As we age, the skin on the brows and over the eyes tends to sag and droop, which can make us look older and tired. An eyelid lift, also called blepharoplasty, is a popular cosmetic surgery that can remove extra skin, muscle, and fat from the eyelids to give you a younger, more alert appearance.
The skin over the eyes that sags enough as the years pass can even reduce your peripheral vision. But eyelid surgery can eliminate this issue and make you look years younger.
An eyelid lift may be appropriate if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Droopy and baggy upper eyelids
- Extra skin on the upper eyelids that makes it hard to see from the sides
- Extra skin and fat on the lower eyelids
- Bags below the eyes
Depending on the nature of the problem, the plastic surgeon can perform an upper eyelid lift, lower eyelid lift, or both.
Health insurance may cover an upper eyelid lift if the skin obscures your vision.
Eyelid Lift Procedure
If you need surgery on the upper and lower eyelids, the plastic surgeon will probably do the upper lids first. Then, they will cut along the fold of your eyelid, remove extra skin, fat, and muscle, and close the incision.
This procedure will remove sagging skin over the eyes and provide a more alert and rested appearance.
If you need lower eyelid surgery, the surgeon will incise below the eyelashes in the natural crease of the eyelid. Extra fat, sagging skin, and muscle will be removed, then the incision is closed. Some of the issues that this surgery can address are:
- Asymmetrical lower lids
- Bags under the eyes
- Sagging of the lower lids
- Wrinkles in the eyelid skin
- Dark circles under the eyes
For situations where the upper eyelid droops near the pupil, the surgeon may also perform ptosis, which provides more support to the eyelid muscles.
Eyelid Lift Benefits
Having an upper eyelid or lower eyelid lift has many benefits. The results are subtle but striking, which is why it’s such a popular procedure:
Reduced Bags Under The Eyes
An eyelid lift can remove fat pockets under the eyes that give you that baggy look. Some think that bags under the eyes are because of allergies but it’s often because fat under the eyes is moving down with gravity and age.
The surgeon can usually make sure that the remaining skin left behind when the fat is taken out will tighten up on its own; skin doesn’t usually need to be removed to eliminate bags.
In severe situations, extra skin over the eyes can droop over the eyelashes and affect your vision. The sagging can be due to age or genes, as well as sun exposure and poor diet.
Sagging eyelid skin is a big problem because it obscures the vision and can cause other problems. If your vision is being obscured with sagging skin, an upper eyelid lift will correct the issue.
Improved Eye Shape
Are you weary of your eyes looking half-closed, which makes you look fatigued and old? Having upper and lower eyelid surgery can open the eyes and make you look younger and more alert.
The extra skin and fat can be removed in a way to minimize scarring, too, so most people won’t know you had anything done. But the improvement is striking!
Less Skin Irritation
Drooping skin on the upper eyelids can make the upper face feel heavy. You also may have irritated skin becaus blinking makes the extra skin rub together. An upper eyelid will eliminate this discomfort.
Eyelid surgery also can improve your ability to wear eye makeup by preventing smears when the extra skin is taken out.
No More Dark Circles
Taking out extra fat from under the eyes as well as moving around the fat that is there will get rid of those dark circles and improve your appearance.
Less Forehead Discomfort
As the forehead upper eyelid skin droops, you may need to keep your brow raised because of the heavy feeling. Taking out this extra skin will provide relief to the forehead and eyelid muscles.
Fewer Wrinkles And Fine Lines
An eyelid lift can reduce the fine lines that are in the outer corners of the eyes and lower lids. Fine lines can be reduced when the lid is lifted and taking away extra skin from the eyes.
Ideal Candidates For An Eyelid Lift
Eyelid surgery is popular for many people over 40 or 50 who want to look younger. Sagging in the delicate skin around the eyes is part of the aging process. But you may want eyelid surgery if the appearance of your upper and lower lids bother you.
Many patients also want this procedure if they have bags under the eyes or have eyebrows that are sagging.
Some patients who want an eyelid lift have issues that are not merely cosmetic. You could be an ideal candidate if your vision is blocked by sagging eyelid skin, you could be an ideal candidate. Some candidates say their vision is blocked when they look up.
Ideal candidates also don’t smoke or have any health problems that can complicate the recovery.
Surgery Preparation For An Eyelid Lift
Getting ready for an eyelid lift takes a few weeks. First, you need to have a consultation with your plastic surgeon to find out if you are a candidate for the procedure. You also should check that the surgeon is board-certified and has ample experience with this complex procedure.
Next, the surgeon will need to do a physical examination and measure the eyes, and tear and vision tests are done, too. Your surgeon may take pictures of the eyelids to help them do the procedure properly.
You should tell your surgeon about any medications you take, including prescriptions, over-the-counter, and herbal supplements. It may be necessary for you to stop taking some of these medications before surgery.
For example, you should stop taking anything that increases bleeding for at least a month before surgery.
Next, you should be prepared for the recovery process. You will have swelling in the eye area after the eyelid lift, so have meals prepared in advance. And make sure you have your prescriptions filled and everything you need for a week or two of recovery.
You also need to have a friend or family member drive you home after surgery. It’s also a good idea to have someone stay with you the first night.
Eyelid Lift Risks And Complications
Recovery from an eyelid lift isn’t as extensive for other procedures. After the surgery, you will be taken to the recovery room as you wake up from anesthesia. The staff will monitor you for complications, and you will probably go home as soon as you wake up.
Remember to rest as much as you can for the first three or for days. You could have some discomfort and swelling, but you can take Advil or Tylenol to manage these symptoms. Expect these symptoms to linger for about a week.
Your eyesight may be blurry and the eyes sensitive to light for a few days. But call your surgeon if these symptoms last more than three or four days.
You cannot wear contact lenses for two weeks, so have glasses available if you need them.
It isn’t necessary to cover your eyes during the recovery. But the surgeon may put gauze over your eyes for a few hours after the eyelid lift. Be sure you wash the eye area every day and keep it clean.
Most patients fully recover from the procedure after two or three weeks. After a week, you can probably return to work.
You shouldn’t engage in vigorous activities or lifting until your doctor says it’s ok. But it helps to go for a daily walk to keep blood circulating, which aids the healing process.
Eyelid Lift Recovery
Most breast lift patients take off three to seven days from work to recover. You should avoid strenuous physical activity for the first three weeks after surgery, but it helps recovery to go for a daily walk.
It takes from six to 12 weeks for your breasts to reveal their final shape. Scars will take up to a year to fade but are usually difficult to see after full recovery.
Pain after a breast lift is moderate, and you may only need over-the-counter pain drugs, but Dr. Smita can prescribe a painkiller if needed.
If you are having an eyelid lift, you might consider having other facial procedures at the same time. Why?
The thinking is, if you are going under anesthesia and experiencing a plastic surgery recovery, why not combine several procedures into the same timeframe? It’s more cost-effective and you only need to go through recovery once.
Plus, having several facial procedures at once will make an even bigger impact on your appearance and cause you to look significantly younger. Popular choices are
Eyelid Lift FAQ
Some of the most common questions about eyelid lifts include:
Why Should I Have Eyelid Surgery?
May patients want something done to reduce the bags under their eyes. Or, they have droopy skin over the eyes that make them look tired or angry. Some patients also have vision problems from the sagging skin.
How Long Does An Eyelid Lift Take?
The surgery can take up to two hours, and you will need something to take you home as you recover from anesthesia.
Will My Health Insurance Cover This Procedure?
This procedure isn’t usually covered by insurance. However, there are cases where sagging skin obscures the patient’s vision. If your surgeon documents that your vision is affected, your health insurance may cover the procedure.
Will I Have Scars?
Usually, there are no visible scars because the incisions are hidden in natural folds and creases of the skin. Once the inicisions fade, usually the only ones who know you had surgery are you and the surgeon.
Will Both Eyelids Look The Same?
Every eyelid is a bit different, but they will look as much like the other as possible.
How Long Will My Recovery Be?
Recoveries vary by patient. But stitches are usually removed after 10 days, and most patients recover after 30 days. But your recovery could take longer, and you may have swelling for up to three months.
How Much Pain Will I Have?
You can expect minor to moderate discomfort from an eyelid lift. The surgeon will give you prescription pain medication to get you comfortably through the first few days. After day three or four, Tylenol is probably all you need.
How Long Will It Be Until I Look Normal?
Most patients look like their old selves after two or three weeks. But some heal faster than others. That’s why it’s recommended to take at least one week off work.
You will look better after one or two months, and entirely normal after six months.
Is An Eyelid Lift Worth It?
Most patients are highly satisfied with their upper or lower eyelid lift because the procedure make you look younger, more rested, and less irritated. Most patients report a major self-confidence boost after eyelid surgery.
This procedure usually lasts many years, and even a lifetime, so talk to your surgeon today to find out if any eyelid lift will help you.
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