Poets to scientists to lovers have spoken of the eyes as the windows to the soul… But as time and aging begin to leave their marks, are your eyes still conveying your true spirit?
While the entire face will develop signs of aging, the area around your eyes is especially vulnerable to changes that affect your aesthetics, like under-eye bags, hooded eyes, or a perpetually tired, disinterested, or angry expression, even when the face is at rest.
Eyelid surgery, also known as “blepharoplasty,” has been around since the time of the ancient Greeks. And today, it’s a popular, effective procedure that rejuvenates the eye area, creating a younger, more alert and interested expression. In the U.S. alone, more than 100,000 people have eyelid surgery every year. Eyelid surgery New York comes at the fourth place in most popular cosmetic surgery after liposuction, breast augmentation, and tummy tuck. Because the procedure is surprisingly versatile, a woman or man could seek a blepharoplasty for an assortment of reasons.
Some people wish to remove a double eyelid or improve under-eye bags and fatty deposits that cause a “puffy” appearance. Blepharoplasty can also repair damage to the eyelid caused by an injury, illness or congenital eyelid issues. Other patients just want to tighten up the loose, excessive or saggy skin around the eyes to eliminate wrinkles and improve self-confidence.
To start the blepharoplasty process, you will have an initial consultation with our Medical Director Dr. Sergio Alvarez or one of the other elite surgeons at mia Aesthetics. The doctor will take a full medical history and photograph your eye area, taking notes and marking the photos to denote potential alterations. You’ll get specific instructions for self-care before and after the surgery, including any prescriptions you may need to have filled before surgery. This appointment is your opportunity to talk about what you want to get out of the surgery, ask any questions about the procedure/preparation/recovery, and get to know your mia Aesthetics surgeon. If you feel ready to move forward, you could even schedule your blepharoplasty during the consultation.
As with any surgery, candidates should be in excellent physical and mental health, and it’s important patients have realistic expectations about the surgery to prevent disappointment and expectations of perfection.
Pregnant women are not advised to undergo a blepharoplasty. You must not have had any recent major work to your face or neck skin as this may interfere with post-operative recovery. You should not be taking blood thinners, suffering from a blood disease, or have an autoimmune disorder. Patients should also be able to take anesthesia without any allergic reactions. After taking a full medical history, your mia Aesthetics surgeon will tell you if you are ready for eyelid surgery or whether you should postpone or forgo it altogether.
The blepharoplasty procedure can vary depending on whether you are having your upper eyelids done, your lower eyelids done, or both.
On surgery day, someone will need to drive you to and from the procedure, then ideally stay the night with you. Your mia Aesthetics surgeon will prepare you for what to expect during the surgical process and what comes afterwards. The doctor will start making marks around your eyelids to indicate the areas to be worked on.
Anesthesia will come via injection or general anesthesia, and the procedure time will depend on the scope of your procedure. Your doctor will be able give you a good estimate of how long your surgery should take and how long you’ll be in recovery. The doctor may use surgical tape, sutures or adhesives to close the incision points. Again, you can ask your doctor in advance what methodology he expects will work best for you.
Immediately after eyelid surgery, you’ll have swelling and bruising around the eyes. Patients may experience mild side effects including pain/discomfort, dry eyes, or itching near the incisions as they heal. Noticeable discomfort or swelling should subside within 48 hours, and pain can be controlled with prescribed medication. Patients should keep the head elevated as much as possible for several days to help keep swelling down.
After 7 to 14 days, patients can gradually resume normal activities like office work and light household chores. However, heavy lifting, exercise, and other strenuous activity must be postponed for several more weeks. You’ll begin to see preliminary results from eyelid surgery in 6 to 8 weeks, but don’t expect final results until all the swelling is gone, which is typically after 6 months.
Choosing the Right Surgeon
When choosing a plastic surgeon, your safety and results should be the most pressing concerns. You want a reputable plastic surgeon with the skill and experience to help you achieve your goals. It is best to meet with a few surgeons before making a decision, giving yourself the opportunity to find a surgeon who inspires your confidence, comfort and is willing to answer all your questions. Ask to see before & after photos. This process is essential. You’ll be putting your safety and your aesthetic hopes in the hands of this surgeon. Take your time, and when surgery day comes, you can move forward with maximum confidence.
Eyelid Surgery FAQs
How long will the procedure last?
A typical time frame for eyelid surgery is about two hours start to finish, with additional time for surgical prep and recovery time. The precise time will vary depending on whether you are having just your upper, just your lower or both areas of the eyelids operated on. Your doctor can give you the most accurate estimate.
Are there risks?
Any surgical procedure comes with risks, and your mia Aesthetics surgeon will cover them in detail, including risks that may be specific to your personal or family medical history. Choosing a skilled surgeon and properly caring for yourself throughout the process reduces your risk for complications.
Potential risks in eyelid surgery include infection, dry eyes, scarring, bleeding, abnormal lid color, an inability to fully close the eyelids, or — very rarely — vision loss.
How soon can I return to work?
Because your eye area will likely be swollen and sore and you won’t be able to drive, we recommend getting the procedure done on a Friday so you can get the weekend to rest. Within a week most of the swelling will subside, so you can plan to return to work as soon as your surgeon clears you to drive and you feel comfortable around other people.
Does insurance cover eyelid surgery?
This answer varies widely by insurer. If your insurance does cover eyelid surgery it will likely only cover the procedure for the upper eyelids, as this can be a medical issue, rather than a cosmetic problem. If your insurance does not cover eyelid surgery, ask us what other options we may have available, like payment plans and financing.
Will blepharoplasty leave scars?
All surgery produces some scarring, but eyelid surgery tends to be virtually “invisible” in terms of scarring. Many of the incisions are placed in discreet areas, such as inside the eyelid. Even when incisions are placed in more visible areas, these scars typically fade extremely well over time.