Frequently Asked Questions
Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
Q. What is a blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid surgery, is a surgical procedure which involves the removal of excess fat, skin and muscle of the eyelids. It is performed in order to correct droopiness of the upper eyelids and puffiness or bags of the lower eyelids. The surgery can be perfomed in many different ways depending on the problem that needs to be corrected. Discuss your concerns with Dr. Sandel and he can explain the differences of each technique. This procedure is commonly performed on both the upper and lower eyelids but may be performed independently.
Q. Who is the best candidate for blepharoplasty?
Good candidates for blepharoplasty include men and women who are interested in improving the appearance of their eyes. Your eyes can say a lot about you, your health, and your well being. Commonly patients wish to look less tired. Patients with excessive upper eyelid fullness and/or skin are excellent candidates. Also, those with puffiness of the lower eyelids, redundant folds of skin, and hollowness of the tear trough are also excellent candidates. All patients should be physically healthy and have realistic goals and expectations.
Q. What can I expect during a consultation for blepharoplasty?
You will meet with Dr. Sandel for the consultation. During the consultation for blepharoplasty, our surgeon will discuss your goals and expectations, take a thorough medical history. He or she should also explain all details of the surgery including the technique, the anesthesia, the facility, the costs and the risks.
Q. Where is blepharoplasty surgery performed?
Blepharoplasty is usually performed in an outpatient surgery center under mild sedation. It can also be performed in the office under local anesthesia in certain circumstances.
Q. What type of anesthesia is used for blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty may be performed with either local anesthesia and sedation or with general anesthesia.
Q. How is a blepharoplasty performed?
There are many techniques for upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty. The upper lid is relatively straightforward. Skin is removed after measuring the proper location of the upper eyelid crease. It is important to be conservative and not take too much skin. The fat pockets are then identified and removed. If you have a drooping upper eyelid border (not skin) then the muscle that pulls the eyelid open may need to be tightened.
The lower eyelid is a little more complicated. Under rare circumstances an incision is made behind the eyelid and fat is taken out of the eyelid. With this technique the skin and muscle are not lifted. This is not appropriate for someone with extensive lower eyelid bads or festoons.
Most of the time a small incision is made just beneath the lower eyelid lash line. This allows fat to be removed in a very precise manner. Also, if there is hollowness between the eyelid and the nose, this fat may be transposed into this location. This is an excellent technique to take fat out of the eyelid and fill the groove sometimes called the tear trough. It can also make the upper cheek look more full. Next, the skin and muscle layer are tightened and supported. Excess skin is removed and redundant fat is excised. Very small sutures are used to close the incision.
Q. How long does it take to perform a blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty typically takes between one and two hours to complete.
Q. Are there scars after blepharoplasty?
The incisions made during blepharoplasty will result in minimal scars, though they tend to be well-concealed. They are made in the fold of the upper eyelid or in the inside of the lower eyelid. While the scars may appear slightly pink at first, they will fade to a thin, nearly invisible white line within a few months.
Q. Is blepharoplasty a painful procedure?
Some tightness and soreness of the eyelids can occur, but pain medication can be prescribed to help control any discomfort that patients experience.
Q. What is the recovery like after blepharoplasty?
Patients may experience some tightness or soreness of the eyelids right after surgery which can be controlled with prescription medication. In addition, some dryness, itchiness, burning, excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, and blurred or double vision can occur during the first week. To help reduce swelling and bruising, it’s best to keep the head elevated as much as possible and to use cold compresses during the first few days. Bruising may take anywhere from ten days to two weeks to fully fade. Sutures are usually removed within 7 days, while reading may be resumed within two to three days. Patients who wear contact lenses may do so after two or more weeks. Patients can typically return to work within seven to ten days, though more strenuous activities and alcohol consumption should be avoided for about two to three weeks.
Q. Will I be able to drive myself home after my blepharoplasty procedure?
It’s best to make preparations for someone to drive you home after your surgery.
Q. Will I need someone to help me out at home after my blepharoplasty procedure?
It’s best to make preparations for someone to help you out for the first day or two after surgery.
Q. How much time will I need to take off from work after undergoing blepharoplasty?
Most patients find that they can return to work and most other normal activities within seven to ten days.
Q. When can I exercise after undergoing blepharoplasty?
Vigorous exercise, strenuous activities and alcohol consumption should be postponed for about three weeks.
Q. What are the risks or complications that can occur with blepharoplasty?
Some of the potential complications associated with blepharoplasty are as follows: bleeding, difficulty in completely closing the eyes, dry eyes, infection, pulling down of the lower lids, slight asymmetry in healing or scarring, swelling at the corners of the eyelids, temporary blurred or double vision, and whiteheads.
Q. Does insurance ever cover the cost of blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty procedure performed solely for cosmetic purposes are typically not covered by insurance. However, some degree of coverage may be available in cases where drooping of the upper lids interferes with vision.
Q. Is it possible to get financing for a cosmetic procedure?
Financing is available for many plastic surgery procedures.
- Facelift & Midface Lifts
- Forehead & Brow Lift
- Lip Augmentation
- Skin Cancer Diagnosis
- Neck & Jawline Liposuction
- Chin Augmentation
- Skin Resurfacing
- Scar Revisions
- Reconstruction and Trauma
- Botox® & Dysport™
- Belotero Balance®, Juvéderm™, Restylane®, Perlane®, Radiesse® and Sculptra™
- Eyelid Rejuvination
- Laser Skin Treatments
- Laser Hair Removal