The eyes speak volumes about a person. They are expressive and engaging, able to convey thoughts and feelings without a single word or gesture. Eye contact communicates confidence, assertiveness and alertness. We look to others’ eyes in greeting, during conversations and in gauging their interest. In the same way that bright, open and focused eyes can be captivating, however, eyes that look tired or puffy can change your appearance in unwanted ways. When it comes to maintaining a youthful and energetic expression, the eyelids, in particular, play an essential role.
If your upper eyelids have excess, drooping skin or if you have puffy bags in your lower lids, you may feel as though you look unhappier, more tired or older than you feel. In severe cases, upper eyelid sagging may even obstruct vision. Blepharoplasty, or eyelid lift surgery, is a cosmetic procedure that can address concerns of the upper and lower eyelids and restore a refreshed and relaxed appearance.
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What is Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)?
Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, is a surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin and fat from the upper and lower eyelids, addressing concerns like sagging or puffy bags. Depending on the patient’s concerns, an eyelid surgery can focus only on the upper eyelid, only on the lower eyelid or on both eyelids for comprehensive results.
Dr. Man performs blepharoplasty using a highly precise laser to create tiny incisions in the upper and/or lower eyelids. The incisions are hidden within the natural folds of the skin and heal to be minimally visible. Using the incisions, Dr. Man can excise loose skin or remove pockets of fat to reshape the upper and lower eyelids as desired. Each of the procedures is performed under local anesthesia with IV to eliminate pain and keep you comfortable.
Upper Blepharoplasty (Upper Eyelid Surgery)
Upper eyelid surgery, sometimes called an eyelid lift, is designed to correct drooping upper eyelids. The thin, fragile skin of the eyelid is prone to losing its supple structure over time, leading to heavy, sagging upper lids. This sagging is a common sign of aging that can lend a tired appearance to the face and even obstruct vision. An eyelid lift can trim away stretched, loose skin to lift the eyelids into a more youthful, alert position.
Upper blepharoplasty may also be appropriate for men and women of all ages who have a condition known as eyelid ptosis, in which one or both of the upper eyelids sags for reasons unrelated to aging. Finally, some individuals, particularly those of Asian descent, have eyelids that do not have a natural crease and may choose an upper blepharoplasty to reveal more eyelid space, which can improve eye openness and make it easier to apply eye makeup.
Lower Blepharoplasty (Lower Eyelid Surgery)
Lower eyelid surgery focuses on the area just below the eye. The most common lower eyelid concern is undereye bags — puffy bulges beneath the eyes that can make you look as though you are sick or have not slept well. Many home remedies attempt to diminish the appearance of bags by reducing swelling, but in fact, bags are small pockets of fat that are unlikely to respond to such treatments. In a youthful facial structure, these pockets of fat support the lower eye; but over time, they can fall out of place and create the characteristic unwanted bulge. During a lower blepharoplasty, Dr. Man will remove or reposition the fat so that it no longer produces the bag effect, restoring a smooth undereye area and a more energized and well-rested appearance.
Combined Blepharoplasty (Upper and Lower Eyelid Surgery)
A full eyelid surgery addresses concerns of both the upper and lower eyelid, combining the techniques used in upper and lower blepharoplasties into a single surgery. It is appropriate for patients who are struggling with both sagging upper eyelids and puffy lower eyelid bags. Dr. Man can help you determine whether this comprehensive procedure might be best for you when you visit our offices in Boca Raton for a consultation.
Eyelid surgery does not correct crow’s feet or facial wrinkles or lift sagging eyebrows. However, these concerns may be addressed through other procedures that can often be performed at the same time as a blepharoplasty. Dr. Man commonly combines eyelid surgery with a brow or forehead lift, facelift, cosmetic laser surgery, skin resurfacing and nose reshaping, among other options. We also provide non-invasive anti-aging treatments, including Botox and dermal fillers. Dr. Man will work with you during your consultation to determine your concerns and create a customized surgical plan that will deliver your ideal results.
Benefits of Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
The eyes are typically one of the first facial features that people tend to notice. When your eyes do not express the same youthful energy that you feel inside, others may not be seeing the best version of who you are. Using cosmetic surgery like an eyelid lift to correct your concerns can eliminate this frustration and help you love your reflection again. Specific benefits include:
- Brightens the appearance the face
- Restores a more alert and awake expression
- Reduces signs of aging for a youthful look
- Corrects any vision issues due to sagging upper eyelids
- Diminishes or removes bags under the eyes
- Improves self-confidence
Is Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery) Right for Me?
Eyelid surgery is right for patients who have stretched, drooping or excess skin on the upper eyelids, or who have puffy bags under the eyes. The procedure can also address vision issues related to excess upper eyelid skin. Eyelid surgery can be effective for both men and women of all ages. We also require that patients are in good overall health, are non-smokers and are fully able to understand the risks and limitations associated with cosmetic surgeries.
The best way to find out if eyelid surgery can address your cosmetic goals is to schedule an in-person blepharoplasty consultation with Dr. Man in Boca Raton. During this face-to-face, one-on-one meeting, you can discuss any eyelid or other facial concerns you may have and learn about the procedures that will help you achieve the aesthetic you seek. You will also discuss your medical history to ensure that any procedures we provide will be safe and as low-risk as possible.
How Involved is Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)?
During eye lift surgery, two issues are corrected. For the upper lids, using a laser, an incision is made in the natural crease to remove excess skin and fat. The lower eyelid lifts involve making a thin incision just inside the lower lids and removing excess fat. Each of the procedures is performed under a local anesthesia with IV and numbing to temporarily remove any feeling.
Using the laser, or a peel, the areas of skin may also be resurfaced under the eyes, such as dark circles and “crepe-paper” skin. Those of ethnic heritage, such as Asians, are often characterized by an absence of a crease or a fold in the upper eyelid. This crease can be added to give the eyes a more Western look.
Preparing for Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
Before your eyelid lift surgery, Dr. Man will meet with you to evaluate your eyelids, your facial structure and any other facial cosmetic concerns. With this information, he will work with you to create a surgical plan that will achieve your desired final look. Based on your custom surgical plan, Dr. Man will supply you with information on how to prepare for your upcoming surgery. These instructions may include (but may not be limited to):
- Have a complete physical
- Have a mammogram
- Stop smoking at least six weeks before surgery
- Stop taking aspirin or other NSAIDs that can cause bleeding
- Reduce alcohol consumption to three drinks per week or fewer
- Stay hydrated
After Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
As soon as your surgery is complete, you will be taken to a recovery room to rest until the anesthesia has worn off. Dr. Man and his staff will monitor you to ensure there are no immediate complications and will administer any necessary medications to prevent infection and minimize discomfort.
It is imperative that someone stays with you for the first 24 to 48 hours after your eyelid surgery. While blepharoplasty is typically an outpatient procedure, some patients choose to stay overnight at our comfortable surgical center to receive expert care and allow for complete rest. Our nurses are all ACLS certified, and our state-of-the-art facility has specialized recovery options, including chest wall cooling methods to reduce pain and swelling, a hyperbaric chamber and oxygen treatments to speed healing.
How is the Recovery from Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)?
Eyelid surgery patients should plan to take at least five days away from work or usual daily activities. Dr. Man may recommend waiting longer before resuming more strenuous activities like exercising. You will also receive a detailed packet of recovery instructions and will have follow-up appointments scheduled to ensure that your healing is progressing well. Some of the steps to eyelid surgery recovery include:
- Follow a gentle cleaning regimen for the eyes
- Use prescription eye drops or ointments to help with healing
- Do not lift any heavy objects or participate in strenuous activities for a week
- Do not rub eyes or wear contacts for at least two weeks
- Wear darkly tinted sunglasses for protection
- Sleep at an incline that keeps the head higher than the chest for a few days following surgery
- Reduce swelling with cool compresses
Patients may have slightly blurry vision due to the prescribed lubricating ointment, light sensitivity, redness around the eyes and other minor issues. You may need to take pain medications to stay comfortable for the first few days after your procedure, though over-the-counter options like Tylenol or ibuprofen typically suffice. These side effects usually resolve themselves within a few days.
Patients can expect to return to the surgeon’s office to have any stitches removed after about a week. Swelling and redness will continue to subside over the following weeks, and scarring will slowly flatten and become evenly colored as time passes. Finally, remember that every patient heals differently depending on their particular surgery and overall health, so your timeline may be different than the one suggested here. Dr. Man will discuss your projected recovery with you more thoroughly after your surgical plan is in place.
How Much Does Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery) Cost?
Like most cosmetic surgeries, the cost of eyelid surgery varies widely based on the extent of the patient’s concerns, any additional procedures and the particular surgical plan. Dr. Man will transparently communicate pricing and costs with you during your consultation and can also discuss payment options and financing. Health insurance may provide coverage depending on the purpose of the procedure.
What Do I Do Next?
If you have vision issues or have a permanently exhausted look because of excess skin and fat on and around the eyelids, we recommend scheduling a consultation with Dr. Man. During this consultation, he talks with you about your goals and evaluates your eyes and any concerns you may have. At that point, he makes a recommendation and discusses what he would like to do in detail so you can make an informed decision about it. He also answers any questions you may have.
Florida board-certified plastic surgeon Daniel Man, M.D., performs blepharoplasty on the residents of Boca Raton, FL, and the surrounding communities who want to look less tired or correct any vision problems. Please contact us to set up your consultation today.