Blepharoplasty BWM Version
Blepharoplasty is a common type of surgery for patients who want to address loose skin and puffiness around their eyes. This surgery can be performed on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. It is usually performed for cosmetic purposes, but can have certain functional benefits as well.
What is a Blepharoplasty?
A blepharoplasty is a type of surgery that corrects droopy or puffy eyelids by removing extra skin, muscle or fat. With time and age, eyelid tissue stretches, loosens and drops. As a result, skin can fold back on itself and fat can bulge forward causing a puffy, tired and more aged appearance. The good news is that surgical correction of these changes in the upper eyelids can often be performed in a 30-minute office procedure resulting in a refreshed, more youthful appearance while maintaining a very natural look. Patients often find their friends notice they look more youthful but cannot pinpoint why. Despite being a relatively short procedure, understanding how to achieve the desired cosmetic result is complex. Incision placement and understanding how much of which tissue to take and from where are all nuanced surgical decisions best performed by someone who specializes in rejuvenating the eyelid region.
What Are The Benefits of a Blepharoplasty?
Excess skin in the upper eyelids can cause redundant folds sometimes referred to as “hooding.” These folds give a more aged, tired and sometimes angry appearance. Elimination of this extra skin with upper eyelid blepharoplasty surgery opens up the appearance of your eyes, making you look younger, friendlier and more alert. Patients often also feel that their eyelids are less “heavy.”
Under eye bags similarly make people look tired, older and sometimes sad. Lower eyelid blepharoplasty removes the under eye bags, resulting in a more rested and younger appearance.
Who Can Perform a Blepharoplasty?
The Oculoplastic Surgery subspecialty focuses on cosmetic and reconstructive aspects of the eyelids and face, along with disorders of the lacrimal (tearing) system and orbit (the bony cavity surrounding the eye). Oculoplastic surgeons spend the first three years of training in ophthalmology mastering the care of the eye and surrounding tissues, then spend an additional two years concentrating on plastic surgery techniques involving the full face. This combination of training allows oculoplastic surgeons to maximize aesthetic results while always assuring the health and safety of the eyes. Most would agree that the eyes are the center of focus on the face, and no other type of cosmetic surgeon has as much experience in rejuvenating the eyes and surrounding areas.
Dr. Callahan is board certified in Ophthalmology and fellowship trained and certified in oculoplastic surgery by the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS). ASOPRS requires members to first complete a two-year approved fellowship training program then pass written and oral board examinations in addition to writing a scientific thesis on original research. Only 20-30 such surgeons are trained each year and only approximately 700 members worldwide have passed all criteria and are certified in this field.
How To Prepare For Blepharoplasty:
Before blepharoplasty surgery, it is important that you meet with a plastic surgeon specializing in this sensitive area for a consultation. Oculofacial plastic surgeons like Dr. Callahan have the experience and training to understand how the eyelids can affect the eyes, and how to get you the best cosmetic result while protecting your vision.
During the consultation process, your surgeon will identify if blepharoplasty is right for you and guide you through the surgical process and its recovery. Before your procedure, you may be asked to stop smoking, take certain medications, and adjust medications and/or supplements that thin the blood. This can help prevent bleeding and bruising.
What Are The Steps of Blepharoplasty?
Your surgeon will recommend the best type of anesthetic for you and your procedure. Upper eyelid blepharoplasty is often an in-office procedure. Lower eyelid blepharoplasty is usually performed in an operating room under either intravenous (IV) sedation or general anesthesia.
Blepharoplasty Post-Care & Recovery
After the procedure, results will appear gradually. It is common for bruising and swelling to increase over the few days after the procedure. Cold compresses over this time period help to minimize these, though it can still take several weeks for bruising to completely resolve. As the bruising and swelling go down, you will begin to notice a smoother, better-defined eyelid. Incisions will continue to fade even beyond this time point.
During your recovery, you should avoid any strenuous activity for 1 week. You may be prescribed an antibiotic drop or ointment to use on the incisions or in the eye. The eyelids and eyes can be itchy and irritated as they heal. You may also use artificial tears (lubricating drops) for comfort. It is important that you avoid rubbing your eyes. You may shower, but avoid water directly to the area and pat the area dry. The eyes do not need to be patched and it is fine to use your eyes for activities like reading or watching TV while you recover.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Blepharoplasty
Ideal patients for blepharoplasty are those who suffer from droopy or sagging eyelids. Many patients seek this treatment for cosmetic reasons, while other patients may seek it because of impaired peripheral vision caused by issues with their eyelids.
Most patients do not get blepharoplasty until they are at least 30 but there is no real age requirement. Generally speaking, cosmetic surgeons would recommend waiting until you are at least 18. However, choosing to get blepharoplasty is not based on age, but on the appearance of your eyelids.
The cost for blepharoplasty can vary based on the type of surgery you are getting (upper lid, lower lid, both lids), as well as where you are going to get the surgery. The fee for your surgery will be discussed with you during a consultation.
Your eyelids may be swollen and/or bruised for up to 3 weeks after your surgery. The appearance of your eye may continue to get better over the first few months after your procedure.
Many patients feel ready to return to work after 10-14 days after their surgery. Although this may depend on the nature of your job and how your personal recovery and healing process goes.
It is generally recommended to wait a full two weeks after your surgery before using any type of eye makeup like mascara or eye-liner. However, this may differ based on how your eyes have healed after surgery.