Eyelid Lift (Blepharoplasty)
Blepharoplasty, or eyelid lift, is a surgical technique to improve the appearance and function of the upper or lower eyelids. Blepharoplasty is often combined with a browlift to completely correct problems of extra skin, or with other facial cosmetic procedures for an optimal appearance.
If you would like to see before and after photos from this procedure please click here or on the picture to the left.
Will a blepharoplasty improve my appearance?
An upper eyelid lift is designed to remove extra skin and muscle of the upper eyelids to produce a youthful, smooth appearance. Keep in mind that an eyelid lift by itself does not fix drooping of the forehead– this problem requires a browlift, which is frequently performed at the same time as blepharoplasty.
A lower eyelid lift may involve removal of extra skin, redraping of fat (“bags”), or both. Often performing laser resurfacing of the lower eyelid skin will improve the appearance of the lower lids, with or without surgery.
How does an eyelid lift work?
During an upper eyelid lift, extra skin and redundant muscle is removed as an ellipse. Most of the time, the underlying fat pockets are left alone, as fullness gives a youthful appearance and too much fat removal will give a “hollowed” appearance. The resulting wound is then closed with dissolving sutures that do not need to be removed later.
With lower blepharoplasty, and incision is made just under the eyelashes (if skin is to be removed) or within the eyelid (if skin removal is not necessary). Bulging fat is released and draped over the bottom portion of the eye socket, which decreases the appearance of the “tear trough,” or groove in the skin between the eyelid and cheek. Your lower eyelid is supported by reinforcing the outside corner of the eye. A resurfacing laser is often applied to the lower lid skin, and your incision is closed with dissolving sutures. The technique to improve the lower lids is more complicated than an upper blepharoplasty.
Can an eyelid lift be combined with other procedures?
Yes! As mentioned previously, a browlift is commonly performed at the same time as an upper blepharoplasty to fix two problems in the same area and create an optimal result. Other facial or body procedures are also commonly combined with eyelid lift, including facelift, filler injections, and laser treatment. During your consult Dr. McDaniel will be happy to discuss any other concerns and create an individual plan for your treatment.
What will my recovery be like?
Bruising and swelling is typically minimal and lasts for a week. Overall “social recovery,” when light makeup should cover any remaining swelling and bruising, is 2 weeks. Occasionally swelling and bruising may last longer, but this is rare.
Exercise that increases your heart rate and blood pressure should be avoided in the first few weeks after surgery in order to keep swelling and bruising to a minimum.
Will I have significant pain after surgery?
Pain after an upper eyelid lift is usually minimal. Pain medication typically used for a few days, and over-the-counter antiinflammatory medications used for about a week.
What kind of scar does an eyelid lift produce?
Eyelid skin is the thinnest in the body, and thin skin equals thin scars. Upper eyelid scars are well-concealed in the upper eyelid crease and not casually visible when eyes are open. Note that the scars, just like your excess skin, will extend shortly beyond the eyelid itself (staying within the area of the eye socket). After about a year, your scars will have optimized to their best appearance and least visibility.
Will insurance cover my upper eyelid lift?
Patients with extra upper eyelid skin often have trouble seeing the upper part of their vision. This is often a combination of drooping of the brow and accumulation of excess skin. If enough loss of vision is shown through visual field testing (which can be performed at your optometrist’s office), insurance will sometimes pay for the operation. This may depend on the amount of extra skin present, the amount of visual field defect, and your insurance plan requirements for coverage.
How much does an eyelid lift cost? Are there financing options?
The cost of an eyelid ranges from $3500 (for an average upper eyelid lift) to $8400 (for a complicated lower eyelid lift), which includes the cost of CosmetAssure coverage as well as the surgical, facility, and anesthesia fees. We are also pleased to offer a multi-procedure discount.