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The eyes are among the most telling indications of one’s emotions and age, giving them an enormous impact on a person’s overall appearance. Unfortunately, the skin surrounding the contours of the eyes is much more thin and delicate than the rest of the face. The eyes also have less internal support than other facial structures and produce fewer oil glands. These anatomical differences are exacerbated by genetics, sun damage, exhaustion, exercise, and stress, often making the eyes one of the first features to reveal signs of facial aging. All of these factors contribute to why a range of people—younger and older patients alike—can benefit from eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty).

What is Blepharoplasty?

Eyelid surgery, which is commonly referred to as “blepharoplasty,” is designed to smooth bags, puffiness, and excess skin around the eyes to produce a more youthful look. Signs of aging can be reduced to create a more rested and energetic appearance, while “hooding” of the upper eyelids—in which lax skin above the eyes sags into your line of vision—can be corrected. Eyelid surgery has grown tremendously in popularity as men and women realize how small improvements in the eyes can create a powerful result and achieve a more youthful appearance. Depending on your desired look, eyelid surgery may involve removing excess skin, tightening skin laxity, repositioning pockets of fat, or some combination of all these techniques. With this procedure, plastic surgeon Dr. Scott Miller can improve telltale signs of exhaustion and age in the eyes and provide naturally beautiful results.

What are the Benefits of Eyelid Surgery?

When performed correctly, blepharoplasty can enhance the contour of the eyelids without producing an “overdone” look, achieving beautiful rejuvenation of the area around the eyes. Blepharoplasty is often used to:

Yielding results that look elegant and natural, Dr. Miller takes great care to place incisions discreetly within the lower lash line or along the natural crease of the eyelid.

Candidates for Eyelid Surgery

Ideal candidates for eyelid surgery typically exhibit:

These characteristics often make a person seem older than they actually are, or constantly tired and stressed. If you wish to invigorate your appearance, eyelid surgery can serve as a solution to rejuvenate and refresh the eyes. A consultation with Dr. Miller can help you learn whether eyelid surgery is an ideal treatment for your cosmetic goals.

The Consultation Process

During your consultation, Dr. Scott Miller will perform a physical examination of your eyelids and facial structure to determine if you are a good candidate for eyelid surgery. Dr. Miller will also review your medical history and discuss any pre-existing ophthalmologic conditions you may have (including glaucoma or dry eye). If you are a good candidate for eyelid surgery, Dr. Miller will thoroughly discuss your expectations and then design a customized treatment plan around your unique needs and reasons for surgery.

How is the Eyelid Surgery Procedure Performed?

Eyelid surgery can either be performed on the upper eyelids, the lower eyelids, or both, depending on your particular needs. During the consultation process, Dr. Miller will recommend a treatment plan that can best address your concerns. Eyelid surgery typically takes one to two hours to complete; however, this will depend on the individual treatment plan. In some cases, Dr. Miller may recommend combining eyelid surgery with an additional procedure to achieve the patient’s overall goals. For example, a brow lift (forehead lift) can be performed to minimize signs of forehead wrinkles and raise sagging eyebrows.

Non-surgical cosmetic enhancement procedures like our facial filler treatments can also be excellent complements to eyelid surgery.

Upper Eyelid Surgery

Upper eyelid blepharoplasty is designed to eliminate excess skin over the eyes and correct the “hooding” effect that can result from sagging tissue. In addition, fine lines and wrinkles can be smoothed for a more youthful appearance. During surgery, an incision is typically made along the crease of the upper eyelid to conceal any scarring. Excess skin is excised and any pockets of fat are reshaped or removed.

Lower Eyelid Surgery

On the lower eyelids, this surgery is designed to tighten sagging skin, reduce excess fat bulging beneath the eyelids, and diminish the appearance of dark circles. During surgery, an incision is usually made below the rim of the lower eyelashes, which can conceal the incision line after the healing process is complete. Excess skin is excised, pockets of fat are reshaped or redistributed to fill hollow tear troughs, and the skin of the lower lids is tightened to resolve laxity.

What is Recovery From Eyelid Surgery Like?

During the recovery period, most patients are up and around within two days and ready to return to work after 7 to 10 days. Those who have laborious or physically demanding jobs may need to wait longer before it’s safe to return to work again. Sutures are usually removed after one week. Following surgery, soreness can be controlled by medication and cold compresses, which can also limit swelling and bruising. Occasionally, patients may experience excessive tearing or light sensitivity. This usually responds to eye drops and should not last long.

What Results Can I Expect From Blepharoplasty?

Those who have had eyelid surgery appear more energetic and refreshed, often being asked by friends and family if they have just been on vacation or started a new health regimen. For those whose sagging eyelids were limiting their vision, eyelid surgery can provide a widened view of the world. This treatment allows for a more relaxed, alert, and youthful appearance for many individuals. It’s not uncommon for patients to be amazed at how smoothing the eyelid contours can lead to such a dramatic improvement in one’s appearance and confidence. While the aging process will continue, results achieved from blepharoplasty can be very long-lasting and typically do not require retreatment.

What Will My Blepharoplasty Scars Look Like?

Scars from eyelid surgery often have the advantage of easily blending into areas of natural anatomic transition around the eye. For example, an incision placed along the crease of the upper eyelid typically allows any scarring to be imperceptible to outside observers. These scars also usually fade to some degree as they heal, further disguising their appearance over time. In cases of lower eyelid surgery, the scar can be even more inconspicuous, as it is often located just below the lash line. Dr. Miller will examine your concerns and show you exactly where your blepharoplasty scars are most likely to appear. Fortunately, the issue of scarring is rarely a concern for our patients thanks to Dr. Miller’s meticulous surgical technique.

How Much Does Blepharoplasty Cost?

The price of eyelid surgery generally depends on many factors unique to your treatment plan, such as the extent of your concerns, whether upper and/or lower eyelid surgery is being pursued, and the surgical technique necessary to achieve your goals. In any case, our Patient Care Coordinator will be able to provide you with a personalized quote of your expenses once Dr. Miller evaluates your needs in a consultation.

If you prefer to pay for your blepharoplasty procedure in installments rather than a lump sum, our practice accepts plastic surgery financing from CareCredit®. This widely used healthcare lending company can make it easier to pay for out-of-pocket treatment costs by offering qualified applicants a variety of low- to no-interest payment plans. Approved patients can simply choose the arrangement that suits their budget most ideally, thereby making any expenses from eyelid surgery more manageable. If you have any questions about our accepted payment methods, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our team today.

Is Non-Surgical Blepharoplasty Possible?

There is currently no non-surgical treatment that can achieve the same quality of results as blepharoplasty. However, if you would like to refresh the upper third of the face and achieve a more youthful look around the eyes, you may benefit from treatment with BOTOX® Cosmetic. This minimally invasive injectable can be an excellent way to smooth forehead creases, frown lines between the eyebrows, and crow’s feet that line the corners of the eyes. While BOTOX® Cosmetic is not designed to treat lax eyelid skin, it can be used to help smooth expression lines and reduce some signs of facial aging without the need for downtime. Dr. Miller can listen to your aesthetic goals in a consultation and suggest the most appropriate treatment options to address your concerns.

What are the Risks of Blepharoplasty?

Like all surgical procedures, blepharoplasty comes with a chance of potential complications during or after the procedure. The risk of serious side effects is very low for patients who are good surgical candidates, who closely follow post-operative instructions, and who are under the care of a qualified, reputable plastic surgeon. Nevertheless, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) outlines the following as risks of blepharoplasty:

The safety of our patients is paramount at Miller Cosmetic Surgery, and Dr. Miller will discuss all of the risks, benefits, and limitations associated with eyelid surgery so you gain a full understanding of the procedure. Ensuring your blepharoplasty provider has the training and experience of a board-certified, fellowship-trained plastic surgeon is the most effective way to minimize surgical risks. We take great pride in providing our patients with optimal outcomes and the highest standard of care possible. 

Will Eyelid Surgery Affect My Vision?

Eyelid surgery has been known to improve vision issues related to excess skin obscuring a patient’s eyesight, which is one of the primary reasons why men and women consider the procedure. If eyelid skin is blocking part of your vision, blepharoplasty can help. 

Temporary vision changes immediately after eyelid surgery are also normal and shouldn’t be a cause for alarm. Feelings of dryness, itchiness, tightness, or soreness in the eyes may occur and should subside naturally as your eyes heal. Blurry vision for a few days after the procedure is also common. Be sure to follow Dr. Miller’s aftercare instructions regarding medications and eye drops to help facilitate the healing process. We understand that the initial recovery period after blepharoplasty can be disconcerting, but it is very important to avoid using your eyes for TV, email, or scrolling on a mobile device. You must also keep the area clean and avoid rubbing your eyes until your incisions fully heal. 

Additional Blepharoplasty FAQs

What is transconjunctival blepharoplasty?

The transconjunctival procedure refers to an eyelid surgery technique that uses a small internal incision to smooth eye bags and puffiness in the lower eyelid. Under-eye bags can develop for genetic or age-related reasons as the fat pockets around the eyelid begin to bulge forward. Transconjunctival blepharoplasty can reposition this fat to reduce an aged or fatigued look, thereby providing you with a more energetic aesthetic. Since the incision is made on the inside of the eyelid, the procedure should not leave external scars.

How long after eyelid surgery should I wait before I wear makeup?

You should wait to apply makeup for at least two weeks after surgery, or until your incisions are fully healed. Putting on makeup before it is safe to do so can expose your incisions to dirt, bacteria, and other impurities that increase the risk of infection. Dr. Miller will let you know when you can resume makeup application based on the progress of your healing. Once you can safely use makeup again, we recommend replacing your old products with new cosmetics to lower the chance of bacteria buildup.

How can I reduce swelling after blepharoplasty?

Swelling after surgery can be reduced by limiting activity, using bandages or compresses as directed, and not smoking. Over-the-counter pain medication can also temporarily alleviate discomfort from post-surgical swelling and/or bruising. While the majority of swelling should resolve within the first two weeks, mild inflammation may linger for as long as a couple of months.

When can I wear contacts after eyelid surgery?

If you wear contacts, Dr. Miller will instruct you to switch to eyeglasses for at least two weeks after surgery. This is required to limit tension on your incisions and prevent twisting and tugging of the skin.

What’s the difference between eyelid surgery and ptosis repair?

Eyelid surgery is largely considered a cosmetic procedure while ptosis repair is performed to correct a medical condition. Patients experience ptosis when their levator muscles (the muscles that support the upper eyelids) stretch or separate and are no longer able to fully uphold the eyelids. As a result, the upper lid can sag and cover the eye, often conveying a tired expression on top of obstructing one’s line of sight. Ptosis repair is a medical procedure designed to tighten the levator muscles and treat this condition. Blepharoplasty, on the other hand, is performed to improve aesthetic concerns.

Will insurance cover eyelid surgery? 

Though insurance doesn’t cover most cosmetic procedures, many patients look to our reputable financing options to help manage the costs of blepharoplasty. If you’re considering the procedure to correct hooding and restore the full range of your vision, however, eyelid surgery may be deemed a medical necessity by some insurance companies. We encourage you to reach out to your doctor and insurance provider to learn whether you may qualify for full or partial coverage. At Miller Cosmetic Surgery, we do not accept any insurance payments. Qualified patients can coordinate for direct reimbursement from their insurance company.

How long do the results from blepharoplasty last? 

Eyelid surgery results typically last at least 10 to 15 years or longer depending on your genetics and lifestyle factors such as how well you take care of your skin, whether you smoke, and how often you use sun protection. The skin will continue to lose elasticity over time, so preventative skincare is essential. High-quality skincare products and non-surgical skin rejuvenation treatments can often help you maintain the outcome of your blepharoplasty. While nothing will stop the natural aging process, eyelid surgery can be an excellent procedure to help you age more gracefully. 

Can eyelid surgery repair a lazy eye?

Unfortunately, “lazy eye” is an ophthalmological condition that is not caused by loose, excess skin; therefore, the vision issues that result in a lazy eye cannot be corrected with eyelid surgery. Since blepharoplasty is only meant to improve cosmetic concerns, such as puffiness and dark circles, the procedure would not help individuals with a lazy eye. 

Does eyelid surgery for men differ from blepharoplasty for women?

While surgical techniques are generally the same for both male and female patients, Dr. Miller always considers the anatomical differences and desires of each person when performing any procedure. Distinctions in skin thickness, facial contours, and ideals of beauty exist between men and women, and Dr. Miller will take these factors into account during your blepharoplasty. This personalized approach allows him to achieve results that look natural and harmonious with the unique character of your face. 

What is functional blepharoplasty?

“Functional blepharoplasty” simply refers to an eyelid surgery procedure that removes excess skin in order to improve visual function. “Hooding” and puffiness of the upper eyelids can sometimes obstruct the eyes, causing patients to lose the full range of their sight. Blepharoplasty can help restore the entire scope of vision by removing/repositioning excess tissue.   

For more information on the eyelid surgery procedure, please contact our office today.