The eyes are commonly the focal point during conversation and communication. Changes in the appearance of the eyes caused by aging may convey an inappropriate message of tiredness, sadness, and lack of vigor, which may diminish the youthful appearance of the face. Aging of the eyelid may also cause obstruction of a patient’s vision.
As we age the upper eyelid skin relaxes, loses its elasticity and tightness, and subsequently sags causing “hooding” or drooping of the upper eyelid. The fat surrounding the eye also bulges from its normal position causing puffiness of the upper eyelid. Excess upper eyelid skin may also interfere with vision. The lower eyelid also falls victim to the effects of aging. Excess skin in the lower eyelid causes a wrinkled and a sagging appearance. Fat bulges result in the classic “baggy eyed” look.
Upper eyelid procedures are performed via a well hidden incision in the upper lid crease. Excess skin is conservatively removed and areas of bulging fat are removed or repositioned. In the lower lid, procedures can be performed via a small, nearly undetectable incision under the lash line or via the tranconjunctival approach (an incision is made inside the eyelid eliminating the need for any visible external incision lines). Excess skin may be removed conservatively. Lower eyelid bulging fat is removed or repositioned as appropriate. New Jersey area patients are encouraged to make an appointment for a Blepharoplasty consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon to discuss all their options.
Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lift) Procedure Facts
Surgical Goals: Upper Lid – To remove excess skin and bulging fat in an effort to “open up” the upper lid giving the patient a more rested and refreshed appearance. Widening of visual fields if excessive upper eyelid skin has partially blocked vision. Lower Lid – To conservatively remove any marked excess lower lid skin and correct “bagginess” of the lower lid, providing a more contoured and smooth appearance to the lower lid.
The Procedure: In the upper eyelid, incisions are hidden within the upper eyelid crease. Excess eyelid skin is removed and fat is removed or repositioned. Lower eyelid incisions are made on the inside of the eyelid and occasionally under the lash line. In some cases excess skin is conservatively removed. Bulging fat is removed or repositioned.
Anesthesia: Oral or IV sedation. General anesthesia if the patient prefers.
Length of Time: The procedure averages between 1-2 hours. It is performed at a fully accredited outpatient surgery center. Other procedures, such as a Forehead/browlift, Laser Resurfacing, Chemical Peel, and Facial Fat Grafting may complement the procedure.
After the Procedure: Patients return home the night after surgery. They are asked to rest and apply cold compresses to the eyes. Patients will return to the office the next day for a post procedure check and again on the 5th-7th post procedure day for stitch removal.
Recovery: Most patients return to work within 1 week. Strenuous activities are restricted for 10-14 days. Mild bruising or swelling around the eyes can occur, and usually resolves within a 7-10 days. Patients usually experience only minor post procedure pain.
Dr. Anthony Corrado Discusses Facial Plastic Surgery
Eyelid Surgery FAQ
South Jersey, Cherry Hill, Philadelphia, the Mainline, and the Delaware Valley – Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) Frequently Asked Questions
There are several questions that patients frequently ask board certified facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Anthony Corrado, regarding lower eyelid surgery and upper eyelid surgery. Although each patient represents a unique surgical challenge, Dr. Corrado believes that those considering the procedure can benefit from generalized information about eyelid surgery. Serving the greater Philadelphia, PA area, and beyond, Dr. Corrado performs blepharoplasty (cosmetic eyelid surgery) on both men and women of various ages.
What is Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is a cosmetic surgery procedure performed to improve the appearance of either the upper or lower eyelids. Blepharoplasty can also be performed for patients whose vision is impaired due to sagging, excess skin of the upper eyelids.
What types of doctors in the Greater Philadelphia area perform Blepharoplasty or Eyelid Surgery?
Patients seeking Blepharoplasty surgery in Philadelphia, should seek a board certified facial plastic surgery who performs cosmetic eyelid surgery.
Where is Blepharoplasty or Eyelid surgery performed in the Philadelphia, PA area?
Cosmetic eyelid procedures are typically performed in the comfort of our in office surgical procedure suite or in an outpatient surgical center.
What type of anesthesia is used in Blepharoplasty surgery?
Many times blepharoplasty surgery can be performed with simple local anesthesia with the patient awake. IV sedation is also used for cosmetic eyelid surgery in certain instances.
How long does Blepharoplasty surgery take?
Blepharoplasty typically takes about an hour. More extensive cases may take slightly longer.
Does surgery of the eyelids require an overnight stay in the hospital?
Eyelid surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, with patients returning to their homes after surgery.
Will I have scars after my blepharoplasty surgery?
Blepharoplasty surgery requiring removal of excess eyelid skin involves an external skin incision. These skin incisions are made in the natural creases of the upper and lower eyelids. By placing the incisions in the natural creases of the lids, the surgical scars are well concealed and barely visible once healed. Patients who require only excess fat removal from the lower lid can have the incisions placed on the inside of the lower eyelid, resulting in no visible scarring. This procedure is called transconjunctival lower blepharoplasty.
Will I have stitches after blepharoplasty?
When external skin incisions are made, there will be fine stitches placed at either the upper or lower lid. These stitches are typically removed in 5-7 days after surgery. Tranconjunctival lower blepharoplasty does not require stitches
What areas of the upper and lower lid are treated with cosmetic eyelid surgery?
In either upper or lower blepharoplasty, three areas of the eyelid are addressed and treated if necessary. Blepharoplasty involves removal of skin, muscle, fat or a combination all three depending on the patient.
Is Blepharoplasty covered by my insurance?
Cosmetic blepharoplasty is not covered by insurance, because it is an elective surgery.
In cases where excess upper eyelid skin causes visual impairment, some insurance companies will cover the procedure. The patient will have to see an ophthalmologist for an examination, and documented obstruction of the patient’s vision will have to be substantiated. It is the patient’s responsibility to contact their insurance carrier to discuss their coverage.
Will blepharoplasty treat a drooping eyelid?
A “drooping” upper eyelid is typically caused by a malfunction of the mechanics of the upper lid. This condition is termed ptosis. Ptosis repair can be performed at the same time as blepharoplasty surgery.
Will my sagging eyebrows be improved with blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty addresses cosmetic issues involving the eyelids only. It will not provide improvement for aging or sagging brows. It is very common to perform forehead/brow surgery at the same time as blepharoplasty. Philadelphia area facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Anthony Corrado, typically performs state of the art endoscopic browlift surgery. Through tiny incisions within the hairline the forehead and brows can be lifted prior to performing blepharoplasty. A combination of an eyebrow lift and a blepharoplasty is an excellent combination of procedures which can provide total rejuvenation of the upper face and eyes.
Can cosmetic eyelid surgery correct the “crow’s feet”?
Blepharoplasty surgery will not improve “crow’s feet”. These fine wrinkles along the sides of the eye are caused by overactivity of the muscle surrounding the eye, the orbicularis oculi. “Crow’s feet” are best treated with Botox injections. Botox weakens the overactive orbicularis oculi muscle, resulting in correction of “crow’s feet”. Botox is a quick, safe, and effective treatment which can be performed in the office with no “downtime” required.
How long is recovery from blepharoplasty?
We usually tell patients to plan to take it easy for about a week. Bruising and swelling typically subside at about 7-10 days, and can be concealed with makeup at that time. Patients are asked to refrain from strenuous physical activity and exercise for 2-3 weeks following surgery.
Is blepharoplasty performed on men, as well as women?
Yes, blepharoplasty surgery is a common procedure requested by our male patients. Eyelid surgery helps to rejuvenate their eyes, making our male patients appears more refreshed and well rested.
What types of medical conditions can possibly prevent a patient from being a candidate for surgery?
- Uncontrolled Diabetes
- Wound Healing Discorders
- History of excessive scarring or keloid formation
- Excessive smoking or tobacco use
- Myasthenia gravis
- Uncontrolled thyroid disease
- Unilateral blindness
- Severe dry eye syndrome
How does smoking effect my surgical results?
Nicotine use in ANY form will negatively affect wound healing. Tobacco use can cause poor wound healing, scarring, infection, skin loss and will have overall negative effects. Patients are asked to refrain from all nicotine containing products at least two weeks prior to surgery, and to continue to be free from nicotine for at least two weeks after their eyelid surgery.
What other procedures can be performed in conjunction with blepharoplasty?
A number of other cosmetic procedures may be safely performed at the same time as blepharoplasty. These include skin resurfacing, facelift, necklift, brow or forehead lift, neck liposuction, fat grafting, or dermal filler injections.
When can I wear my glasses after blepharoplasty?
Patients can wear their glasses immediately after eyelid surgery as long as the frames do not rest on the upper and lower eyelids.
When can I wear my contact lenses after blepharoplasty?
I typically ask patients to wait at least 2 weeks after surgery to begin wearing their contact lenses. Patients are evaluated prior to being approved for contact lenses to make sure satisfactory healing, and normal lid closure are present to prevent drying of the eye. Patients are also asked to carefully insert their lenses, and to refrain from excessively “pulling” on their lids to prevent separation of their incisions.
Will I look like I have had plastic surgery after my procedure?
No. Dr. Corrado prides himself on his natural appearing results which lack the “extreme” effects of poorly performed surgery. His keys to eyelid surgery are to impart subtle changes to the eyelids allowing the patients’ eyes to appear refreshed and youthful. The ultimate cosmetic goal for blepharoplasty surgery is to provide a well-rested appearance to the upper face. Focusing solely on cosmetic surgery of the eyes and face, Dr. Corrado has much expertise and experience in performing many of these surgeries throughout his career.
Dr. Drew Ordon co-host of CBS television’s “The Doctors”