Known as the windows to the soul, the eyes are a very important first impression feature of the face. Each year patients seek this popular procedure to reverse signs of aging and regain youthful eyes.
Eyelid surgery with a triple board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Gentile (certified in Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and Plastic Surgery) can give you a bright, radiant appearance.
- 1 What is Blepharoplasty?
- 2 Before and After Photos
- 3 Ideal Candidates
- 4 Reasons to Get Eyelid Surgery
- 5 Consultation
- 6 Preparing for Eyelid Surgery
- 7 Procedure Information
- 8 Alternatives
- 9 Postoperative Recovery
- 10 Pricing
What is Blepharoplasty?
Your eyes are the first to show the signs of aging and eyelid surgery can make a big difference in the way you look. Blepharoplasty, more commonly known as eyelid surgery, is a cosmetic surgery performed on the upper, lower, or both eyelids. The procedure is designed to remove excess drooping upper or lower eyelid skin and eliminate under eye bags and puffiness.
Eyelid surgery can be performed on both men and women. It is important to understand though what the surgery can and won’t achieve. Eyelid surgery will not correct fine lines and wrinkles, dark circles under the eyes, or change the position of the eyebrow. It will however give patients refreshed, youthful eyes. Blepharoplasty can also be paired with procedures like Botox or Brow Lift to add a rejuvenated glow.
Before and After Photos
Ideal candidates for eyelid surgery have loose, drooping skin on the upper lids and bagginess or bulging fat pads on the lower eyelids. These patients appear tired due to bags underneath their eyes. With time, the upper eyelids begin to thin and fold, and the muscles supporting them begin to weaken. Drooping or puffy eye skin can make people look tired or older than they actually are. Besides making you look older, your sagging skin on your eyes can reduce your side vision, especially the upper and outer parts of your vision field. Blepharoplasty can reduce or eliminate these vision problems and your puffiness and make your eyes appear younger and more alert.
The above occurrences can be caused by sun exposure, genetics, aging, or not taking care of the skin around the eyes. And while you may want eyelid surgery to correct a physical imperative issue, others may simply desire a cosmetic enhancement. Blepharoplasty patients are typically 35 years or older, and cannot have any serious eye conditions to be a candidate.
Reasons to Get Eyelid Surgery
Double eyelid surgery is a procedure that creates a crease in the upper eyelid for those that lack one. This is a popular procedure among patients of Asian descent. The crease made divides the upper eyelid into two sections.
Ptosis is the clinical terminology for droopy upper eyelids; this is caused by a dysfunction of the muscles. Eyesight is often hindered in patients who experience ptosis, either in one or both eyes. And with age, the muscles can continue to weaken. On the other hand, ptosis may present itself from birth; this is known as congenital ptosis. If not treated early enough, the muscles may not develop, vision can be blurred, or cause a lazy eye. This condition makes it difficult to carry on the easiest of tasks, and does not improve on it’s own. A Blepharoplasty procedure with Dr. Hervé Gentile can resolve blocked eyesight due to elongated or drooping eyelids and better your vision.
Entropion, the opposite of the above, refers to when the lower eyelid rolls and tucks inward. This circumstance causes the eyelid to rub against the eye, irritating it and making it sensitive to light and wind. Permanent damage can result from scratched corneas or infections caused by this occurrence. Entropion can be present from birth, induced by trauma, or develops with age.
Ectropion is a term that refers to the lower eyelid sagging and turning outward. The white under the iris is left visible, exposed and unprotected. This is a common occurrence with aging, but can also be due to trauma, stroke, or prior surgeries.
During your consultation with board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Hervé Gentile, you will have the opportunity to share the cosmetic concerns you have about the area around your eyes and your aesthetic goals. He will then perform a comprehensive examination and analyze your skin type and your eyes in context to the rest of your facial features.
With all of his findings, both you and he will work together to assess which technique will give you optimal results. You will be shown before and after pictures of patients with similar scenarios to give you an idea of what your results could look like. Results vary from patient to patient, but this will give you a general expectation of results. Please share any medical conditions or ocular diseases as these may affect your candidacy. Dr. Gentile will gladly answer any questions about the entire process. Pricing inquiries can be addressed at this time as well.
Preparing for Eyelid Surgery
Dr. Gentile will have you complete certain tests and examinations prior to your surgery, including a vision test and on certain occasions a tear production test. Smoking should be avoided several weeks beforehand, as well as after the procedure. Anti-inflammatory medications and herbal supplements should not be consumed as these increase bleeding. Pain medications will be prescribed by Dr. Gentile to keep you as comfortable as possible during your recovery.
Please arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery as you will not be able to yourself. It is recommended to have someone stay overnight with you. Plan on taking several days off from work as rest is key to recovery. Stock your home with plenty of ice cubes and ice packs, as well as clean washcloths and gauze. Do not wear anything to surgery that you need to pull over your head; you do not want to disturb the treated area. Bring a top that you can wrap around yourself.
The procedures consists of removing the excess skin or the fatty bags or both and is performed in our surgical office suite under local anesthesia. The length of your procedure varies between patients, but usually takes 1-2 hours. Patients can choose to undergo eyelid surgery for just the upper eyelids, just the lower, or both. There is no “better” choice; each has its merits. Dr. Gentile will gladly go over each with you during your consultation.
The incision locations on the eyelids will be marked by Dr. Gentile. In the Upper Blepharoplasty not only is a strip of skin removed from over your eyes but also some fat which is usually present near the nasal edge. The scars will blend into the natural eyelid folds and lines and will heal very quickly, since the lid skin is very thin, becoming barely noticeable after a few months. Fine sutures are used to close the incision which minimizes the visibility of any scarring.
Incisions in the lower eyelids are either made below the eyelid near the lash line (subciliary) or inside the eyelid (transconjunctival.) The transconjunctival approach is used in the lower eyelid to remove fat bulges, which results in a non-visible scar hidden behind your eyelid. Dr. Gentile will have determined during your consultation which incision would suite your case best. Fat, tissue, muscle, and excess skin are either repositioned or removed. For patients with significant lower eyelid redundancy or eye prominence, a lateral canthoplasty is sometimes performed through the same incisions. A canthoplasty repositions the lateral angle of your lid to a higher position thereby tilting the outside of your eyes upwards (almond shape eye).
Depending on your desired outcome, an alternative procedure may be deemed more appropriate. Blepharoplasty results however can be greatly enhanced by adding an ancillary procedure.
Botox is a minimally invasive FDA approved injectable that corrects fine lines and wrinkles on the face that Blepharoplasty alone does not address. The drug is injected into the facial muscles which temporarily weakens them. Botox can be used to diminish crow’s feet, laugh lines, and forehead wrinkles. This is not a permanent solution to correcting wrinkles and has to be repeated around 3 times a year for continuous results.
A Brow Lift raises drooping eyebrows to a more youthful positioning. Through this process wrinkles between the eyes and on the forehead are diminished, and the upper eyelids are slightly raised as well. If you experience tension headaches due to always raising your eyebrows to better see, this procedure can potentially alleviate them. A Brow Lift can be performed in conjunction with eyelid surgery.
Facial peels are an alternative to Blepharoplasty when patients wish to address fine lines, wrinkles, blemishes, or discoloration of the facial skin. These peels will reveal glowing, radiant skin. There are different peels that produce varying results, but you and Dr. Gentile will come to a decision together to determine which would give you the best results for your aesthetic desires.
In the media you may discover Neotensil, a new product which you can buy over the internet to help with your baggy lower eyelids. It is similar to the detailing products you use on your car tires. It is expensive and only lasts a few hours. The results as you can expect are minimal and don’t look any better than what you obtain using an egg white mask. It is not a cure but a Band-Aid at best.
After your surgery you will spend some time in the recovery room recuperating where you will also be monitored. You may leave with a friend or family member after a few hours or when deemed ready by Dr. Gentile. You will be given instructions on how to keep your incisions clean. You will also be given eye drops to prevent dryness or itching. Slightly blurred vision is normal for a couple days, as well as some sensitivity to light. You can reduce swelling and bruising by applying cold compresses to the eyes. Dr. Gentile will ask you to keep your head elevated for several days. Some swelling and bruising is normal; this will subside quickly. Discomfort and pain, which is minimal if at all, can be controlled by medication. Walking and light activities can speed up the healing process.
Recovery is quick and most patients are presentable in four days (make-up is allowed after three days). Expect your eyes to feel tight and pulling for at least a week after surgery, but do remember that it is normal and natural to have a few remaining wrinkles when your lids are open which are the result of functional winking. Sunglasses are also recommended since your eyes for a while will be more sensitive to the light.
At your postoperative appointment, Dr. Gentile will assess your recovery progress. In most cases dissolvable sutures are used which do not require removal. Final, radiant results can be seen within a few months. Everyone’s eyelids experience some laxity with age, but results from eyelid surgery can be enjoyed for many years. You may receive comments on your improved appearance but generally speaking nobody will know why, even if you have a new sparkle in your eyes.
The cost of the Upper Blepharoplasty is approximately $2,800 and a bit higher for the lower eyelid with the combo significantly discounted. While in the past some insurances did cover the procedure it is virtually an impossible task today. Even Medicare requires that the excess skin in your upper eyelid reduces your vision by 50% or more prior to granting approval. To receive an estimate quote for your specific case, schedule a private consultation.