What Is Blepharoplasty?
Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is designed to remove excess skin and fat from the upper and lower eyelids. The procedure can correct drooping upper lids that tend to sag with time and the puffy bags below the eyes. Blepharoplasty can be done as a single procedure, or in conjunction with other facial surgery such as a facelift or a brow lift.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?
Individuals in good overall health who notice loose, sagging skin above or below the eyes can usually be considered good candidates for blepharoplasty. The signs of aging and the effects of gravity, especially in the area around the eyes, can lead to sagging of the upper eyelid skin and bagginess of the lower eyelids. The inelastic skin often creates a “tired” or “angry” appearance, or may make a person look older than they actually are.
Ultimately, a consultation with board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Joseph DiBello will help you determine if you are a candidate for eyelid surgery. At that time, he will discuss what is involved in your personal surgical experience and the best technique for you to achieve a natural, more refreshed result.
What Are the Different Types of Eyelid Surgery?
Depending on your individual concerns, Dr. DiBello can help you determine which type of eyelid surgery is right for you. Some patients may even find they can benefit from a combination of both upper and lower blepharoplasty.
Upper Eyelid Surgery
Upper blepharoplasty addresses loose, hanging skin around the upper eyelid area, as well as any excess fat. This procedure can be employed to correct obstructed vision, and frequently helps patients achieve a happier, more youthful appearance.
Lower eyelid surgery is designed to reduce or eliminate the appearance of bags, puffiness, and/or sagging skin below the eyes. Results of this procedure typically provide patients with a more rested and rejuvenated appearance.
Is an Eyelid Lift Without Surgery Possible?
Unfortunately, there is no non-surgical equivalent to blepharoplasty; however, certain aesthetic concerns in the eye region can often be addressed without the need for surgery. A non-surgical approach cannot eliminate the excess skin and fat responsible for causing a tired appearance, but treatments such as BOTOX® Cosmetic, Dysport®, and XEOMIN® are capable of reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines around the eyes and between the eyebrows, for a more youthful, refreshed appearance. Ultimately, though, if fat deposits or sagging skin are present above and/or below the eyes, there is no alternative that can yield the same type of results that eyelid surgery offers.
How Is the Blepharoplasty Procedure Performed?
The course of your procedure will depend on your desired surgical strategy (i.e. upper, lower, or both) as outlined below:
Upper Blepharoplasty Procedure
Typically, Dr. DiBello can perform upper blepharoplasty surgery at his in-office surgical suite at DiBello Plastic Surgery, under local anesthesia. Fat and loose skin are removed from the upper eyelid area through an incision that is hidden within the natural eyelid fold. The incision does extend slightly up to the outside corner of the eye towards the eyebrow to allow it to blend into existing creases. When the upper eyelid problem is aggravated by sagging of the eyebrows this can be treated with a brow lift.
Lower Blepharoplasty Procedure
Lower blepharoplasty surgery, performed either in combination with upper blepharoplasty or alone, requires deeper anesthesia. To treat the lower eyelids, an incision is made just beneath the eyelash line and through this incision the excess fatty tissue leading to the lower eyelid bags is removed and sometimes repositioned and the excess skin and muscle laxity is tightened, without changing the shape of the eye. Occasionally, in younger patients or if the lower eyelid skin tone is satisfactory, a transconjunctival lower eyelid lift can be performed through an incision on the inside of the lid. An additional procedure that is sometimes used is laser resurfacing of the lower eyelid skin to achieve a small degree of tightening combined with the approach through the inside of the eyelid.
View a 3D animation of eyelid surgery to get a better idea of what you can expect from this procedure.
What Is Eyelid Surgery Recovery Like?
Following eyelid surgery, some swelling and bruising is to be expected, but should mostly fade within approximately 7-10 days. Dr. DiBello recommends consistent use of cold compresses around the eyes within the first few days after surgery to help reduce swelling. Any bruising can usually be concealed with makeup until it resolves. Based on your individual case, Dr. DiBello will provide you with personalized aftercare instructions, including information about how soon you can expect to resume your daily schedule. Most patients are advised to avoid strenuous activities for at least four weeks after surgery, but some patients may be able to return to work, school, or other low-impact routines as soon as a few days after surgery, depending on their specific treatment plan.
How Long Will My Eyelid Surgery Results Last?
When blepharoplasty is performed by an experienced plastic surgeon, the results can be very long-lasting (if not permanent); however, the longevity of outcomes can vary between patients based on procedural specifics, namely the surgical technique being utilized. The effects of lower blepharoplasty tend to last longer than those of upper eyelid surgery because skin in the upper third of the brow can sag and droop due to age. In any case, Dr. DiBello will be able to determine a more accurate estimate as to the longevity of your results after forming your customized plan.
What Will My Scars Look Like After Eyelid Surgery?
Dr. DiBello takes great care to perform eyelid surgery in a way that can result in scars that are virtually undetectable, once healed. These incisions are carefully placed, in order to remain hidden in the natural creases of the eye, and should fade well over time. To ensure your scars remain inconspicuous, it is important to follow Dr. DiBello’s post-operative instructions. Proper aftercare can help scars heal properly and become less apparent over time.
What Complications Are Associated with Blepharoplasty?
Although blepharoplasty is statistically a safe procedure (especially in the hands of a qualified provider like Dr. DiBello), all major surgeries come with inherent risks. Short-term side effects, including bruising and swelling, should not last longer than two weeks and can typically be mitigated with cold compresses, head elevation, and the Arnica montana supplement. More serious complications, while exceedingly rare, include skin discoloration/visible scarring, adverse reactions to anesthesia, and visual impairment.
At DiBello Plastic Surgery, your safety and comfort are our top priorities. Not only will Dr. DiBello take every precaution to limit the chance of complications, but he will ensure that you are thoroughly informed about every risk applicable to you and he will personally see you through the entire post-operative process. In addition, your personalized instructions will include information about potential risks, and Dr. DiBello is always glad to provide additional resources.
How Much Does Blepharoplasty Cost?
Although pricing can vary due to the individualized nature of this procedure, the average cost for upper eyelid surgery is around $2,100 at DiBello Plastic Surgery, if performed at our in-office surgical suite. The average cost of lower eyelid surgery alone is approximately $4,700 to $5,100, while combined upper and lower eyelid surgery is about $6,500. These prices include the cost of prescribed medications, as well as fees for the surgeon, hospital or surgical facility, anesthesia, pre-admission testing, and more.
It should be noted that prices found online for blepharoplasty typically only include the average cost of the surgeon’s fee, as opposed to the overall cost.
To obtain the most accurate price estimate for your specific needs and aesthetic goals, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with Dr. DiBello.
How to Choose the Best Blepharoplasty Surgeon for You
Selecting the right eyelid surgeon for your individual needs starts with thorough research. A board-certified plastic surgeon is typically the best place to start (certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, or ABPS). Additionally, you should review the surgeon’s credentials to ensure they have been properly trained and have experience with blepharoplasty. Things to look for include memberships in professional organizations, such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and The Aesthetic Society (formerly known as the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, or ASAPS). A surgeon who belongs to these groups must maintain a certain level of continuing education in order to hold membership, meaning they are knowledgeable about the latest advancements in eyelid surgery techniques. A blepharoplasty surgeon with this level of education is more likely to produce high-quality results for their patients. It can also be helpful to look at reviews from other patients, to get an idea of what you can expect from the plastic surgeon you are considering. Lastly, it may be helpful to schedule a consultation with the surgeon, to see if you feel comfortable with them. A one-on-one consultation can also be an excellent opportunity for you to see before-and-after photos of cases similar to yours, so you can envision what your eyelid surgery results could look like.
If you are interested in blepharoplasty and want to see if it is right for you, please contact us today to learn more or schedule a consultation with Dr. DiBello. In a consultation, Dr. DiBello can provide personalized answers to your questions and help determine your eligibility for this procedure. If you are not considered an ideal candidate, Dr. DiBello can recommend a more appropriate treatment to help you achieve your aesthetic goals.