Who is an ideal candidate for this type of procedure?
Good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. Blepharoplasty removes the excess fat, muscle, and skin from both upper and lower lids. The results can be a refreshed appearance, with a younger, firmer eye area. During the pre-surgical consultation, Dr. Horn will examine you and ask questions about vision, tear production, use of lenses, and your goals for surgery. She will explain what you can expect from blepharoplasty and will take a complete medical history. Factors to be weighed include age, skin type, scarring potential, and degree of vision obstruction.
How will I know if I am ready for cosmetic work on my eyes?
Blepharoplasty is the most commonly performed cosmetic procedure. Droopy eyelids can make you look older or tired, and can impair vision. Blepharoplasty corrects these problems by removing puffiness and bags above and under the eyes. This procedure cannot alter dark circles or fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, nor can it change sagging eyebrows. Though blepharoplasty is often performed as a single procedure, Dr. Horn may also recommend a browlift, facelift, or skin resurfacing at the same time, to achieve the best results.
People with circulatory, ophthalmological, or serious medical conditions should consult with their personal specialists to determine whether blepharoplasty is an option to consider.
How long will the results last?
The benefits of skin removal will last many years, but the effects of future aging will become apparent with time. After approximately 7-10 years some patients consider revision surgery.
How long does the surgery take?
Under normal conditions, upper and lower lid blepharoplasty takes approximately one to two hours. Both upper and lower lid surgery can be performed at the same time, which minimizes patient recovery time.
Is it done at a hospital/surgical center or in the office?
Upper lid blepharoplasty can sometimes be performed in the office setting, but lower lid blepharoplasty is performed in a surgery center or hospital.
How is the recovery from blepharoplasty?
Immediately after the surgery, Dr. Horn may apply tiny sterile tapes. It is not crucial that the eyes be covered. However, an ointment to prevent dryness of the eye area is typically used. A certain degree of swelling and bruising is normal. Cold compresses, as well as head elevation when lying down, will enhance healing and relieve discomfort. Dr. Horn will prescribe pain medication for discomfort.
For a week and a half following blepharoplasty, Dr. Horn will instruct you to clean the eye area (the eyes may feel sticky, dry, and itchy). Eyedrops may also be recommended. Dr. Horn will also advise you on activities and environments to avoid in the weeks immediately following surgery. Permanent stitches will be removed in five to seven days after surgery. Self-absorbing stitches will dissolve on their own.
What are some of the common complications?
Blepharoplasty surgery is generally very safe; however, any surgery can have complications. Dr. Horn will discuss these complications is depth with you, including bleeding, infection, anesthesia complications, scarring, asymmetries, harm to your vision, dry eyes, cysts in the incision line, and need for further surgery.
Will I need to take time off from work?
Most patients take one to two weeks off of work to recover. At the end of this time, you still may have some minor bruises and puffiness, but this can generally be covered by makeup.
How much swelling and scarring should I anticipate?
Swelling and scarring vary from person to person. Most people have enough bruising and swelling that they prefer wear sunglasses while in public during the first week. Scarring is unlikely, but can be minimized by keeping the incisions covered with ointment for the first two weeks after surgery and out of the sun for the first year.
Does insurance cover blepharoplasty?
Insurance does not generally cover surgery that is done purely for cosmetic reasons. Surgery to correct or improve vision or surgery for eye deformity or injury may be covered by insurance. You should check with your insurance carrier for information on the degree of coverage.