Blepharoplasty and ptosis repair are the most common upper eyelid surgical procedures performed by eye surgeons. They correct different issues and may be performed together if you have both issues present. The blepharoplasty procedure is often performed for cosmetic reasons but can also correct obstructed vision or functional problems with the eyelids. The Sibia Eye Institute performs blepharoplasty procedures in the Boynton Beach, Lake Worth, and Palm Beach county areas.
What Is Blepharoplasty
Blepharoplasty upper eyelid surgery is performed to correct dermatochalasis, a condition where there are excess skin and fat in the upper eyelids. This may include any defects, deformities, and disfigurations of the eyelids. During the procedure, excess skin and fat are removed from the upper eyelids.
Why Is Blepharoplasty Done
The main goals of a blepharoplastic procedure are to correct function for affected eyelids and restore aesthetics to the eye-facial region. As the skin ages, it slowly loses elasticity. This lack of elasticity coupled with the continuous pull of gravity can cause excess or loose skin on the upper eyelids. This skin causes an extra skin fold or hood that hangs down over the eyelashes, sometimes affecting vision. The fat that protects the eyeball from the skull may also cause bulges in the upper eyelids. As the delicate membrane that keeps the fat in the proper place begins to weaken with age, the fat comes forward into the lids. By eliminating these folds of skin and excess fat, blepharoplasty makes eyelids lighter and more visible as well as opening up vision.
How Is Blepharoplasty Performed
Blepharoplasty is performed while the patient is under local anesthesia (the eyelids are numbed) and sedation. The surgeon makes an incision in the skin crease of the upper eyelid and removes excess skin above the incision. Bulging fat is removed through this same incision. The surgeon will then smooth the eye muscles, tighten the supporting structures, and reconfigure any excess fat to produce a smooth anatomic transition from lower eyelid to the cheek. The skin is then closed with sutures in the original eyelid skin crease to reduce or hide any scarring.
What to Expect after Surgery
Arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery and to stay with you overnight after the procedure. Plan to limit activities and stay home from work for several days after surgery. It is not uncommon to have dry eyes post eyelid surgery, but this rarely lasts for more the two weeks. If you find that you have dry eyes for over two weeks, contact your physician.After blepharoplasty, patients find they have lighter and more visible eyelids, better vision, as well as a more youthful appearance. Diligent sun protection will help maintain the results.
How Much Does It Cost?
How much eyelid surgery costs can vary widely and depends on the anesthesia and facility costs as well as the type of procedure or procedures being performed. Prescriptions for medication and medical tests can also affect the total cost. If the skin folds or hood are impacting your ability to see well, your insurance may cover blepharoplasty. Check with your doctor about costs and with your insurance provider to find out about coverage.
After eyelid surgery, you will have stitches that may remain for up to a week. Swelling and bruising are common, but your eyelids should appear normal in a week or two. You should have the following items ready for after the surgery:
Ice pack or ice cubes
Small gauze pads
Artificial tears or eye drops (your doctor can recommend the proper type)
Washcloth and towels
You doctor should give you instructions on aftercare and can recommend which painkillers you should take, but remember that Motrin, Naproxen, Advil, Aleve, aspirin, and Ibuprofen should not be used due to a possible increased risk of bleeding. In addition, you should avoid the sun and use dark sunglasses until healing is complete.The incision stays hidden in the eyelid skin crease and after approximately 6-12 months, the eyelids have healed and should have an entirely natural appearance. It should be very difficult, almost impossible, to tell if you underwent any surgery.