Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
Atlanta’s Favorite Eyelid Surgeon – Dr. Pradeep Sinha
Eyes are the window to the soul – don’t let them be blocked by droopy and aging lids. Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery operation that is primarily performed for people who are looking for anti-aging treatments. Age, sun exposure, and hereditary factors all contribute to wrinkles, deep lines and puffiness around the eyes. Plus, the aging process can cause unwanted changes in expression, causing us to appear permanently fatigued and older than we really are. These changes in appearance can cause emotional distress and sometimes even visual impairment.
Blepharoplasty corrects defects of the eye lids, such as loose or sagging skin, fatty deposits that appear as puffiness under the eyes, drooping eyelids, or excess skin and wrinkles of the lower lid. While sagging of the skin around the eyes is a natural part of aging, eyelid surgery can restore a more youthful appearance to your eyes, and may involve the upper lids, the lower lids, or both, and according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, blepharoplasty is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries.
- Who is a good candidate for a Blepharoplasty?
- What Can I Expect During My Initial Consultation?
- What Should I Do to Prepare for Eyelid Surgery?
- How is the surgery performed?
- What can be expected post-surgery and during the healing process?
- Are There Risks to Eyelid Surgery?
- What Results Can I Expect After Eyelid Surgery?
- What is the Average Cost of Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)?
- Will my insurance cover Eyelid Surgery?
- Can I Finance My Eyelid Surgery?
Who is a good candidate for a Blepharoplasty?
Individuals who are in overall good health. Individuals who do NOT have serious eye conditions. Non-smokers. People who have a positive outlook and realistic expectations.
Additionally, some people may have vision impairments when looking upwards is blocked by hanging skin. You might be a good candidate for blepharoplasty if your vision is affected by sagging skin.
What Can I Expect During My Initial Consultation?
During your initial eyelid surgery consultation, be prepared to discuss the goals you hope to achieve with eyelid surgery. Additionally, be prepared to discuss with Dr. Sinha any medical conditions you may have, including any drug allergies and problems you have had with your eyes. Also, inform Dr. Sinha of any medications you may take, including vitamins, alcohol, tobacco, and/or drug use. Dr. Sinha will also inquire about any previous surgeries you may have had and their outcomes.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Sinha will also assess your general health and take photographs. He will also discuss your eyelid surgery options, likely outcomes, and any potential risks. Your consultation is the time to ask any questions you may have regarding your eyelid surgery. It is normal to feel some anxiety and stress, and you should not hesitate to discuss these feelings with Dr. Sinha.
During your eyelid surgery consultation, some good questions to ask Dr. Sinha may include:
- Are you certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery?
- Were you specifically trained in the field of plastic surgery?
- How many years of plastic surgery training have you had?
- Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
- What will be expected of me to get the best results?
- Where and how will you perform my procedure?
- How long of a recovery period can I expect, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
- What are the risks and complications associated with my procedure?
- How are complications handled?
- How can I expect my eyes to look over time?
- What are my options if I am dissatisfied with the cosmetic outcome of my eyelid surgery?
- Do you have before-and-after photos I can look at for this procedure and what results are reasonable for me?
What Should I Do to Prepare for Eyelid Surgery?
Dr. Sinha will, more than likely, ask you to stop taking any medications that increases bleeding risks, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) or warfarin. You will also be asked to stop smoking several weeks before your blepharoplasty surgery.
Additionally, this procedure is performed on an outpatient basis at our surgical center; therefore, you will have to arrange for care after the surgery. Someone must drive you home and be available to care for you for the first 24 hours following your eyelid surgery.
Before you have your eyelid surgery, you should prepare for the first few days following your surgery, as your eyelids may be swollen to the point that your ability to perform some activities may be impaired. Consider cooking meals of time, and make sure you have all the items you need so you won’t have to leave home.
Prior to your eyelid surgery, you should have the following items at home:
- Ice cubes
- Ice pack
- Small gauze pads
- Clean washcloths and towels
- Over the counter painkillers (type should be recommended by Dr. Sinha)
- AVOID Advil, Motrin, Naproxen, Aleve, and aspirin due to the increased risk of bleeding.
How is the surgery performed?
Prior to the surgery, a local anesthesia is given around the eyes, and an intravenous line is started so that sedation may also be given. During the procedure you will be awake but comfortable and relaxed. General anesthesia is rarely used.
Upper Blepharoplasty involves identifying the upper eyelid crease on each eyelid and designing a skin excision that removes enough skin to alleviate the issue and preserves enough to allow normal eyelid closure. This eyelid surgery focuses primarily on the removal of excess skin, fat, and muscle that falls over the natural crease of the eye, creating a hooded appearance.
Aesthetically, it is performed to improve the presence of the eye, creating a more rounded look. It is also the most common for medical needs to restore the function of the lid by removing excess skin that may be impairing a patient’s vision. When the procedure is complete, the eyelid is closed with sutures. The incision should lie in the eyelid crease, making it less visible after healing.
Lower eyelid surgery can involve skin incisions directly below the lash line or an incision on the inside of the eyelid, called a transconjunctival approach. The transconjunctival approach allows for access to the eyelid without visible incisions and corrects sagging and puffy under eye bags.
When surgically removed, wrinkles and fine lines can be eliminated and provide a more youthful and healthy appearance.
An eyelift usually takes about two hours if both upper and lower eyelids are done together. If you are having upper and lower eyelid surgery, the upper eyelids are usually addressed first. For upper eyelid blepharoplasty, an incision is made in the crease of the upper lid toward the temples. After the incision heals, it is not noticeable when the eye is open. On the lower lid, the incision is made along the lash line toward the temples. The lower lid incision is hidden by lashes when healed.
What can be expected post-surgery and during the healing process?
Complications are unlikely when performed by a surgeon with experience, such as Dr. Sinha. However, the area surrounding the eyes will be swollen following the surgery, but it should begin to subside after the first day, and some vision blurring is normal. Stitches will be removed in 4-5 days. Swelling and bruising may persist for about 10 days, but you can begin wearing makeup to help conceal these concerns. You may expect to resume normal activity within a week to 10 days and enjoying your new look within approximately 10-14 days. In some cases, it may take about six months for scars to lose their redness. Wrinkling will recur later in life, but it is unlikely the “bags” will reappear since the fat has been removed. Deeper wrinkles around the outer eye are not greatly affected by an eyelid lift. Deeper wrinkles around the outer eye may be treated with laser resurfacing.
In the days immediately following your eyelid surgery, you may temporarily experience:
- Blurred vision from the lubricating ointment applied to your eyes
- Watering eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Double vision
- Puffy, numb eyelids
- Swelling and bruising similar to having a black eye
- Pain or discomfort
Recovery from blepharoplasty is relatively short compared with other types of surgeries. After your procedure you will be moved to a recovery room where you will be monitored for side effects. Unless there are any complications, you’ll go home the same day. Following eyelid surgery, it is important to rest for a few days. You may experience some swelling and pain, but Dr. Sinha will recommend an over the counter pain medication to relieve these symptoms. It can take a week or two for these symptoms to fully go away, and Dr. Sinha may also recommend ice packs for the first couple of days following your surgery.
Dr. Sinha may also recommend the following steps after your eyelid surgery:
- Use ice packs on your eyes for 10 minutes every hour the night after surgery. The day after your surgery use ice packs on your eyes four to five times throughout the day.
- Gently clean your eyelids and use prescribed eyedrops or ointments.
- Avoid straining, heavy lifting and swimming for a week.
- Avoid strenuous activities, such as aerobics and jogging, for a week.
- Avoid smoking.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes.
- If you use contact lenses, don’t put them in for about two weeks after surgery.
- Wear darkly tinted sunglasses to protect the skin of your eyelids from sun and wind.
- Sleep with your head raised higher than your chest for a few days.
- Apply cool compresses to reduce swelling.
A few days after your procedure, you will see Dr. Sinha again for evaluation and to remove any stitches as necessary.
Are There Risks to Eyelid Surgery?
Eyelid surgery is an extremely personal choice, and you will have to weigh the potential benefits in achieving your goals along with the risks and possible complications of eyelid surgery. Only you can make the decision for yourself. Some possible eyelid surgery risks include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Swelling and bruising
- Bleeding from the incision lines
- Dryness to the eyes
- Sensitivity to sun or other bright light
- Difficulty closing your eyes
- Temporary or even permanent change in vision.
- Changes in skin sensation or numbness of the eyelashes
- Possible need for revision surgery
- Unfavorable scarring
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with Dr. Sinha.
You should seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- An unusual heart rate
- Severe new eye pain
What Results Can I Expect After Eyelid Surgery?
The results of eyelid surgery are long-lasting. While eyelid surgery can be expected to correct certain conditions permanently, you will continue to age naturally.
Ongoing sun protection will help to maintain your results. Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary. Following the post-operative instructions given to you by Dr. Sinha is essential to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions not be subjected to excessive force, abrasion or motion during the time of healing.
Blepharoplasty Before and After
What is the Average Cost of Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)?
The cost of blepharoplasty surgery varies. This surgery cost is only part of the total price. This average cost does not include the cost of anaesthesia, operating room facilities, testing, or medical prescriptions.
Bear in mind, a surgeon’s fee is based on his or her experience. Remember, your trust and comfort with your board-certified plastic surgeon is just as important as the final cost of the surgery.
Will my insurance cover Eyelid Surgery?
Health insurance typically does not cover cosmetic procedures; however, your insurance company may pay for a portion of, or all, the cost of surgery if the procedure is performed as a result of visual impairment. Because every insurance carrier is different, it is recommended that you check with your own insurance company to determine the level of coverage.
Can I Finance My Eyelid Surgery?
Most cosmetic providers choose to avoid getting involved in the financial aspect of the procedure and rely on third party financing. Even if your credit is less than stellar and you think you won’t qualify for a personal loan, you might be surprised. While cosmetic surgery is expensive, don’t let that scare you away. Lending requirements are more lenient than ever before, and with research and diligence, you can prepare for that cosmetic surgery of your dreams.
The importance of appearance is reflected by the fact that millions of facial cosmetic surgeries, or other non-surgical cosmetic procedures, are performed every year, and as our society grows increasingly older, more and more people are turning to cosmetic treatments. As an internationally acclaimed, board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Pradeep Sinha merges his highly developed aesthetic sensibility with his highly honed skills as a surgeon to make you the best you can be. Contact Dr. Sinha today to schedule your confidential consultation.