Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
Drooping eyelids are not only an aesthetic concern but may also pose health problems as they limit or obstruct your vision. The aging process causes the supporting muscles that surround the eyelids to weaken. As fat deposits collect above and below the eyelids, the result is a sagging, droopy effect that makes you look far beyond your years. A blepharoplasty can correct these problems and restore a look of youth and vitality to your face.
What is Eyelid Surgery?
Eyelid surgery, also called blepharoplasty, is a surgical cosmetic procedure that corrects problems such as drooping eyelids, and can remove bags under your eyes as well as the general puffiness that makes your entire face look tired and worn. It may not decrease the fine lines that surround the eyes nor will it reduce dark circles caused by allergies or sleep deprivation.
What is the Process Like?
Eyelid surgery is divided into two categories, upper and lower. During upper eyelid surgery, incisions are made along the natural folds in order to minimize scarring. Excess fat may be either removed or repositioned. Loose skin and muscle are also removed prior to closing the incision with sutures.
The same basic procedure is done for lower eyelid surgery, with incisions being made along the lash line or smile creases of the lower lid. Excess fat, skin and muscles are removed; the site is then stitched with fine sutures.
With both procedures, a local anesthetic is administered and the procedure is often done under general anesthesia or “twilight” anesthesia to maximize the patient’s comfort. The whole process usually takes about an hour.
Who is a Good Candidate?
People who suffer from drooping eyelids, whether due to age, genetics, or some other health condition are great candidates for blepharoplasty. Those seeking to lift the eyelids for a more youthful appearance will be quite pleased with the results. Ideal candidates are in generally good health. It is a viable option for men and women of any age, although it is most commonly performed in those over the age of 35.
How Much Does it Cost?
The typical cost depends on a number of factors, including anesthesia, facility and surgeon fee. Cost will vary according to whether you are having upper, lower, or both sets of lids rejuvenated. The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery quotes $3,528 as the national average for surgeon fees. Anesthesia ranges from $400 to $800; facility fees may reach as high as $1,000.
What is the Recovery Time?
Immediately following a blepharoplasty you can expect some swelling and bruising which is usually minor. Lying down while your head is elevated with a cold compress can relieve discomfort. Keep the entire eye area clean, and avoid any activities that put your eyes at risk. Permanent stitches are typically removed within five to seven days following surgery.
What are the Risk Factors?
Possible risks include dryness or irritation, noticeable scars, temporarily blurred vision, possibility of infection and injury to eye muscles. Though these problems are rare, it is best to be fully aware of risks when weighing the benefits of this procedure. People who suffer from circulatory or ophthalmological conditions, and smokers may have a greater risk of complications.