Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the eyelids. Surgery can be performed on either the upper and lower lids, or both.
Whether you want to improve your appearance or are experiencing functional problems with your eyelids, eyelid surgery can rejuvenate the area surrounding your eyes.
Specifically, eyelid surgery can treat:
- Loose or sagging skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid, sometimes impairing vision.
- Excess fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the eyelids.
- Bags under the eyes.
- Drooping lower eyelids that reveal white below the iris.
- Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid.
Eyelid Surgery Cost:
The average cost of eyelid surgery is $2,818, according to 2013 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. The average fee referenced above DOES NOT include anesthesia, surgery center fees, or other related expenses. A surgeon’s cost for eyelid surgery may vary based on his or her experience, the type of procedure used, as well as geographic office location.
Many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans to help cover blepharoplasty costs, so be sure to ask.
Eyelid surgery cost may include:
- Surgeon’s fee.
- Hospital or surgical facility costs.
- Anesthesia fees.
- Prescriptions for medication.
- Medical tests.
When choosing a board-certified plastic surgeon for eyelid surgery, remember that the surgeon’s experience and your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.
Eyelid Surgery Candidates:
In general, good candidates for eyelid surgery include:
- Healthy individuals who do not have a life threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing.
- Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for eyelid surgery.
- Individuals without serious eye conditions.
In preparing for eyelid surgery, you may be asked to:
- Get lab testing or a medical evaluation.
- Take certain medications or adjust your current medications.
- Stop smoking.
- Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding.
Eyelid surgery may be performed in an accredited office-based surgical facility, outpatient or licensed ambulatory surgical center, or a hospital. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.
Eyelid Procedure Steps:
An eyelid surgery procedure includes the following steps:
1. Step 1 – Anesthesia
Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Your doctor will recommend the best choice for you.
2. Step 2 – The Incision
The incision lines for eyelid surgery are designed so the resultant scars will be well concealed within the natural structures of the eyelid region.
The upper eyelid can be corrected through an incision within the natural crease on the eyelid. This allows for removal or repositioning of fat deposits, tightening of muscles, and removal of excess skin.
Conditions of the lower eyelid may be corrected with an incision just below the lower lash line. Through this incision, excess skin in the lower eyelid is removed. Again, the excess fat can be repositioned or removed.
A transconjunctival incision, created on the inside of the lower eyelid, is an alternate technique to correct lower eyelid conditions and redistribute or remove excess fat. With this technique, no skin is removed.
3. Step 3 – Closing Incisions
Eyelid incisions typically are closed with removable sutures, skin adhesives, and/or surgical tape.
Your surgeon may suggest use of a laser or chemical peel to reduce discoloration of the lower eyelids.
4. Step 4 – Results
The results of eyelid surgery will appear gradually as swelling and bruising subside to reveal a smooth, better-defined eyelid and surrounding region, and an alert and rejuvenated appearance. Get more information about eyelid surgery results.
Eyelid Surgery Recovery:
During your eyelid surgery recovery, lubricating ointment and cold compresses may be applied, and in some cases your eyes may be loosely covered with gauze, after your procedure is completed. You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for your eyes, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your overall health, and when to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.
Initial healing may include some swelling, bruising, irritation or dry eyes, and discomfort that can be controlled with medication, cold compresses, and ointment. Irritation at the incision sites is also possible.
You must practice diligent sun protection and use darkly tinted sunglasses until the healing process is fully complete.
Eyelid Surgery Risks and Safety Information:
Eyelid surgery risks include:
- Anesthesia risks.
- Swelling and bruising.
- Bleeding from the incision lines.
- Dryness to the eyes.
- Sensitivity to sun or other bright light.
- Difficulty closing your eyes.
- Ectropion, an outward rolling of the eyelid.
- Lid lag, a pulling down of the lower eyelid may occur and is often temporary.
- Temporary or even permanent change in vision, and very rare chance of blindness.
- Changes in skin sensation.
- Pain, which may persist.
- Poor wound healing.
- Possible need for revision surgery.
- Unfavorable scarring.
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.