebrows.
The surgeon may also remove the muscle underneath if needed. Tissue adhesives or sutures are applied to smoothen and reshape the area around the eyelids or eyebrows. Patients who suffer from dry eye need less tissue to be removed in order to lessen the eye’s exposure to the air. The condition may cause the symptoms to worsen and surgeons take extra precautions to ensure that they don’t. Any wrinkles that remain may be removed by a CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser that is used to smooth out the remaining wrinkles. The surgeon might also accompany the procedure with a brow lift if they brows droop too much. This is done by making an incision into the scalp. The skin is tightened to lift the brows.
Types of Eyelid Surgery
Upper Eyelid Surgery - During upper eyelid surgery, excess fat and skin can be removed. The surgeon makes precise markings on the face. This allows him to pinpoint the areas that need to be removed. The remaining skin is elevated and pulled tight in order to give it a more healthier and youthful look. The incision is done in the upper crease of the eyelid to eliminate or minimize scarring. Tissue is removed with surgical scissors, scalpels, cutting layers or radio frequency cutting devices.
Lower Eyelid Surgery - Fat deposits may accumulate under the eyes. During a lower eyelid surgical procedure the surgeon starts by making an incision directly beneath the patient’s lower eyelid. This is done to hide it from sight. Next, the excess fat tissue and skin is removed. The excess fat may also be spread out in order to produce an even look. In general, how long the surgery takes depends on how droopy the patient’s eyelids really are.
According to 2014 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average lost of an eyelid surgery comes up to $2,874. However, the cost may vary greatly. Factors that may affect the cost include the geographical location of the hospital or surgeon’s office, the experience of the surgeon and cost of anesthesia. It is also important to take the costs that are associated with operating room facilities. For example, the procedure may cost up to $5,000 if it is performed on all four eyelids. This also includes the removal of protruding or excess fat underneath. A functional eyelid surgery or a procedure that is done for medical reasons can be covered by health insurance. Patients are advised to gain authorization for insurance first.
Surgeon’s rarely recommend eye patches to patients after surgery. A topical antibiotic ointment may be recommended. Cold packs need to be applied for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time on the first day. The ice is meant to keep the swelling down and reduce bruising. This should be done every hour. During the second day the cold packs can be applied every few hours for the same duration.
Eyelid surgery has more than just cosmetic benefits. Here are some of the most common –
Vision that is impaired because of puffy or droopy eyes will be improved
Reduces a tired look
Eyes look clearer and brighter
A trimmer look gives a more youthful appearance to the eyes
Makes you feel more confident
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