What is Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)?
An eyelid lift, also known as blepharoplasty, is surgery to improve the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both by removing excess skin, muscle, and fat.
Candidates for Blepharoplasty
Eyelid surgery is an outpatient procedure and is performed on adult women and men who are non-smokers who have healthy facial tissue and muscles.
Eyelid Surgery Benefits
Our eyes are the focal point of the face, but the skin on our eyelids and surrounding our eyes is some of the thinnest on the entire human body. Plus, the sunny high altitude of Colorado, coupled with our outdoor lifestyles, takes a real toll on our eyelids. Couple the exposure with the natural sagging and slackening of tissues that is a part of aging, and you have the recipe for eyes that are dramatically aging your overall face. People usually say the eyes are the part of the face they notice first when meeting a new person, so what are your aging eyelids saying about you?
This is a great procedure because it delivers quite dramatic results, but they are subtle at the same time. Unless you tell others you’ve had eyelid surgery, they won’t have any idea — they’ll just know you somehow look more alert, younger, and refreshed. Most people think eyelid surgery takes about a decade off their facial age, and who couldn’t use that?
TECHNIQUES USED IN EYELID SURGERY
UPPER EYELID SURGERY
Upper eyelid surgery begins with an incision along the natural fold of the lid. Then Dr. Hunsicker removes excess skin and some muscle and fat beneath the skin, before closing with tiny stitches that leave a nearly invisible scar.
LOWER EYELID SURGERY
Moving to the lower eyelids, Dr. Hunsicker makes an incision just below the lashes near the eye’s natural crease or inside the lower lid. She will then remove or redistribute excess fat, muscle, and sagging skin. Depending on where the initial incisions are made, she usually closes the incision using Dermabond, which works like a surgical superglue.
Eyelid Surgery FAQs
The best candidates for eyelid surgery are healthy adults who do not smoke. Most patients are over the age of 35 and desire a more youthful and alert appearance. In some cases, you may need to undergo a checkup with your eye doctor before Dr. Hunsicker can perform your eyelid surgery.
After blepharoplasty, a lubricating ointment will usually be applied to the eyes to protect them and prevent dryness. The ointment causes some patients to experience temporary blurred vision. Most patients notice that their incision areas are red and visible at first, and that their eyelids may be puffy and feel numb for several days. It is also common for patients to experience some swelling and bruising for the first 1-2 weeks after surgery. Pain is usually managed easily through prescription pain medication or Tylenol. If stitches were used, they’ll be removed after three or four days.
Surgery is usually performed under IV sedation and usually takes between 1-2 hours. If both an upper and lower blepharoplasty surgery is being performed, Dr. Hunsicker will begin with the upper eyelids.
If you’re taking your prescription pain medication, obviously you cannot drive. Most of our patients don’t use their pain medication, however, opting instead for simple over-the-counter pain medication. Otherwise, as long as you’re able to make the movements necessary for proper driving and safety, you’ll be able to drive. Many patients wait until their pain basically resolves, which is just a couple of days, for the most part, to start driving again. If you’re concerned about swelling and going out in public, give it a week.
Dr. Hunsicker has performed hundreds of blepharoplasties and is very attentive to visible scarring. She effectively hides the incisions, so no one knows you’ve had eyelid surgery. In the upper eyelid, the incision is made in the natural crease of the eye, so it is virtually invisible. In the lower eyelid, she may make the incision just below the eyelash or else on the inside of the eyelid, so there won’t be any visible scars.
This is a safe procedure when done by a board-certified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Hunsicker. Still, there are the usual risks with any surgery: excessive bleeding, poor wound healing, reaction to anesthesia, and the like. Specific to this surgery, risks involve injury to the eye muscles, difficulty closing your eyelids, and potential dry eye. These are all very rare; this is an effective, safe procedure.
The important thing initially is to diligently use the cold compress we provide. This will eliminate much of your swelling. Getting back to normal after eyelid surgery is not a long process. For the first week, you need to avoid elevating blood pressure to your face. This means you shouldn’t bend over deeply, and you shouldn’t lift any heavyweight or strenuously exercise. But for most patients, they’re pretty much back to normal in a week or so. You’ll only need to miss 3 to 5 days of work.
The changes made by Dr. Hunsicker with your eyelid surgery are, of course, permanent. But that doesn’t mean your eyes will magically stop aging. It’s generally thought that upper eyelid surgery shows its best results for the next seven years or so. Lower eyelid surgery lasts even longer than that. If more sagging occurs in the upper eyelids, a brow lift can often address it. No matter how much your eyelids sag in the future, you can be assured that it will never even approach the degree they were sagging that predicated you coming see us at Revalla for this procedure.
EYELID SURGERY CONSULTATION EXPECTATIONS
Then she’ll describe the blepharoplasty procedure in detail. She’ll touch on areas that will address your specific needs. Throughout this time, she’ll ask to be sure you understand the various aspects of the procedure. She’ll then get into the recovery timeline you can expect, and obviously the results she feels she can achieve for you. She’ll also address the risks involved.
At the conclusion of your consultation, whether you choose to go ahead with the procedure or not, you will be well-versed in the ins and outs of blepharoplasty.
Dr. Hunsicker views every surgery consultation as a completely free flow of information between herself and the patient. She encourages patients to ask any and all questions they have throughout the meeting. You’ll start the consultation, explaining what aspects of your eyelids and the surrounding areas that bother you, along with the changes you’d like to see. You’ll detail what results you think you can achieve with this surgery.
Then it’s Dr. Hunsicker’s turn. She’ll perform a thorough examination of your eye area. She’ll look at the degree of sagging, and if the levator muscles are also loose on your upper lids. She’ll examine the area under your lower eyelids.
LEARN MORE ABOUT EYELID SURGERY IN SOUTH DENVER
Dr. Lisa M. Hunsicker has been practicing medicine since 1995. Since 2001, Revalla Plastic Surgery has been providing patients in the Denver, Morrison, Littleton, and Colorado Springs area with excellent, individualized cosmetic surgery results. We encourage you to call us for a personal consultation with Dr. Hunsicker. Contact us at 720-283-2500 or online to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hunsicker. Together, you can determine if you are a good candidate for eyelid surgery..