Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) by Women Surgeons
As people age, skin loses its elasticity and muscle loses tone. The effects can be especially noticeable with the delicate skin around the eyes, and it can result in droopy, saggy eyelids, as well as the accumulation of small amounts of fat. The outcome is a tired appearance, or in looking older than your years. In some cases, upper eyelids may droop so much that they impair vision; this is a condition known as ptosis.
An eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, from your female plastic surgeon can restore a youthful, refreshed appearance to your eyes, and correct eyelid drooping to allow for unimpeded vision.
The process of an eyelid lift begins with a consultation. You’ll discuss surgical possibilities with your female plastic surgeon regarding what can and can’t be corrected, how the procedure will be done, preparation for the surgery, care afterward, and also realistic expectations for healing times and your postoperative appearance. You’ll also need to discuss any health conditions you have, as well as medications you currently take.
Potential blepharoplasty patients should ask questions about the surgeon’s credentials and experience, as well as questions about the procedure, risks and recovery. Don’t feel shy about addressing any concerns; surgery of any kind is not to be taken lightly. You should also be able to see before-and-after photos of other patients. Not all photos will relate to each individual’s own condition, but similar examples are likely.
Eyelid surgery is typically performed on an outpatient basis. While general anesthesia may be used, most often only a local anesthesia is needed to numb the eye area, along with some sedation to relax you and make you more comfortable. Be sure to discuss anesthesia procedures and recovery with your female plastic surgeon. The surgery may be performed in the doctor’s own office surgical-suite, in an outpatient surgery facility or in a hospital, and usually takes one to three hours, depending on how much needs to be done.
For lower eyelids, incisions are made beneath the lash line. Excess skin and fat are removed, and tiny stitches are made to close the incision. If you’re only having fat removed, the procedure may be done from inside the lower eyelid. This is called transconjunctival blepharoplasty, and it leaves no visible scars.
Upper eyelids may require slightly more extensive work to correct drooping, and to remove excess skin and fat. The tissue is removed through incisions in the natural crease of the upper eye. Stitches, skin adhesives or surgical tape may be used to close the incisions.
After surgery, you’ll spend some time in a recovery area to ensure there are no complications, and then you’ll be able to recover at home. You’ll receive instructions for caring for your eyes, and someone should stay with you for the first night. During the first few days you might experience sensitivity to light, dry eyes, blurry vision, bruising and swelling.
Over-the-counter medications are usually enough to manage any pain, although you should avoid aspirin and NSAIDs, like ibuprofen, that can sometimes cause bleeding. You may receive special drops to sooth your eyes, and you should avoid all forms of eye strain for a period of time, according to your instructions. It’s also important to avoid sun exposure, and strain caused by strenuous activity or lifting heavy objects.
If you received stitches, they will generally be removed within a week after surgery. Swelling and bruising may last a little longer, but will gradually lessen, and are usually better within two weeks. Women should avoid wearing eye makeup at least until after stitches are removed, and longer if recommended. Consult your surgeon about when it’s safe to wear contact lenses; typically this occurs within a week to 10 days. Incisions will look red at first, but will fade in time.
As with every surgery, there are risks involved. Usually these are minor, and your female plastic surgeon will take the utmost care to diminish risks and keep you safe.
If you receive eyelid surgery to improve your vision, your medical insurance may pay for the cost. If you’re having other procedures done at the same time, it will only pay for ptosis-specific costs. Surgery for cosmetic reasons alone is not covered. If related procedures are done at the same time, such as brow lift, face lift, laser resurfacing or chemical peels, costs related to facility use or surgeon’s fees may be lower than if each procedure is done separately. You may be able to arrange a payment plan to cover costs.