Procedures/Facial Procedures/Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

What Is Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty, more commonly called eyelid surgery, is designed to rejuvenate the appearance of the eyelids by smoothing sagging skin, removing pockets of fat, and tightening any lax tissues that could be contributing to drooping eyelids. While some people choose to undergo eyelid surgery for cosmetic reasons, men and women with severely sagging upper eyelids may experience vision impairment as a result. In these cases, our plastic surgeon, Dr. Andrew T. Cohen, can use eyelid surgery to restore the patient’s full field of vision. The procedure can be performed on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both, depending upon the unique needs of the patient.

Am I a Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?

Most candidates for eyelid surgery share one or more of the following cosmetic concerns:

  • Excess skin sagging from the upper or lower eyelids
  • Bulges of fat above or below the eyes
  • Upper eyelids that droop and obstruct eyesight
  • Bags under the eyes
  • Creases, wrinkles, and fine lines around the eyes
  • Hollowed areas around the eyes, particularly the tear troughs

Ideal candidates for blepharoplasty are in good overall health and maintain realistic expectations regarding the outcome of the procedure. Most candidates for eyelid surgery are at least 35 years old, though younger women and men may still have the procedure performed. The best way to determine your candidacy for eyelid surgery is to schedule a consultation with an experienced plastic surgeon.

How Is the Eyelid Surgery Procedure Performed?

Dr. Cohen customizes each eyelid surgery to suit the unique needs of the individual. For upper eyelid surgery, an incision is made along the natural crease of the eyelids. The underlying tissues can then be tightened and sculpted before any excess skin is removed. During lower eyelid surgery, an incision is carefully placed directly below the lash line. Excess fat is removed and/or repositioned below the eye to reduce puffiness and restore lost volume to any hollowed areas. Lax tissues can then be tightened to better support the lower lid, and any excess skin is removed before the incision is closed. Both upper and lower eyelid surgery can smooth creases, wrinkles, and fine lines. Depending upon the surgical plan, the procedure is performed under general or local anesthesia and can take 1-3 hours to complete.

What Can I Expect in Eyelid Surgery Recovery?

Common side effects of any major surgery include some swelling, soreness, and bruising. Eyelid surgery patients can expect these conditions to begin to resolve within a few days. Dr. Cohen recommends keeping the head elevated and using a cold compress to minimize swelling. Some patients also report that the eyes feel “tight” immediately following the procedure.

Depending upon the patient, sutures can be removed 2-7 days after surgery. At this time, most patients return to work or their normal daily activities. Patients may still experience unusual tearing, light sensitivity, blurry vision, or double vision for a few weeks afterward, though these side effects should resolve once the healing process is complete. Until that time, patients should avoid any strenuous physical activity.

What Are the Risks of Eyelid Surgery?

As with any surgery, there are some risks to blepharoplasty, though Dr. Cohen carefully plans each procedure to minimize the possibility of post-operative complications. Potential risks include infection or a negative reaction to the anesthesia used during the procedure. Some patients may notice the eyes heal with slight differences in appearance. In rare cases, patients may experience difficulty closing their eyes before sleep. To further reduce the risk of complications, Dr. Cohen recommends blepharoplasty patients give up smoking several weeks prior to the date of surgery.

What Are the Different Types of Eyelid Surgery?

Eyelid surgery is not limited to one procedure. There are actually two primary forms of eyelid surgery that patients may seek out. Upper eyelid surgery and lower eyelid surgery can help patients look younger and even enhance one’s vision if excess skin is impairing their sight. The primary differences between these procedures include the nature of the concerns addressed and the techniques used to improve the eyelid contours.

Upper Eyelid Surgery

Upper eyelid surgery is a procedure that focuses on the upper eyelids in order to reduce puffy and saggy skin, as well as eliminate excess fat. Upper blepharoplasty can have a vast range of benefits, including smoothing “hooding” caused by drooping tissue in the upper lids.

Lower Eyelid Surgery

While similar, lower eyelid surgery stands as a completely different procedure when compared to upper eyelid surgery. Lower eyelid surgery solely focuses on the lower eyelids and aims to improve the appearance of “bags” beneath one’s eyes. By repositioning fat deposits and removing excess skin under the eyes, the phenomenon of under-eye “bags” can be greatly diminished.

How Much Does Eyelid Surgery Cost?

Since each eyelid surgery is tailored to the unique needs of the individual, the price varies from patient to patient. Factors that can affect the total cost of eyelid surgery include which whether the upper and/or lower eyelids are operated upon as well as the complexity of the individual’s surgical plan. Patients who undergo upper eyelid surgery to correct obstructed vision may have a portion of the procedure covered by their health insurance provider. Although health insurance providers rarely cover eyelid surgery performed for cosmetic reasons, qualifying patients may take advantage of our plastic surgery financing options, which can offer low monthly payments with little to no interest.

Is Eyelid Surgery Covered By Insurance?

Whether eyelid surgery is covered by insurance is based on the individual patient’s policy. Generally speaking, eyelid surgery is typically only covered by insurance when it is performed for a health-related reason. If the procedure is strictly for a cosmetic or aesthetic reason, insurance companies do not typically offer coverage. In cases where patients’ eyelids are obstructing their vision and eyelid surgery is deemed a medical necessity, insurance companies may cover part or all of the costs of treatment.