Eyelid surgery (also called an eye lift or blepharoplasty), reduces bagginess from lower eyelids and removes excess skin from the upper eyelids. This surgery is can be done for cosmetic reasons, but it is also an effective way to improve sight in patients whose sagging upper eyelids get in the way of their vision. This condition is known as “dermatochalasis”.

Medical insurance will sometimes cover blepharoplasty procedures if it is done for medical necessity to improve peripheral vision. You will need an eye exam and visual field testing to determine if you are a candidate for this procedure. Insurance usually does not cover lower eyelid blepharoplasty.

The Eyelids and Aging
As skin ages, it gradually loses its elasticity. A lack of elasticity plus the constant pull of gravity causes excessive skin to collect on the upper and lower eyelids.

Excess skin on the lower eyelid causes wrinkles and bulges. On the upper eyelids, an extra fold of skin can hang over the eyelashes and get in the way of peripheral and in severe cases central vision.

The fat that cushions the eyeball from the skull can also cause bulges in the upper and lower eyelids. The thin membrane that holds the fat in place weakens with age, letting the fat come forward into the lids like a hernia.

Who Is a Good Candidate For Blepharoplasty?

The best candidates for an eye lift are people who are in good health and who have realistic expectations. Most are 40 years or older, but if baggy eyelids or droopy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have the surgery done sooner.

Eyelid surgery can enhance your appearance and help build your confidence. However, it may not result in your ideal look or alter your facial structure. Before you decide to have surgery, think about your goals and discuss them with your surgeon.

Will the Results of Blepharoplasty Be Permanent?

Upper eyelid surgery can last many years but as your eyes still age need for repeat interventions later on may still be necessary. Lower eyelid surgery rarely needs to be repeated. Of course, your eyes will still age after the procedure.

How Is Blepharoplasty Performed?

An eyelift usually takes about two hours if both upper and lower eyelids are done together. Your doctor will most likely use local anesthesia (a painkiller injected around the eye) with oral sedation.

If you’re having all four eyelids done, the surgeon will probably work on the upper lids first. The surgeon will usually make an incision along the natural creases of your eyelids. Through these incisions, your surgeon will separate the skin from the underlying tissue and remove the excess fat and skin (and muscle if indicated). Next, the surgeon will close those cuts with very small stitches. The stitches in the upper lids will stay for about 7-10 days. The lower lids may or may not require stitches, depending on the technique used.

Surgery on the lower eyelids may be done using one of several techniques. In one method, your surgeon makes a cut inside your lower eyelid to remove fat. Another method involves making a cut along the eyelash margin. Through that cut, your surgeon can remove excess skin, loose muscle, and fat. The cut line fades after a short time.

What Is Recovery Like After Blepharoplasty Surgery?

After eyelid surgery, you will have stitches in both lids that will remain for 7-10 days. It is common to have swelling and, occasionally, bruising, but your eyelids should look back to normal within a week or two.

What Are the Possible Complications of Blepharoplasty?
Complications and unwanted results from an eye lift are rare, but sometimes they do occur. They can include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Dry eyes
  • Abnormal coloring of the eyelids
  • Eyelid skin that folds in or out abnormally
  • Not being able to fully close your eyes
  • A pulled-down lower lid lash line
  • A possible loss of vision

Experience You Can See

Richard Arceneaux, MD . Jonathan Carrere, MD . Darby Chiasson, OD

Thibodaux : 985-446-0506 | Houma : 985-879-2393