Eyelid Surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a highly technical procedure that can help a patient combat various signs of aging.
The eyes are at the center of our appearance and are the way we project our personality, so, of course, the skin and tissue around the eyes play a crucial role in the way we look and feel about ourselves.
As we age, so does the skin around the upper and lower eyelids; the resulting sagginess, puffiness, and overall droopy effect can cause you to appear years older than you are. It’s not uncommon for this excess tissue to eventually come to obstruct the vision, as well. Fortunately, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is a surgical procedure that can rejuvenate the area around your eyes, thereby taking years off of your entire appearance.
Is Eyelid Surgery right for you?
You may be an ideal candidate for blepharoplasty if you are 35 years or older, and the region around your eyes suffers from:
- Baggy eyelids
- Droopy eyelids
- Puffiness around the eyes
- Excess fat around the eyes
- Excess tissue causing vision obstruction
When you come in for your private consultation, Dr. Larrabee will listen to you, help diagnose your condition, and then discuss with you the possible options. After a consultation, we can then determine whether surgery is the proper solution for your upper eyelids, lower lids or both. Dr. Larrabee’s recommendations will be based on extensive experience with both cosmetic and reconstructive eyelid surgery. In addition to his US training, he studied with experts in London and has performed thousands of reconstructive and aesthetic procedures.
You should keep in mind, however, that eyelid surgery does not address problems like chronic dark circles or crow’s feet. If those are areas you’d also like addressed, you may want to consider supplementing eyelid surgery with a laser resurfacing treatment or other non-surgical options like injectables (such as Botox and filler).
Regain Youthful Eyes in Just Hours
Eyelid surgery is completed in one to two hours. Upper eyelid surgery can be performed under local or general anesthesia. Lower eyelid surgery is most frequently performed under general anesthesia. Dr. Larrabee will remove any excess fat and tighten areas of sagging muscles or skin around the eyes. A patient seeking blepharoplasty to improve the upper eyelids may require correction of excess hooding of skin, mechanical ptosis, lid ptosis, asymmetry of the eyelid margin, and/or brow ptosis. Correction of ptosis can be performed at the same time as cosmetic or functional blepharoplasty, thereby avoiding the necessity of 2 separate procedures.
For the first several days after your procedure, you’ll want to keep your head elevated at all times in order to minimize swelling. If you suffer from dry eyes, we recommend liberal use of eye drops. If you wear contacts, you’ll need to set them aside for a while—it will likely be a couple weeks before contacts feel comfortable again, but glasses can be worn immediately.
Is Eyelid Surgery Painful?
Your eyelid procedure is performed using appropriate anesthesia. While general anesthesia is the norm, the use of a local anesthesia is also incredibly effective at making blepharoplasty a painless procedure. The anesthesia used during plastic surgery treatments prevents the brain from receiving pain signals from the area of focus. So, even if you and the doctor determine that your minor surgery can take place using locally-administered anesthesia, pain reception is shut down. You can enjoy a pain-free procedure that leads to rewarding results.
How Long Does it Take to Recover from Eyelid Surgery?
The short answer is that it takes about two weeks to recover from upper or lower blepharoplasty. A more detailed answer is that there are multiple aspects of recovery that you will experience. These include bruising, swelling, and scar maturation. Bruising and swelling typically subside enough within a one- to two-week period that you can resume most normal activities feeling great about your refreshed appearance. Your incision scarring should also be improved enough at that point to be very discreet. Aside from yourself and those closest to you, no one should be able to tell that you've had eyelid surgery. Bruising is usually resolved by two weeks post-op. Swelling, while nearly gone by that time, can take several weeks for complete healing to occur. The same is true for scar maturation. This process can take months, but, after your first month of recovery, should be nearly imperceptible.
Can Eyelid Surgery be Combined with Other Procedures?
The eyes are not the only part of the face to incur age-related changes. For this reason, blepharoplasty is often combined with other procedures. Due to proximity, the eyes are often affected not only by laxity in the eyelids but also by heaviness in the brow area. For more significant rejuvenation, you might consider a combination of blepharoplasty and brow lift surgery. When rejuvenating the eyes, you may also want to restore more youthful contours along the lower parts of your face. This can be achieved with facelift surgery or possibly with non-surgical modalities like injectable treatments. When you consult with one of our accomplished, board-certified plastic surgeons, you can discover which procedure or combination of treatments would be ideal for your goals.
Are There Risks Involved?
Every surgery carries some degree of risk. Blepharoplasty is generally considered very conservative, affecting only superficial tissue. That said, anytime the skin is broken, as it is by incisions, there is a risk of infection and bleeding. Provided that you take good care of your incisions as directed in your post-op instructions, your risk of poor wound healing, prolonged pain, and visible scarring can remain very low. During your consultation, your doctor will discuss potential risks related to your case and how you can work together to mitigate them.
Can Anyone Get Eyelid Surgery?
Most adults who are interested in a long-term outcome from eyelid rejuvenation are good candidates for blepharoplasty. Your surgeon's priority in assessing your case is to confirm that you are healthy enough to undergo surgery. You can be a good candidate for eyelid rejuvenation surgery even if you smoke, provided that you are willing to refrain from this habit starting weeks before your procedure and throughout your recovery. If you are in generally good health and you can accept your surgeon's expectations for your treatment outcome, you are one step closer to recovering an optimal sense of contentment with your appearance.