Blepharoplasty (Eye Lift)

Last Updated: May 10, 2012

As part of the natural aging process, the supporting muscles of the eyelids tend to stretch and weaken. As excess fats gather both above and below the eyelids, the eyebrows sag in response. Bags form under the eyes, and the upper lids begin to droop, not only creating an aged, fatigued appearance, but often a countenance that appears angry and off-putting.

In a functional sense, however, these same changes often block a person’s peripheral vision, creating issues while driving or with other vital day-to-day activities like reading. Blepharoplasty or an eyelid “lift” is a simple, popular procedure that can correct or substantially improve all of these problems and make you look and feel years younger.

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Bags form under the eyes, and the upper lids begin to droop, not only creating an aged, fatigued appearance, but often a countenance that appears angry and off-putting.

Make an Informed Decision Based on a Thorough Consultation

Many people approach an eye lift cautiously for the simple and very sound reason that any work around the eyes is a frightening proposition. A good pre-surgical consultation is a must with blepharoplasty. Prepare detailed questions in advance and only work with a doctor who not only has a solid educational and experiential background, but one who will answer all your concerns patiently and in detail.

Never work with a surgeon unless you are completely confident in their ability and have a good rapport built on full communication. This person will not only be altering your appearance, but performing a surgical procedure that could affect your vision.

Be prepared to provide a complete medical history and to discuss such things as:

  • Any noticeable changes in vision.
  • Any eye pain you have experienced.
  • Issues with dryness of the eye of other sources of irritation like itching.

Always take a complete list of all medications you are currently taking along with you including the dosage information.

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Never work with a surgeon unless you are completely confident in their ability and have a good rapport built on full communication.

The surgeon may take reference photos and use a marker to show you where the incisions will be made to remove excess fat and to tighten the surrounding tissues. Many doctors can now use computer software to show you an approximation of the results of the procedure on an image of your own face. If sutures are required, they are very small and will be hidden to minimize any evidence of scarring.

Understanding The Actual Procedure and Recovery Process

Most eye lift procedures require 2 to 4 hours to complete with an additional hour required for pre- and post-surgical routines. The total recovery time will be one to two weeks with a limit on strenuous activities for as long as three weeks to a month. Women will need to avoid the use of eye make-up for at least two weeks and all patients will need to avoid touching their eyes. Even though itching will likely be presenting, rubbing the eyes will damage the outcome of the surgery and negatively affect the long-term results.

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Most eye lift procedures require 2 to 4 hours to complete with an additional hour required for pre- and post-surgical routines. The total recovery time will be one to two weeks with a limit on strenuous activities for as long as three weeks to a month.

Immediately after the procedure compresses and lubricating ointments will be required as your eyes heal. Expect swelling, localized bruising, dryness, itching, and general discomfort. Most patients can return to work within 10 days, although others choose to take a full two-weeks. It is not uncommon for eye-lift patients to use their annual vacation to have their surgery performed and to recover at a leisurely pace with no pressure about returning to their normal routine.

Evaluating Side Effects and Risks

As with any surgical procedure, there are always risks involved and this surgery does require the use of general anesthesia. Individuals with the following conditions should typically not pursue eyelid surgery:

  • diabetes
  • circulatory disorders
  • high blood pressure
  • cardiovascular disease
  • glaucoma
  • chronic dry eye
  • thyroid issues

Potential side effects include:

  • Temporary vision problems including double or blurred vision.
  • Difficulty closing the eyes completely when sleeping.
  • Asymmetrical changes.
  • Post-surgical acne.
  • Ectropion or a pulling of the lower lids requiring additional surgery for correction.

The perfect candidate?:

- Anyone contemplating this procedure should be...

  • Physically healthy
  • Psychologically stable
  • Realistic in their expectations
  • Age 35 or older

Any candidate with a birth defect known as a ptosis will be particularly pleased with the results of this surgery. These individuals are born with one eye that droops due to muscle weakness, a condition that can worsen over time. Although health insurance does not typically cover the costs of cosmetic procedures, if an eyelift is required to improve vision, benefits are likely available. You may want to investigate this with your insurer prior to the surgery to get a better estimate of the costs involved and to make sure you have the proper documentation necessary to receive insurance compensation.

Projected Costs

The average total combined cost of upper and lower eyelid surgery is approximately $4,500, but it is crucial to ask for an estimate of total costs (preferably in writing), which may include building use fees and associated professional services like those provided by an anesthesiologist. The US national average surgeon fee for the procedure was $2,741 in 2011.

Free Consultation with a Board Certified Eye Lift Surgeon

To learn more about the eye lift procedure, please fill in the contact form below, or call us today at the number found in the upper right corner of this page. We will assist you in scheduling a free consultation with a board-certified surgeon in your area. Please note that the he majority of surgeons have financing plans available.

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