Your eyes are so much more than the window to your soul. They are the focal point of your face. They communicate emotion and foster a human-to-human connection. They reveal how you are feeling – stressed, tired, overjoyed, surprised – and, in many cases, they age you. Excess skin on the lower lids, for example, can make an individual look more tired and older than they are.
Blepharoplasty is a highly specialized eyelid surgery that corrects sagging, baggy, or drooping lower or upper lids for a more open, inviting, youthful look. Some undergo blepharoplasty purely for cosmetic reasons, while others opt for this plastic surgery to improve their vision.
The skin on the eyelid is extremely thin and sensitive, and the prospect of going under the knife for eye surgery can be daunting. In this guide, we’ll lift the curtain on blepharoplasty and explain what you can expect from your procedure.
Why do people get blepharoplasty?
No two patients are alike, and people choose to get blepharoplasty for a multitude of reasons. First, you may wish to achieve a more alert, younger appearance. And second, your excess eye skin may be limiting your peripheral vision, making day-to-day tasks like driving difficult.
Blepharoplasty may be the right choice for you if you have:
- Baggy, drooping upper eyelids
- Excess skin on the upper eyelids
- Excess skin on the lower eyelids
- Bags under the eyes
- Crepey skin – where the skin looks thin and finely wrinkled like crepe paper
- Excess fat in the eyelids
- Hollowness around the eyes
Am I a candidate for blepharoplasty?
- Are in good health
- Are non-smokers
- Do not have any severe eye conditions
- Have healthy facial tissue and muscle
This cosmetic procedure is especially popular with men and women that are 55 years and over, but it may be suitable for younger people, too. At our Beverly Hills clinic, blepharoplasty continues to be one of our most frequently performed surgeries, offering patients instant results, fantastic outcomes, and minimal downtime.
Before your blepharoplasty, you will meet with your trusted plastic surgeon to discuss the following:
- Your expected results. As mentioned above, people undergo blepharoplasty to address a myriad of concerns. It’s crucial that you discuss your desired results with your surgeon, so you can get a realistic understanding of what’s possible – and what isn’t
- Your medical history. Blepharoplasty isn’t the right solution for everyone. Your surgeon will ask you about past and present conditions affecting the eye area, which may include allergies, diabetes, or glaucoma. You may also be questioned on the medications, supplements, and vitamins you take, as well as any drug, alcohol, and tobacco use.
These preliminary discussions will help you and your doctor decide whether or not eyelid surgery is right for you.
The next step in the preparation process is a physical examination. Your doctor may test your tear production and measure parts of your eyelid.
You’ll also undergo a vision examination to gauge the quality of your eyesight, including your peripheral vision. If you are undertaking blepharoplasty to improve your vision and hope to claim the expense with your health insurance provider, this examination is vital.
Finally, your eyes will be photographed. These photos will serve as the ‘before’ image, allowing you and your doctor to determine the immediate and long-term effects of the surgery.
Blepharoplasty is an outpatient procedure. After you arrive and check in, your surgeon will inject a numbing medication into the eyelid area. You may also be given medication to help you relax during the procedure via an IV.
The way your procedure will unfold depends on your specific concern and whether your surgeon is operating on the upper, lower, or both eyelids.
- If your surgeon is operating on both eyelids, he or she will typically begin on the upper lids. A small incision along the fold of the eyelid allows your surgeon to cut away excess skin and muscle and remove or redistribute fat. The incision is then closed.
- For the lower lid, your surgeon will make an incision just below your lash line where the eye naturally creases. He or she will remove or redistribute droopy skin, excess fat, and muscle. The incision is then closed.
Keep in mind that this process will vary from patient to patient. You may be undergoing blepharoplasty alongside other procedures, such as a facelift. Or, you may be having a specialized type of blepharoplasty, such as ptosis.
When your surgery is complete, you will spend several hours in a recovery room. Here, you’ll be monitored closely for any complications. If everything goes well, you can head home that same day and recover in the comfort of your own home.
After your blepharoplasty surgery, you may experience some of the following aftereffects:
- Watery eyes
- Blurred or double vision, often from the aftercare ointment applied to your eyes
- Puffy eyelids
- Numbness around the eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Swelling and bruising
- Mild pain
These aftereffects are not uncommon and should subside shortly after your surgery. You may want to apply a cool compress to your eye area to reduce swelling and minimize discomfort.
Although rare, some blepharoplasty aftereffects require immediate medical attention. Seek help if you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, bleeding, severe eye pain, or an unusual heart rate.
Bruising and swelling caused by blepharoplasty generally heals within 10 to 14 days. That being said, you can resume normal activities at around the one-week post-surgery mark. In the first seven days, your surgeon will likely recommend avoiding jogging, swimming, aerobics, and other strenuous or straining activities.
It’s also critical to your recovery to avoid smoking, rubbing your eyes, or using contact lenses.
The results of blepharoplasty surgery can be truly remarkable. The eyes appear more youthful and better rested, creating a more welcoming and alert overall look. This can give patients a boost of confidence – remember, the eyes are the focal point of the face.
Dr Sarmela Sunder is available for personalized consultations, so you can find out whether blepharoplasty eyelift surgery is the right choice for you. Request your in-person or virtual consultation here.