What is a Blepharoplasty?
A Blepharoplasty is a surgery that removes excess skin and fat from the eyelids to smooth the eyelid contour. Typically, more skin is removed from the upper eyelids, and more fat is removed from the lower eyelids. Sometimes, fat can be repositioned to fill in any hollowed areas.
In some cases, removing the excess skin and fat is not enough. There may be an underlying drooping of the eyelid, or ptosis, that also needs to be addressed.
How is a Blepharoplasty Performed?
An upper blepharoplasty is performed by marking the excess skin of the upper eyelid and excising it. The edges are then sewn back together, hiding the incision in the upper eyelid crease.
A lower blepharoplasty is done through an incision in the back of the lower eyelid. Excess fat that has protruded over time, leading to lower eyelid “bag”, is removed through that incision. In most cases, there is a small excess of skin on the outer surface of the lower eyelid. This thin skin is excised carefully and sewn back together, hiding the incision along the lower lash line.
An upper blepharoplasty is usually done with localized numbing injections and sedation under the care of an anesthesiologist. A lower blepharoplasty can be done in the same way but can be more uncomfortable. More advanced levels of anesthesia may be available depending on patient preference.
What to Expect with Recovery?
You will need someone to drive you home from your surgery. You will be provided with prescription medications and post-operative care instructions. Ice and head elevation are key at this point. When you return for your first post-operative appointment at one week, any non-dissolvable sutures will be removed and medications will be stopped in most cases. We will review techniques to reduce scar formation at this visit as well.
There can be bruising and swelling right after surgery that may worsen over the following 24-48 hrs. Sometimes the bruising/swelling extends into the lower eye lids and cheeks. This peaks by the second or third day and gradually improves over the next 2-3 weeks. Any residual bruising can be easily covered by makeup after 2-3 weeks. The healing process varies from person to person and is dependent on factors such as the patient’s overall health, diet, and cardiovascular status.
Is a Blepharoplasty Covered by Insurance?
An upper blepharoplasty may be covered by insurance if the excess skin is obstructing your visual field. The degree of obstruction will be assessed at your surgical evaluation appointment. A lower blepharoplasty is typically considered a cosmetic procedure and not covered by insurance. In every case, we work closely with you and your insurance company to understand expected costs prior to proceeding with surgery.