Droopy, baggy eyelids with excess skin can give the face an aged, tired appearance and may even impair vision.
Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that corrects these problems by removing excess fat, muscle and skin from the upper and lower lids.
Dr. Wyatt C. To of The Cosmetic & Skin Surgery Center emphasizes careful pre-operative aesthetic analysis to plan the precise amount and location of fat excision and placement of skin incisions in order to obtain an attractive and natural appearing result.
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What sort of pre-operative evaluation is necessary?
Aside from the routine medical clearance from the patient’s primary care doctor and standard laboratory tests, evaluation of vision and eye health by the patient’s ophthalmologist is necessary. It is also necessary for patients to avoid certain medications, asprin, herbal remedies and alcohol for the 10 days prior to surgery.
What sort of anesthesia is used?
Blepharoplasty alone is typically done with local anesthetic with or without intra-venous sedation. General anesthesia may occasionally be used as dictated by patient preference. Patient safety and comfort is the primary consideration, so be sure to discuss this issue with Dr. To.
Where are the incisions for Blepharoplasty placed?
For the upper lid, the incisions are made within the individual lines and creases so that the scars will be more effectively concealed within the natural folds. For the lower lid, excess fat is typically removed through a transconjunctival approach, where the incision is made inside the lower eyelid, an incision that cannot be seen from the outside. Excess skin may be excised directly, keeping the scar running in the pre-existing lines and creases. The incisions are closed with very fine sutures which are removed 3-5 days after surgery to optimize healing and minimize scar thickness.
How long does Blepharoplasty last?
Excess fat removed from the lids typically does not return, however the skin continues to age and stretch naturally. A secondary procedure is usually not necessary.
What is the typical post-operative course for Blepharoplasty surgery?
After surgery, patients are typically allowed to return home for recovery. Cool compresses are used to decrease swelling and discomfort. Sutures are removed 3-5 days after surgery and cosmetic tape applied at that time. Pain is usually minimal and patients usually return to work a few days after surgery. Some degree of bruising around the eyes and swelling of the tissues can be expected.
What are the limitations of Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty cannot raise sagging eyebrows, nor can it remove dark circles, fine lines or wrinkles around the eyes. Additional complementary procedures may be necessary to achieve maximal results.
Is Blepharoplasty covered by insurance?
Surgery that is done for purely cosmetic reasons are typically not covered by insurance, however if blepharoplasty is required for visual field restrictions, i.e. skin from the lids is interfering with vision, insurance may cover a portion of the cost.