Eyelid Surgery
(Blepharoplasty)

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Overview

An upper blepharoplasty will tighten the muscles and tissue as well as remove excess fat and skin from the upper eyelids. A blepharoplasty can eliminate the drooping of the skin into the visual field, improving peripheral vision tremendously.

Cosmetic blepharoplasty can be performed on either the upper or lower eyelid or both. If no skin needs to be removed, a transconjunctival blepharoplasty can be performed, in which the incision is made inside the lower eyelid so there are no visible scars. This procedure has no effect on vision but offers a younger, more refreshed look that reflects across the whole face.

Blepharoplasty is the most popular facial plastic surgery procedure after rhinoplasty. The popularity of this procedure reflects the importance the eyes have in perfecting overall appearance. In fact, two-thirds of adults consider the eyes to be the defining feature of the face. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your eyes, you may want to consider blepharoplasty to improve your look and boost your confidence through a safe procedure with minimal downtime.

WHO IS A CANDIDATE FOR EYELID SURGERY?

The best candidates for blepharoplasty are those individuals who meet the following conditions:

  • Are in good overall health
  • Do not smoke
  • Do not have any serious eye conditions
  • Have healthy facial tissue and muscle

If you have loose, sagging skin or puffy bags around your eyes, this procedure can help reduce these unwanted effects and leave the eyes looking young and fresh.

It is important for patients to have realistic expectations before undergoing a blepharoplasty procedure in order to be satisfied with their results. While the procedure can enhance your appearance and may improve self-confidence as a result, it cannot alter your entire appearance or change the structure of your face.

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The Blepharoplasty Procedure

The blepharoplasty procedure is performed under local anesthesia with sedation. General anesthesia may be used for anxious or nervous patients. Patients may choose to have this procedure on their upper or lower eyelids or both. Depending on these choices, the procedure can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.

If the upper eyelid is being treated, an incision is made along the natural crease of the eyelid. Once the incision is made, the surgeon may reposition fat deposits, tighten muscles and tissue or remove excess skin in order to leave the eye looking younger and refreshed. For the lower eyelid, an incision is made just below the lash line in order for the excess skin to be removed.

After the procedure is performed, the incisions are closed with sutures and usually wrapped in gauze to allow the area to heal.

WHAT IS THE RECOVERY AND AFTERCARE FOR BLEPHAROPLASTY?

After the lower eyelid surgery procedure, your doctor may recommend applying lubricating drops or ointment and cold compresses to aid in the healing process and minimize side effects such as:

  • Swelling
  • Bruising
  • Irritation
  • Dry eyes
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The eyes may be wrapped in gauze after the procedure as well. Patients can usually return to work within a few days but should avoid exercise and strenuous activities for at least two weeks. Stitches are usually removed three or four days after the procedure. Swelling and other side effects usually subside within two weeks after surgery. Contact lenses and eye make-up may not be worn for two weeks after surgery. The doctor will give specific instructions on how to care for the eyes post-procedure.

Is eyelid surgery recovery painful?

This isn’t a painful recovery. Dr. Smith will prescribe prescription pain medication, but most patients only use it for the first day or not at all, instead feeling that over-the-counter pain medications handle the discomfort. Discomfort and most of your swelling is usually complete by the end of the first week when you have your stitches removed. You can have on and off swelling moving forward from there, but not any pain.

How long before I can drive after eyelid surgery?

You can drive after you’re finished taking any prescription pain medication, but when you do is up to you. While you could drive as soon as just a couple days after your surgery, it’s best to wait a week or so. That way you won’t have much, if any, discomfort to distract you.

WHAT RESULTS CAN I EXPECT AFTER BLEPHAROPLASTY?

Results of an eyelid surgery procedure are visible as swelling and bruising but will subside and continue to improve for up to a year after surgery. This procedure is designed to produce long-lasting results. While surgery cannot prevent your eyes from aging, most patients are satisfied with their results and do not seek repeat procedures.

The scars from the blepharoplasty procedure are usually well-concealed and will fade with time until they are virtually unnoticeable. The incision is hidden in the crease of the eyelid in an upper blepharoplasty, and just below the lashes in a lower blepharoplasty.

Dr. Smith provides blepharoplasty in Okatie, Hilton Head Island, and Beaufort, SC. Call our office at 843-705-8940 to schedule your eyelid surgery today.

HOW LONG WILL MY EYELID SURGERY RESULTS LAST?

The changes and rejuvenation made by Dr. Smith with blepharoplasty are permanent. The excess skin he removes is gone for good. Fat that is repositioned won’t move back to its former location. If he tightens loose muscles that have allowed your eyelids to droop, those changes are forever.

These are once-in-a-lifetime procedures, and our patients at our Okatie practice are universally thrilled with the outcome. A nice thing about eyelid surgery is that it delivers dramatic results, but it does so in a subtle way. People who don’t know you’ve had this surgery will notice that your face somehow looks younger, your eyes more alert, and you’ll have the overall appearance of being more refreshed. They just won’t have any idea of how this happened. How great is that!

You may have some new sagging as you continue to age, but your eyelids will do so from a much younger starting position. You’ll enjoy your new eyes for the rest of your life.

Should I combine eyelid surgery with a brow lift?

Many patients have Dr. Smith perform a brow lift at the same time as their eyelid surgery. This provides rejuvenation to the entire upper third of the face. Brow lifts, as their name implies, are particularly helpful if your brows have descended. This can give a person a perpetually tired or angry countenance. Descending brows are not addressed with eyelid surgery, but adding a brow lift to eyelid surgery is not difficult.

As a board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Smith has the training, expertise, and over 25 years of surgical experience to ensure you’ll be happy with your combined procedures.

Should I combine eyelid surgery with a facelift?

Eyelid surgery is a very satisfying procedure, taking up to a decade off your facial age. But it does not address the cheeks, areas at the outside of the eyes, or the mid to lower face. Different patients have different degrees of sagging and sun damage on these areas, and some could benefit from combining a facelift with their eyelid procedure.

Dr. Smith uses different techniques for his facelift procedures depending upon the unique aging occurring with each patient. Modern techniques have moved away from pulling, stretching, and excising skin in favor of elevating the underlying support structures of the face that have descended over time. This provides natural-looking facial rejuvenation, rather than the stretched appearance you’ve seen with less-than-stellar facelifts performed elsewhere.

If you want to rejuvenate your eyes down through your chin, you should consider having Dr. Smith combine a facelift with your eyelid surgery.

What are the risks involved with eyelid surgery?

Blepharoplasty is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries every year because it delivers great results, and the risks are very low. Eyelid surgery has been performed millions of times around the world over the decades and has proven to be safe and very satisfying for patients.

Still, there are the usual risks with any surgery: excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, reaction to anesthesia, and the like. Specific to this surgery, risks involve injury to the eye muscles, difficulty closing your eyelids, and potential dry eye. Thanks to Dr. Smith’s training, expertise, and experience as a board-certified plastic surgeon, these are all very rare. This is an effective, safe procedure for our patients from across Coastal Carolina.

Is eyelid surgery covered by insurance?

Blepharoplasty is considered to be an elective procedure. As such it is not typically covered by health insurance. The one exception would be if a person’s eyelids are drooping to the extent that they are beginning to impinge on the person’s field of vision. In these cases, the procedure would likely be covered, although you would need confirmation by your physician or eye doctor.

Schedule an Eyelid Surgery Consult at Smith Plastic Surgery!

Call 843-705-8940 or (866) 705-8940 to learn more about Blepharoplasty surgery, or to determine whether you are a candidate for the procedure! You can also go to our contact page and send our staff an email contact form, and our staff will help you set up your appointment. Dr. Brendan A. Smith serves Okatie and the surrounding areas of South Carolina.

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