Eyelid lift surgery, technically called blepharoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure where sagging eyelids are modified so they no longer sag. Caused by aging, or the accumulation of fat in the eyelids making them heavy and droopy, this type of eyelid surgery is becoming a little more common as people look for ways to improve their appearance.
There are medical reasons to get eyelid lift surgery as well, in order to keep eye and eyelid irritation down, so it should not be considered only a cosmetic surgery but in either case, the result is tighter, more youthful-looking eyelids that no longer roll, sag or cause any kind of discomfort.
Blepharoplasty – Is It For You?
The two main reasons why people get eyelid lift surgery are because they either have baggy lower eyelids and heavy, droopy upper eyelids and do not like the way it looks, or because they have droopy, heavy upper eyelids that hang over the upper eyelashes and affect peripheral vision or cause irritation.
In either case, the procedure to remove excess skin and fat from the eyelid area can improve the condition greatly, creating a much younger look as well as alleviating the problem of oversized lids hanging within the field of vision.
Whether or not this procedure is for you or not should depend first and foremost on whether your eyelids are affecting your field of vision or not, and then if not, whether you feel the expense and effort to reduce drooping lids is worth it.
For many people it is, and they end up much happier and more personally satisfied with their appearance, which can have a very positive effect overall on people. Therefore, it is probably safe to say that blepharoplasty surgery can end up having more lasting benefits than it may seem to the eye.
How Blepharoplasty Is Done
There are a number of different eyelid lift procedures that commonly done, depending on where the biggest trouble spots are, and whether the condition affects upper lids, lower lids or both:
Lower blepharoplasty is the most frequently performed eyelid procedure as it removes and reduces bags under the eyes, which is most common. This procedure can be done in a number of ways including transconjunctival blepharoplasty, where an incision is made on the interior of the eyelid and excess tissue and fat is removed, leaving no external, visible scar. Lower lid lift is also done via incision just below the lash line so excess skin can be removed as well.
Upper blepharoplasty is done to correct heavy, drooping eyelids and involves incisions made in the eyelid crease in order to remove excess skin, and the removal of fat and extra tissue in the lids. Occasionally a brow lift will be done in conjunction with eyelid surgery as well, especially if the brow is adding to the amount of droop occurring with the upper eyelids.
Laser blepharoplasty is the lower lid procedure done with a surgical laser instead of an actual scalpel. While there are many surgeons who prefer one or the other, currently there does not seem to be much of a difference in the end result, suggesting that there are no real benefits to having eyelid surgery done by laser if it is going to end up costing more, too.
Most types of blepharoplasty are usually done as outpatient procedures in hospitals or other surgical facilities, and are done either with sedation and local anesthetic, or under general anesthesia.
Recovery From Eyelid Lift Surgery
Recovery from this type of procedure can take a few weeks, and following the prescribed aftercare is very important in order to ensure proper healing takes place. This generally includes pain medication and antibiotics, applying ointments to the surgical sites, using both iced and warm eye pads at specific times,
keeping eyes covered with dark glasses to prevent sun and wind damage, and even avoiding bending at the waist or doing any kind of activity that will raise blood pressure.
Post-surgery, patients can have extensive swelling and bruising around the eyes, too, but this is temporary, and will usually go away within a few weeks. External incisions around the eyes will leave scars, but these will fade and become very faint after some time, and blend in with the normal texture of the skin.
Blepharoplasty Cost Considerations
Eyelid lift surgery will vary in price based on which lids are getting the procedure, and which type of procedure, but the prices seem fairly standard based on information provided by numerous plastic surgeons. In general, the cost of either lower or upper blepharoplasty tends to range from $2,500 to $3,500, and the cost to have both procedures ranges from $4,500 to $6,000.
Differences in cost are usually attributed to the procedure used and whether or not it is done under a local with sedation or under general anesthesia. Hospital operating rooms tend to increase the price by about $1,250, as does the use of laser (actual cost not found). Individuals also requiring a brow lift will incur additional costs of around $2,000 additional as well.
Extensive procedures, or procedures that also require reshaping of the eyelid, tightening of ligaments or other less common things will increase accordingly. Also, the above estimates do not include initial exams, re-exams and pre-surgical lab work, which should also be factored into the cost of getting these procedures done.
Although it is not very common, sometimes it is possible to have some blepharoplasty cost paid for by health insurance, but it will need to be medically necessary, only. In cases where a person’s vision is being affected, insurance companies will usually require various eye examinations and vision tests to determine if the condition is, indeed causing loss of vision before they will agree to pay for it.
If you are considering having blepharoplasty surgery done, discussing the procedure with a board-certified plastic surgeon that is experienced in this surgery and can help you make the best choice is recommended.