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Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

The skin around the eyes and eyelids is very delicate and can show signs of aging much sooner than skin in other areas of the face. Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, can help you correct drooping upper eyelids, under-eye bags, and other eyelid imperfections that exhibit visible signs of facial aging. During a consultation, one of our Kansas City facial plastic surgeons can evaluate the appearance of your eyes and recommend a customized surgical approach that will address your areas of concern for a more youthful, refreshed look. The ultimate goal of eyelid surgery is always to achieve natural-looking results that enhance your appearance, rather than change it.

What Can Eyelid Surgery Do For Me?

A custom-tailored eyelid lift can address several signs of visible aging on both the upper and lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery can include:

  • Removal and/or recontouring of fat deposits
  • Conservative removal of excess skin
  • Tightening of the skin and/or muscles

The cosmetic benefits of eyelid surgery can have a significant effect on your overall facial appearance. With a few small surgical revisions to your eyelids, you can look like a more refreshed and youthful version of yourself. The blepharoplasty procedure can offer:

  • Incision scars hidden in the natural eyelid crease or along the lash line
  • Restoration of your natural upper eyelid contour
  • A brighter, more energized appearance
  • Smoother contour above and below the eyes
  • Reduction in puffiness around the eyes

Eyelid surgery can be performed alone or in combination with other facial plastic surgery procedures like a facelift or brow lift to achieve comprehensive facial rejuvenation.

Who is a Good Candidate for Blepharoplasty?

The best candidates for blepharoplasty generally exhibit wrinkles, loose skin, or other signs of aging in the region surrounding the eyes. In many cases, individuals who benefit from eyelid surgery experience upper eyelid “hooding,” which occurs when the skin of the eyelids hangs on the upper lash line or droops into one’s line of sight. Upper blepharoplasty can get rid of this excess skin and restore a smooth eye contour, along with improvement of a patient’s vision.

Patients interested in cosmetic surgery should also have no uncontrolled medical conditions and be in good enough health to withstand the recovery process. Dr. J. David Kriet or Dr. Clinton D. Humphrey will examine your concerns and discuss your goals during a consultation to determine whether blepharoplasty is an ideal treatment option for your needs.

What are the Different Types of Eyelid Surgery?

Blepharoplasty can target the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both simultaneously. While there are typically different concerns in each region that can warrant the desire for aesthetic enhancement, eyelid surgery is generally performed with the goal of rejuvenating the eyes and yielding a more rested appearance.

Upper Blepharoplasty

Over time, the skin above the eyes can become lax and cause a congregation of excess tissue in the upper eyelids. This can be a telltale sign of age, as well as a functional concern when redundant skin enters a patient’s line of vision and partially obstructs their eyesight. Upper eyelid surgery is designed to eliminate the excess skin, restoring a younger-looking aesthetic in the upper face.

Lower Blepharoplasty

In the lower eyelids, protruding fat and skin laxity can lead to puffy eyes and under-eye bags that create the look of constant stress and fatigue. To restore a more energetic and alert aesthetic, lower blepharoplasty is designed to remove and reposition bulging fat while tightening the skin and supportive musculature. This can reduce baggy eyelids as well as dark circles for a brighter, more rested appearance.

Ultimately, the eyelid surgery procedure is customized to enhance the contours of the eyes and reinvigorate a tired aesthetic. Drs. Kriet or Humphrey can help you determine the most optimal treatment plan to achieve your cosmetic goals during a consultation.

Transconjunctival Blepharoplasty

Transconjunctival eyelid surgery is a form of lower blepharoplasty that uses an incision on the inside of the lower eyelid. This technique is meant to correct the appearance of eye bags, which are caused by fat below the eyes bulging outward. Unfortunately, this protruding fat usually does not respond well to cosmetic skin creams or serums. During transconjunctival eyelid surgery, the herniated fat pads are removed/repositioned through a tiny internal incision to reveal a smoother, younger-looking eye contour. For the right candidates, the transconjunctival approach can be beneficial as the healing process is often relatively quick and the surgery should not leave any visible scars.

How is the Eyelid Lift Procedure Performed?

The technique used for your eyelid surgery will depend upon the cosmetic improvements you wish to achieve. Dr. J. David Kriet or Dr. Clinton D. Humphrey will explain your surgical plan before the procedure so that you understand exactly what will be taking place. For enhancements to the upper eyelids, your surgeon will hide the incision within the natural crease. Excess skin can then be trimmed away. For the lower lids, the incision is made either on the inside of the eyelid or along the lower lashline. This incision allows for the removal of fat deposits, adjustments to musculature, and tightening of the skin. An eyelid lift is an outpatient procedure, which means you will be able to return home on the same day of surgery.

What is Blepharoplasty Recovery Like?

After surgery, swelling and bruising around the eyes is common for the first few days. During this time, it is important to ice your eyes and keep the head elevated to promote proper healing. Typically, patients are able to return to work after about a week. Our surgeons advise patients to refrain from strenuous activities and exercise for the first few weeks following surgery.

What are the Results of Eyelid Surgery?

After about one to two months, the full results of your procedure will be visible. This estimation can fluctuate, depending on the extent of your eyelid procedure and whether it was performed in conjunction with other surgeries. Many patients report looking younger after their surgery and say they would recommend an eyelid lift to anyone seeking to regain a more youthful appearance. Patients often say that friends and colleagues do not notice they had surgery, instead remarking that they look well-rested, happy, and refreshed.

How Long Does Eyelid Surgery Last?

The results of an eyelid lift are designed to be long-term, with most individuals enjoying their refreshed appearance for at least seven to ten years. In determining how long blepharoplasty lasts, the longevity of the outcome will depend on the rate of your unique aging process, as well as whether you pursued upper and/or lower blepharoplasty. Certain measures, such as wearing sun protection and refraining from smoking, can help minimize future skin laxity and prolong your results.

Will I Have Visible Scars After Eyelid Surgery?

Drs. Kriet and Humphrey conceal the incisions for eyelid surgery in the natural folds and contours around the eye, so any post-surgical scarring will generally be discreet and—in many cases—undetectable. In upper blepharoplasty, the incision is hidden within the eyelid crease while lower eyelid surgery utilizes an incision along the lower lash line or on the inside of the eyelid. Following your surgeon’s instructions on proper wound care after surgery can typically allow the best healing of your incisions and increase the chances that any visible scarring will fade somewhat over time.

How Much Does Eyelid Surgery Cost?

Like many surgical procedures, the cost of eyelid surgery is contingent on the exact details of your treatment plan. Blepharoplasty performed for facial aging is typically a cosmetic procedure that is not covered by insurance. However, for some patients, an insurance policy may provide partial or full coverage for the surgery if lax eyelid tissue is obstructing their vision. In helping you gauge the potential expense of this cosmetic procedure, we have outlined a number of factors that can affect the total cost estimate, such as:

  • Hospital and lab fees
  • Anesthesia fees
  • Surgeon’s fees
  • The geographic location where the procedure is performed

Furthermore, the complexity of your personalized enhancement will be the primary determinant of the final cost. In general, the cost of upper and lower blepharoplasty performed together is greater than the cost of each surgery as a stand-alone procedure. However, pursuing upper eyelid surgery and lower eyelid surgery simultaneously can be less expensive than undergoing both procedures as separate operations.

Ultimately, the final cost estimate will be thoroughly explained before the start of any treatment once your unique considerations are known. To ensure we are accommodating the diverse needs of our patients, we accept a variety of payment methods and financing options. Drs. Kriet and Humphrey work with CommerceCare™, a highly reputable health care financing company that offers qualified applicants a wide range of low- to no-interest programs to suit your budgetary concerns. If you have any additional questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our practice and speak to a member of our team today.

Is an Eyelid Lift Without Surgery Possible?

While there are many non-surgical treatments that can refresh the upper face, there is unfortunately no minimally invasive solution to address excess skin around the eyes with the same quality of results as blepharoplasty. BOTOX® Cosmetic can be used to temporarily smooth crow’s feet and other expression lines, but the concerns usually resolved in an eyelid lift, such as puffy and baggy eyelids, excess skin, and upper eyelid “hooding,” cannot be effectively corrected without surgery. If you would like to rejuvenate the face without the downtime or invasiveness of a surgical procedure, Drs. Kriet and Humphrey would be happy to recommend aesthetic treatments that are well-suited to achieve your cosmetic goals.

What Procedures Can Complement Eyelid Surgery?

Many patients use eyelid surgery as an opportunity to comprehensively rejuvenate their facial appearance, a goal that can be achieved by incorporating additional procedures into your treatment plan. This can allow you to address the signs of age in multiple facial planes, such as the lower face and neck. In these areas, the main concerns experienced by men and women include loose or hanging skin around the jawline and under the neck. A facelift can be a powerful way to correct sagging facial skin, offering long-lasting results that can complement the rested appearance achieved with your eyelid surgery.

A brow lift is also frequently combined with eyelid surgery to raise drooping eyebrows and smooth brow creases in conjunction with minimizing the look of stress, age, and fatigue around the eyes. Both treatment options can pair well with eyelid surgery; however, for those who would like to avoid additional surgery, cosmetic injectables can be used to restore volume in flat or sunken areas of the face, as well as smooth nasolabial folds, marionette lines, and other facial creases.

Should I Know About Any Blepharoplasty Complications?

Complications during or after blepharoplasty are generally rare as long as patients enlist a board-certified facial plastic surgeon to perform their procedure. Nevertheless, eyelid surgery involves the risks that typically exist with all surgical procedures, such as the possibility of infection, poor reactions to the anesthesia, bleeding, and skin discoloration.

While the risk of potential complication exists with any type of surgery, the safety of your procedure can be maximized by ensuring your facial plastic surgeon is highly qualified. In most cases, this means choosing a surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS). Accreditation from the ABFPRS is considered the highest credential one can earn in the field of facial plastic surgery; therefore, board certification often demonstrates a surgeon’s extensive training in safely performing procedures of the face, head, and neck.

Additional Blepharoplasty FAQs

Will eyelid surgery improve my vision?

Blepharoplasty may broaden your field of sight if it is being obstructed by overhanging upper eyelid skin. For some patients, this helps them see better. However, eyelid surgery does not make your actual vision any clearer.

What’s the difference between blepharoplasty and ptosis repair?

Simply put, blepharoplasty is a cosmetic procedure performed for aesthetic purposes while ptosis repair is designed to treat a medical condition. While the indications for both treatments may look similar, eyelid surgery and ptosis repair are different procedures intended to correct very distinct concerns. “Ptosis” is a condition in which the levator muscles of the eyes become weakened and fail to fully lift the upper eyelids. This often results in a sleepy appearance, with most patients unable to completely open their eyes. Ptosis repair is a procedure typically performed by ophthalmologists to tighten the upper eyelid muscle and restore the ability to properly open the upper lid. Blepharoplasty aims to eliminate signs of aging, such as loose, excess skin. Some blepharoplasty patients may similarly achieve a widened scope of vision, but the reason for this is due to the removal of sagging eyelid skin.

How can I reduce swelling after eyelid surgery?

Taking steps, such as nourishing the body with antioxidant- and vitamin-rich foods, keeping the head slightly elevated during sleep, and applying ice packs according to instructions from your facial plastic surgeon, can encourage swelling to subside as quickly as possible. While some inflammation may linger for a few weeks, most swelling typically diminishes within the first week.

When can I wear contacts again after eyelid surgery?

Individuals who normally wear contacts should instead use glasses to see for at least one to two weeks after surgery. This minimizes the risk of your incisions being touched or re-opened. The amount of time it takes for incisions to heal varies depending on whether you pursued upper or lower blepharoplasty, but your facial plastic surgeon will advise you on when you can continue wearing contacts.

When can I wear eye makeup after blepharoplasty?

Since eye makeup tends to attract bacteria, patients should wait around two to three weeks before resuming their makeup routines. It’s important to keep your incisions as clean as possible during the recovery process, therefore Dr. Kriet or Dr. Humphrey will inform you of when it is safe to begin applying makeup again.

For more information about eyelid surgery, please contact our practice to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled facial plastic surgeons.