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As we age, our skin loses it’s elasticity, valuable fat and the muscles can begin to weaken and sag. All of these things work together to create an appearance that can look aged, sad or tired. Many people, men and women alike, have undergone blepharoplasty, or an eyelid Lift, to improve the appearance of their eyelids to create a more energetic and youthful look.
Aside from restoring a youthful appearance, blepharoplasty surgery can improve quality of life in another way: It can improve field of vision. As you age and your upper eyelids sag, this can affect your peripheral vision. Because of this, sagging eyelid skin can even pose a risk while driving.
Let’s take a look at some of the common issues eyelid surgery addresses:
- It removes excess skin from the lower eyelid
- It removes excess fatty deposits or puffiness in the upper eyelid
- It removes bags and droopiness in the lower eyelid
- It can reduce the appearance of the white in the eye under the iris, providing a better appearance
- It can tighten drooping muscles
- It can improve visibility by removing excess sagging skin from the upper eyelid
- Written onAugust 5, 2015 I promise you this is an unsolicited/unpaid testimonial ? I had an upper and lower Blepharoplasty this past August by Dr. Darrow and I couldn’t be happier! From the minute I was introduced to Dr. Darrow by his fabulous assistant Helen, I knew I was in perfect hands. I had been to two other “Newbury St.” surgeons for consultations before seeing Dr. Darrow and both times I felt like I was being ‘pitched’ by used-car salesmen. My consultation with Dr. Darrow, was thorough, non-rushed, educational and complete stress-free. I asked him a lot of questions and he answered each one knowledgeably and fairly. As a 58 year old man, he managed my expectations (rather than ‘promise me the moon’ as the other two surgeons had done). My procedure was done professionally by a team of really caring people. The results look amazing, and as I said before, I couldn’t be happier and I recommend him without reservation!
Ideal candidates for eyelid surgery are in good physical health with no life-threatening illness, medical conditions or eye diseases. They should be non-smokers and have positive, realistic expectations for the outcome.
Let’s take a look at the procedure itself:
- First, anesthesia will be administered intravenously or through general anesthesia.
- The incisions for eyelid surgery will be hidden within your natural eyelid creases or done inside the lid.
- The procedure may be performed on the upper lids alone, the lower lids alone or on both the upper and lower eyelids together.
- Excess skin will be removed, and depending on the patients individual needs and goals, fat deposits will be repositions or removed, and muscles and tissue will be tightened.
- The incisions are closed with surgical tape, skin adhesives or removable or absorbable sutures.
- Results will be revealed gradually while you heal and the swelling and bruising of the procedure goes down.
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks. It is important to know these risks and discuss them as well as any questions or concerns you may have with your Plastic Surgeon. Following the procedure, you will have certain restrictions to adhere to as you heal. If you experience any chest pain or shortness of breath, you would seek medical attention right away.
What is a blepharoplasty?
Droopy or puffy eyelids are common among the older generation and can also be genetic. Blepharoplasty or cosmetic eyelid surgery is designed to give a more youthful appearance to the eye area by removing excess sagging skin, muscle and fat pouches (bags) from the upper and lower eyelids. The smoother, tighter skin creates a brighter, more energetic look. Blepharoplasty is one of the top 5 requested cosmetic surgeries each year in the United States due to the short operative time, quick recovery and its remarkable ability to rejuvenate the eyes. Some patients may choose combining a facelift or brow lift with their blepharoplasty to maximize their facial rejuvenation.Dr. Darrow can guide you in choosing the best treatment for you, to meet your cosmetic surgery goals. View before and after photos of Dr. Darrow’s Boston area patients who have chosen Dr. Darrow’s expertise in blepharoplasty in our photo gallery.
How long does a blepharoplasty take to perform?
Upper eyelid blepharoplasty can be performed in approximately 1 hour. Lower eyelid blepharoplasty takes approximately 1 ½ hours. If you opt to get both upper and lower blepharoplasty done, then the surgical session can take up to two and a half hours. Additionally, if you’ve opted to get a blepharoplasty alongside other cosmetic facial procedures, the overall procedure time will be longer.
How do you prepare for a blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is usually performed on an outpatient basis at Dr. Darrow’s private surgery center, The Boston Center, or a hospital. Rarely does this procedure require an overnight stay. Detailed pre operative instructions will be given to provide guidelines on how best to prepare yourself for the surgery, including eating, washing your skin, medications to avoid and time to arrive for surgery and that arrangements should be made to have someone bring you home and help you out for a few days if needed. Following Dr. Darrow’s instructions helps your surgery and recovery go smoothly.
How do you perform a Blepharoplasty?
Two types of blepharoplasty are available: upper eyelid surgery and lower eyelid surgery. You can choose to do either one or both of these procedures. The recovery time remains the same.
Upper blepharoplasty can be performed under local anesthesia with sedation, or general anesthesia, depending on the patient’s wishes. Lower blepharoplasty can be performed under local anesthesia and sedation if only skin is to be removed (known as a “Pinch Blepharoplasty), but if removal of fat pockets is required general anesthesia maximizes the patients comfort. Prior to the procedure, exact markings are made on the eyelids outlining the tissues to be removed. For upper eyelids, the incisions are hidden in the natural crease of the upper eyelids. Excess fat and skin are removed, and sagging muscle tissue is tightened. Incisions are closed using fine sutures.
For lower eyelids, the incision is hidden just under the eyelashes or on the inside of the lower lid. Once the excess skin tissue has been removed, Dr. Darrow will remove or redistribute excess fat to resolve puffiness. Following this, the incisions are closed with all sutures hidden under the skin.
WHAT IS PTOSIS CORRECTION USING FUNCTIONAL BLEPHAROPLASTY?
When eyelid surgery is used to correct sagging eyelids that affect a person’s field of vision, it is called functional blepharoplasty. Functional blepharoplasty can be used to address upper eyelid ptosis. Eyelid ptosis is a medical condition where the weakening of the levator muscles results in difficulty or failure to lift the upper eyelids correctly.
Ptosis repair involves making a small incision and then shortening and tightening the upper eyelid muscle so that lifting the eyelid becomes easier. This correction can be done at the same time as a cosmetic blepharoplasty, preventing the need to have two separate procedures.
While the cost of cosmetic eyelid surgery is not covered by health insurance providers, functional blepharoplasty for ptosis correction is typically covered.
Who is a good candidate for a blepharoplasty?
Patients between the ages of 40 – 75, who are healthy and non-smokers are the best candidates for cosmetic blepharoplasty. The skin should have good elasticity and the muscles good tone. Patients with loose, excess skin of upper and lower eyelids and fat pockets of upper and lower eyelids will see the most marked improvement of their eyes appearance. Your consultation will allow Dr. Darrow to carefully examine you and select the best approach to rejuvenating your eyes based on your personal factors.
During your consultation, Dr. Darrow will talk to you about what to expect from your surgery. Your medical history will be assessed, and a treatment plan will be created that provides for the best outcome from your blepharoplasty procedure.
In case you are taking any medications, you should inform Dr. Darrow ahead of time. The possibility of the medication interacting with or affecting your surgery exists, depending on the medication being taken.
Patients should not have any chronic illnesses that could result in surgical complications. Patients who have realistic expectations from the blepharoplasty procedure are likely to be more satisfied with their results.
What are realistic expectations for a patient having a blepharoplasty?
Excess and sagging tissue’s, and skin folds of both upper and lower eyelids will be improved and fat pockets removed, resulting in a rested more alert look of the eyes. The incision lines will be well camouflaged in the natural creases of the upper eyelid and beneath the lashes of the lower eyelid. The smoothing and tightening of the eyelid skin restores youthful contours to the area with the results being very long lasting. Dr. Darrow’s cosmetic eyelid patients are uniformly pleased with their new refreshed look, stating they look “more alert” and “less tired”.
What are the common reasons a patient wants a blepharoplasty?
Appearing tired all the time, looking sleepy and feeling that their eye appearance ages them, are common reasons patients might feel self-conscious and seek a cosmetic blepharoplasty with Dr. Darrow in Boston. Upper eyelids obscuring one’s field of vision due to eyelid ptosis is another reason why some people opt for a blepharoplasty.
How long does it take to recover from a blepharoplasty?
Once Dr. Darrow completes your eyelid surgery, you will be asked to rest with your head up and cool compresses applied to your eyelids to minimize bruising and swelling. Following Dr. Darrow’s post operative instruction sheet will make your recovery go smoothly.
It is recommended to have a relative or friend help you the first few days after the procedure. Cool compresses and minimal activity should be followed for the first week as much as possible.
Dr. Darrow will see you in follow up in approximately 1 week to check your progress. Most patients can start light activity after one week, return to work at 10 days and resume full activity at 2 weeks if cleared by Dr. Darrow.
You should protect your eyes from exposure to harsh sunlight during recovery. Wearing sunglasses helps with this and also prevents wind from affecting the still-healing tissues of the eyelids. Take special care when cleaning your eyes.
What to do next.
To schedule a consultation to learn more about cosmetic blepharoplasty with board certified Boston plastic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Darrow, call the offices of Darrow Cosmetic Surgery at
617-267-0710 and ask for Helen or e-mail Helen at [email protected]