What is Eyelid Surgery?
Commonly known as eyelid surgery, blepharoplasty improves the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. Eyelid surgery removes excess skin, fat, and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids to decrease puffiness below the eyes, reduce wrinkles around the eyelids, and correct upper lid drooping.
How does aging affect the eyelids?
As we age, our skin gradually loses its elasticity. Paired with the constant pull from gravity, this loss in elasticity causes excessive skin to collect around the upper lids, leading to drooping eyelids. Additionally, underlying muscle laxity and the loosening of the skin can prompt lower-lid aging.
Candicacy for a Blepharoplasty
Physically healthy men and women ages 30 and older who are interested in fighting the effects of aging skin are the best candidates for eyelid surgery. Blepharoplasty patients should have healthy facial tissue and muscles as well as realistic expectations. Individuals with serious eye complications, pre-existing medical conditions, or active diseases are not good candidates for this procedure.
Upper Eyelid Surgery
Incisions will be placed in the natural crease of the upper eyelid, so they will remain hidden when the eyes are open. Any excess fat or skin will then be removed. Because of the strategic placement of the incision, all signs of surgery will be nonexistent once the healing process is complete. *Individual results may vary!
Lower Eyelid Surgery
In order to remove excess skin from the lower eyelid, an incision will be placed just below the lower lash line. Dr. Beaty and Dr. Nagy may also use a transconjunctival incision, or an incision hidden on the inside of the lower eyelid, as an additional way to remove excess fat and correct lower eyelid puffiness.*Individual results may vary!
Eyelid surgery is an outpatient procedure that is performed by double board-certified facial plastic surgeons Dr. Beaty and Dr. Nagy in the operating room or upper blepharoplasty may be performed in the office under local anesthesia. The blepharoplasty procedure typically lasts anywhere from one to two hours.
When can patients expect to see results from Eyelid Surgery?*
Patients typically begin to see noticeable blepharoplasty results within several weeks. Although eyelid surgery will not stop the aging process, the results are long lasting. While upper eyelid surgery may need to be repeated after 10-20 years, the effects of lower eyelid surgery can last a lifetime.
Recovery Process after your Blepharoplasty
Both lower and upper eyelid surgeries are minimally invasive and require little recovery time. After a blepharoplasty procedure, Dr. Beaty and Dr. Nagy will loosely cover the patient’s eyes with gauze. In addition, cold compresses and lubricating ointment may be applied. Patients may experience bruising, swelling, dry eyes, or irritation, but these symptoms typically fade within a week or two following the procedure.
Your surgeon will prescribe eye drops and ointments to keep the eyelids moist during the recovery period. Normal activities can be resumed two weeks following the procedure.
Is Blepharoplasty covered by insurance?
Eyelid surgery, like most cosmetic procedures, is not typically covered by health insurance. Upper eyelid surgery is occasionally covered if vision is greatly impacted as determined by your ophthalmologist. Our practice is out of network for insurance and does not file claims, but we will provide you with the necessary information should you desire filing for your out of network benefits.
*individual results may vary
How long does Blepharoplasty take?
Patients can opt to have surgery done on either the upper or lower eyelid, or both. For that reason, the surgery can take from 45 minutes to two hours.
Will I have scarring after my Eyelid Surgery?
On the upper eyelid, Dr. Beaty and Dr. Nagy make the incision in the natural crease of the eyelid. This hides any future scarring. In the lower eyelid, they make the incision just below the eyelash or on the inside of the eyelid, depending on your circumstances. Neither option is visible. Scarring isn’t an issue with blepharoplasty.
When can I return to normal activities after Blepharoplasty?
During your consultation with Dr. Beaty or Dr. Nagy, they will stress the importance of being diligent with the use of your cold compress at the beginning of your recovery. This will eliminate much of your swelling. Getting back to normal after eyelid surgery is not a long process. For the first week you need to avoid elevating blood pressure to your face. This means you shouldn’t bend over deeply, and you shouldn’t lift any heavy weight or strenuously exercise. But for most patients, they’re pretty much back to normal in a week or so. You may need to miss 3-5 days of work.
How long can I expect the results from my Eyelid Surgery to last?
The changes made by Dr. Beaty or Dr. Nagy with these surgeries are permanent. The tissue they remove, the fat that is repositioned, the levator muscles that are tightened — these are all permanent changes. This is a permanent procedure, meant to only be done once in a lifetime.
Unfortunately, these surgeries can’t stop the aging process. That’s just a fact of life. But your eyelids will never again sag to the degree or extent that merited you coming to see us as Beaty Facial Plastic Surgery. The consensus is that blepharoplasty takes about 10 years off the patient’s facial age. Any future aging will start from a younger place. You’ll enjoy your younger looking eyes for the rest of your life.
How painful is recovery after Eyelid Surgery?
These are remarkably easy recoveries, which is another great aspect of eyelid surgery with our team. We can even perform many upper eyelid procedures right in our two locations in Atlanta and Alpharetta. We do provide prescription pain medication, but many of our patients don’t feel it is necessary, instead feeling that over-the-counter options sufficiently handle the discomfort.
Upper Blepharoplasty versus Lower Blepharoplasty
The goals of upper and lower blepharoplasty are the same — to rejuvenate the eyes, but there can be differences between the two eyelids. The main differences between the surgery on the upper and lower eyelids are what needs to be addressed and where the incisions will be placed. For the upper eyelid, Dr. Beaty/Dr. Nagy places the incision within the natural crease in the eyelid, making it virtually invisible. In the lower eyelid, the incision is made along the eyelash line or inside the lower eyelid.
Upper eyelid surgery usually focuses on removing or tightening sagging skin. In more extreme cases, this is called hooding. Dr. Beaty/Dr. Nagy removes skin and tightens underlying muscles around the eye to firm up the area. Many of these upper eyelid procedures can be done in-office in both of our locations.
Lower eyelid surgery often seeks to correct puffiness under the eyes. These under eye bags are caused by excess skin and tissue in the area. In some patients, their lower eyelid can droop to the degree that the white part of the eye under the iris becomes visible.
Can I combine Eyelid Surgery with other procedures?
Blepharoplasty is a great rejuvenation procedure because the eyes hold such a prominent place in our facial anatomy. Most people say the eyes are the first thing they notice when meeting a new person.
Still, many of our patients from around the Atlanta area seek broader rejuvenation, so they are interested in combining procedures. If they want to address sagging and descending brows, a brow lift is a good complement to eyelid surgery. That way the face from the eyes to the hairline is rejuvenated. A facelift or Dr. Beaty’s signature ProLift™ can extend the rejuvenation from the eyes down through the mid to lower face. Rhinoplasty could be combined with eyelid surgery, as well.
If you’re interested in a wider range of rejuvenation, let’s talk about it during your consultation with Dr. Beaty or Dr. Nagy, and we can consider complementary procedures.
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