Eyelid Lift Surgery
Most people think of eyelid lift surgery, or blepharoplasty, as a cosmetic procedure. However, for many patients blepharoplasty also provides significant functional benefits by expanding a field of vision that has become obstructed by excess, droopy skin from the upper eyelids (a medical condition called ptosis).
If you have visual impairment and/or cosmetic concerns caused by sagging eyelids, our oculoplastic surgeons at CVP Physicians Dayton are uniquely qualified to solve them. Dr. Walter Hartel and Dr. Jonathan Pargament have an in-depth understanding of the complex structures and delicate tissues of the eyes and surrounding areas. This allows them to improve eyelid function and achieve results that look natural.
What is Blepharoplasty?
The eyelids often show the first signs of facial aging, because the very thin skin in this area is among the first to lose elasticity. For many people, this begins a progression of sagging, drooping, and puffiness affecting both the upper and lower eyelids. Not only can this cause a person to look older and more fatigued, but excess skin on the eyelids may also interfere with vision. During blepharoplasty, the muscles of the eyelids are tightened and excess skin is removed to improve visual function and/or cosmetic appearance.1
Benefits of Eyelid Lift Surgery
Eyelid lift surgery offers a number of functional and cosmetic benefits, including:
- Expanded visual field
- Reduced wrinkles around the eyes
- Enhanced definition of upper eyelid crease
- Reduced fatty tissue and puffiness
- Smoother, tighter eyelid skin
- A more refreshed, alert, and youthful appearance
For patients who desire more comprehensive facial rejuvenation, our physicians can combine eyelid lift surgery with a forehead or eyebrow lift or dermal fillers.
Eyelid Lift Surgery: What to Expect
Preparing for Eyelid Lift Surgery
Before eyelid lift surgery, you will attend an examination and personal consultation with your surgeon. At this time, you will be able to candidly discuss your goals, decide on the best treatment plan for you, and learn more about the procedure itself.
When preparing for blepharoplasty, it is important that you inform your doctor of any medical conditions you have including a history of eye problems, as well as all medications you use (over-the-counter as well as prescription).
The Blepharoplasty Procedure
Eyelid lift surgery is performed on an outpatient basis. You will be given anesthetic medication to ensure you remain relaxed and comfortable for the duration of your blepharoplasty procedure.
To begin the eyelid lift procedure, your surgeon will make a small incision that is well-hidden in the natural crease of the upper eyelid. Eyelid muscles will be tightened, and excess skin and fat deposits will be removed. Another incision may be made to the lower eyelid area, where it will be hidden beneath the lower lash line. Again, excess skin and fat will be removed.
Once your surgeon is satisfied with the results, the eyelid lift incisions will be meticulously sutured in order to reduce any visible scarring.
Recovery after Eyelid Lift Surgery
After eyelid lift surgery, you can expect to experience some discomfort, swelling, and bruising. This is easily managed with medication prescribed by your surgeon and will resolve significantly within a few days and completely within two weeks. You may be encouraged to sleep in a reclining chair or with multiple pillows to keep your head in a slightly upright position, as this will help decrease swelling.
Most patients return to work roughly one week after undergoing eyelid lift surgery, though you’ll need to wait a bit longer to return to exercise or other more physical activities.
Frequently Asked Questions About Blepharoplasty
Who is a candidate for eyelid lift surgery?
If you are troubled by excess drooping or sagging skin around your eyes or wish to rejuvenate your facial appearance, you may have considered eyelid lift surgery. Good candidates for blepharoplasty are in good overall health and have realistic expectations for the procedure’s outcome.
Certain conditions may impact a person’s candidacy for eyelid lift surgery, including:
- Thyroid disorders
- Dry eye syndrome
- Detached retina
- Cardiovascular disease
- High blood pressure
The best way to determine whether you are a good candidate for blepharoplasty is to discuss your goals and medical history with a doctor you trust.2
Will my insurance cover eyelid lift surgery?
When performed solely for cosmetic reasons, blepharoplasty is considered to be an elective procedure and is not covered by most medical insurance plans. However, if excess or saggy eyelid skin interferes with your line of sight, blepharoplasty may be deemed medically necessary and eligible for coverage by insurance.
At CVP Physicians Dayton, we can help you communicate with your insurance company, file a claim, and make the most of your benefits. If your blepharoplasty is not covered by insurance, we can recommend a number of financing or payment plan options to help you fit treatment into your budget.
What are the risks and complications associated with blepharoplasty?
When conducted by an experienced surgeon such as a member of the CVP Physicians Dayton team, eyelid lift surgery is generally considered a safe procedure. However, any surgery carries the risk of complications.
Potential risks of blepharoplasty include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Dry eyes
- Impaired eyelid function
- Impaired eyesight
- Eye muscle injury
- Obvious scarring or skin discoloration3
Will I have scars after eyelid lift surgery?
Since the incisions for blepharoplasty are made in natural creases around the eyes, the vast majority of patients do not have visible scarring once they have healed from their eyelid lift.
Are blepharoplasty results permanent?
Eyelid lift surgery can reduce excess skin on the eyelids to restore unobstructed vision and help patients look younger. However, there is no way to stop the natural aging process, and no eyelid lift surgery results will last forever. Some patients may opt to undergo a secondary eyelid lift surgery years later.
Schedule Your Eyelid Lift Surgery Consultation
Blepharoplasty is a procedure that requires a surgeon with advanced skill, due not only to the proximity of the treatment area to the eye but also to the delicate nature of eyelid skin. At CVP Physicians Dayton, oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Walter Hartel has extensive knowledge of this area and a deep understanding of how integral the eyelids are to visual health. He also has the fine touch required to address any cosmetic imperfections of the eyelids and achieve results that look natural.
If you are interested in learning more about you may benefit from an eyelid lift surgery procedure, please contact our practice to schedule your personal consultation with Dr. Hartel or Dr. Pargament.
1 American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Eyelid Surgery. Available: https://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/eyelid-surgery. Accessed June 5, 2020.
2 Cleveland Clinic. Eyelid Surgery. Available: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/treatments/8409-eyelid-surgery-blepharoplasty. Accessed June 5, 2020.
3 Mayo Clinic. Blepharoplasty. Available: https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/blepharoplasty/about/pac-20385174. Accessed June 5, 2020.