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Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Top New York plastic surgeon Dr. Darrick Antell is board certified in plastic surgery, emphasizing aesthetic cosmetic surgery. One of the plastic surgery procedures he performs is plastic surgery of the eyelids, also known as blepharoplasty.

Blepharoplasty is designed to remove the excess fat, skin, and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. If you are considering Blepharoplasty, this page will give you a basic understanding of the procedure.

What are the goals of Eyelid Plastic Surgery?

A properly performed blepharoplasty procedure will brighten the face and restore a more youthful appearance. In some patients the procedure will improve vision by removing the excessive skin of the upper eyelids which can hang down and interfere with peripheral vision.

Close up on woman's aesthetic eyes and eye lids.

What is a Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty refers to eyelid surgery and is designed to remove the excess fat, skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. It is the second most common aesthetic procedure performed by plastic surgeons in the United States.

How is Eyelid Surgery Performed?

Eyelid surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia and light intravenous sedation. It is commonly done in a doctor’s office, outpatient surgical center or, in some cases, a hospital. The procedure is most often performed on an outpatient basis. Dr. Antell performs blepharoplasties in his accredited state-of-the-art surgical facility in New York.

Length of Procedure

The length of the procedure will depend on your cosmetic expectations and goals. If you’re getting surgery on both the upper and lower eyelids (double blepharoplasty), the procedure may take 2 hours. However, the procedure will conclude faster if you’re getting an upper or lower blepharoplasty.

Will there be scarring?

Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure and, like most surgeries, involves incisions. The incision scars will be most visible immediately after the surgery when your eyes appear swollen or bruised. However, as the swelling and bruising dissipate in a few days, the scars will also fade away and become practically invisible.

Dr. Antell carefully makes the incisions along the natural folds of your eyelids to ensure they’re concealed perfectly. You must visit a board-certified, experienced, and highly-skilled plastic surgeon for the procedure to ensure minimal scarring. If the incisions are made incorrectly or using the wrong sutures, you might have a prominent scar on your eyelid.

What are the risks involved with Plastic Surgery of the Eyelids?

Fortunately, when performed by a competent plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and minor. All patients will experience some bruising and swelling for a few days after the surgery. In addition, a temporary problem with closure of the eyelids is usually seen. Some may have temporary blurring of their vision, usually due to the ointments applied to the incisions post operatively. In rare instances, the lower eyelid may be pulled down causing an ectropion. If this does not resolve on its own, further surgery may be necessary. The theoretical complications of any surgical procedure, such as bleeding, infection, wound disruption and heavy scarring are also possible, but rare.

Woman with beautiful eyes.

Eyelid Surgery Cost

Eyelid surgery is an extremely delicate procedure—it should be performed by a board-certified surgeon with years of experience and a flawless track record. Avoid the temptation of a discount eyelid surgery from a non-certified surgeon because they might lead to undesirable results or increase your risk of complications.

Eyelid surgery, like most surgical procedures, may cost thousands of dollars. However, the specific cost of the procedure depends on several factors:

  • Whether you’re getting an upper blepharoplasty, lower blepharoplasty, or double blepharoplasty
  • Operational costs of the surgical facility
  • Surgeon’s fees
  • Anesthesia costs
  • Additional tests before the procedure
  • Prescription medications after the treatment
  • Surgical garment costs

Eyelid Surgery Recovery

Your eyelids will be swollen immediately after the treatment, and you’ll be advised to avoid all physical activities for the day. You must sleep in an inclined position for the first few days and avoid watching TV for the first 24 hours. The post-treatment swelling and redness will gradually dissipate in a few days, and the discoloration around your eyes will gradually resolve in 7 to 10 days.

You can resume mild physical activities after about 10 days. You’ll be fairly comfortable in public in about two weeks. And you can resume all physical activities, sex, workouts, and other strenuous activities after 4 weeks. The exact duration of your recovery depends on your body’s healing rate, but you can ensure a smooth recovery by following your surgeon’s recommendations accurately.

Will the fine wrinkles around my eyes go away after Eyelid Surgery? 

The Blepharoplasty procedure will not eradicate the wrinkles around the eyes (crow’s feet) nor will it elevate a droopy eyebrow. There are other procedures designed for these purposes. Dark circles under the eyes may improve a bit if this is related to large bags, but most often the dark appearance of the lower eyelid skin remains.

Can anyone have Plastic Surgery of the Eyelids?

The best patients are those who are healthy, psychologically stable, and well-motivated. Some medical conditions may increase the risk of Blepharoplasty surgery such as thyroid disease, high blood pressure, and patients who do not make sufficient tears to keep their eyes well lubricated.

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