Blepharoplasty at a glance
- Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that lifts upper eyelids or reduces lower lid bagginess.
- Eyelid surgery is one of the fastest growing cosmetic procedures in the U.S.
- Surgery usually lasts one to two hours.
- Surgical results last five to seven years or more.
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What is a blepharoplasty?
A blepharoplasty, sometimes called an eyelid lift, smoothens out the sensitive skin surrounding the eye to lift and refresh overall eye area appearance.
The skin surrounding the eyes is especially susceptible to overall wear and aging because it comprises some of the thinnest and most sensitive skin tissue found in the body. Over time, maturing skin becomes more prone to the effects of gravity. The upper eyelids may start to droop, and overall elasticity loss may cause lower lid sagging. A full blepharoplasty will address both the upper and lower eyelids.
Quickly growing in popularity, a blepharoplasty cosmetically combats the aging process, but sometimes is performed non-cosmetically to restore impaired vision when eyelids sag below the eye.
How is blepharoplasty performed?
Surgeons will likely use a local anesthesia along with oral sedation during an eyelid lift. IV sedation and general anesthesia may also be used. Patients will be conscious but unable to feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. If a patient is having surgery on all four lids, the procedure will last one to two hours.
When lifting the upper eyelid, the surgeon makes an incision in the natural crease of the eyelid. He or she then removes or repositions excess skin and fat deposits, while tightening the muscles within the lid.
On the lower lid, the surgeon makes an incision beneath the lower eyelash line. Performing similar actions, the surgeon may reposition or remove fat and excess tissue.
When the surgeon completes all tissue removal and repositioning, he or she closes the incisions. Surgical tape, sutures or skin adhesives close the incision points.
Recovering from a blepharoplasty
Stitched for up to a week, the area around the eyelids will likely swell and possibly bruise. Surgeons may prescribe a lubrication ointment and ice pack application throughout the recovery period. Eyelids may feel irritated at the incision site but should heal and appear normal within two weeks.
Risks and considerations
With any surgery, there is always a small risk of infection, adverse reactions to anesthesia and unexpected bleeding. Specific risk considerations for eyelid lifts include:
- Alteration of vision (occurrences are extremely rare)
- Abnormal folding of eyelid
- Dry eyes
- Pulling down of the lower eyelid.
Patients should consider the limitations of an eyelid lift. The procedure does not eliminate crow’s feet, wrinkles or dark circles. Nor does a blepharoplasty stop the aging process. A blepharoplasty is often performed in combination with laser resurfacing to achieve comprehensive results.