The origin of the word “blepharoplasty” is derived from the ancient Greek “blepharon” which means “eyelid”. Eye lift surgery is a plastic or cosmetic surgery procedure for correcting the deformities of the lower or upper eyelid and reinforcement of the eye muscles. During the surgery, the excess tissues such as skin and adipocyte fat are removed.
A eye lift surgery procedure helps to get rid of the puffiness and pouches under the eyes. The surgery also eliminates some kinds of wrinkles in the periorbital zone and drooping of the eyelids (ptosis). This procedure allows you to look younger which is achieved by removing excess skin and resecting the surplus fat of the retro septal area of the eye.
Thousands of people undergo eye lift in order to modify the shape of the eyes, to correct the eye asymmetry or to lift the eye corners. As a rule, the main indication for the surgery is the age factor: the majority of patients is over 35-40 years old. However, such individual problems as the predisposition to the emergence of a fat hernia on the eyelids can become the indication to the operation at any age.
One of the contemporary popular trends is East Asian eye lift. This kind of cosmetic surgery reshapes the skin around the eye and creates an upper eyelid with a crease so the eyes look Asian ones with a “double eyelid”.
Contraindications for eye lift surgery
According to medical statistics, the age of blepharoplasty patients decreases from year to year. Thus, in Western countries teenagers of 15-16 years old resort to the procedure. It should be clarified that it is quite dangerous to undergo the surgery without any indications. Women's site WomanChoice.net reminds that blepharoplasty, as any surgery, is a critical intervention into your organism; therefore, this step should be well-considered and discussed with a doctor.
Before the operation, the patients are carefully examined in order to detect the contraindications to the surgery. Conjunctivitis, blepharitis, glaucoma and the syndrome of "dry eye" are the common contraindications that require some preliminary treatment. Below is the list of known contraindications to blepharoplasty procedure:
- any acute disease;
- chronic eye diseases;
- severe nearsightedness (myopathy);
- oncological diseases of the skin and internal organs;
- menstruation (operations are prohibited due to changes in blood composition and a possible violation of its clotting);
- increased intracranial pressure;
- clotting disorder of genetic nature;
- arterial hypertension;
- recent surgery of vision restoring;
- keratitis and blepharitis of infectious and non-infectious nature;
- corneal infections, both viral and bacterial.
The medical examination can detect other contraindications of individual nature. Before the examination and the surgery you should follow an obligatory rule to exclude smoking, drinking alcohol, sunbathing and taking some medications, at least, two weeks before the surgery.
How much does eyelid surgery cost in USA? Does the eye lift surgery worth the money spent?
According to statistic, average price on eyelid surgery in USA is 4500$. But, depending on State and a clinic, the price can be slightly different. We have taken a look to a website "Realself" and feedbacks, posted by patients. Here are few examples
45 years old lady got eyelid plastic surgery in Michigan and paid 6500$.
Another procedure, that contained eye brows and eyelid surgery at Charlotte clinic in Ney York City, cost 5900$.
However, revisional eyelid surgery including skin pinch, scar revision,canthopexy, fat transfer and Zplasty cost 8600$ in Dallas clinic.
How to get prepared for the eyelid surgery
The character of preliminary preparations depends on the type of anesthesia that your doctor chooses. In case the anesthesia is general, you will have to adhere to some instructions. First of all, it is prohibited to eat for several hours before the surgery. Then, you won’t be released from the hospital immediately after the procedure; you will have to stay for a few hours or even days if needed under the doctor’s supervision. Therefore, don’t forget to take bathrobe, slippers and hygiene items with you to the hospital.
The case with local anesthesia is much simpler: there are no obligatory rules that you have to follow. However, take into consideration that the surgery cannot be performed during menstruation as blood coagulation is impaired in this period.
Types of eye plastic surgery
There are several methods of surgery that differ in the character of incisions.
The easiest and the most frequent operation is eye plastic surgery of the upper eyelid. The surgery entails removal of excess skin and fatty tissue which is performed by making the incision at the natural palpebral crease.
Blepharoplasty of the lower eyelid requires professionalism and experience of a plastic surgeon as this type of operation is more complicated and quite delicate. The incision is made at the inner side of the eyelid under the lash line. If the procedure is performed correctly, you will be fully satisfied with the result.
Transconjunctival blepharoplasty is another surgery of the lower eyelid: its purpose is to eliminate fat hernias. There is no need to worry because of the sutures; they won’t be noticeable as the procedure is performed at the inner side of the eyelid.
You should take into consideration that the blepharoplasty results are more impressive f the skin is younger and more elastic. Therefore, it is better to go through the surgery at a younger age. It takes about an hour to perform the operation; at the end sutures are made and sterile bandages are applied. It is better that someone from your family or friends comes together to you even in case the anesthesia is local. Importantly, you are free to choose the type of anesthesia: it may be general if you want to. You can also ask for the sedatives to calm down.
After eye plastic surgery
Usually, the period of rehabilitation after blepharoplasty is quite short.
Don’t be surprised with the bruising and swelling on your face: these are the usual consequences of the operation. The pains and discomfort are other unpleasant feelings after surgical intervention, so take analgesics to ease them.
It is extremely important to follow the doctor’s recommendations after the procedure as first two weeks are the basis of successful rehabilitation. Thus, it is prohibited to wear contact lenses, to rub and even touch the eye area. Hygienic procedures should be carried out with the utmost care. Try to have a rest in the first days after the operation in order to recover better. After 7-10 days postoperative bruising and swelling decrease and the sutures are removed.
Working on the computer, watching TV and even reading books are taboo in the first weeks after the surgery. Then, alcohol and cigarettes should be absolutely excluded. Don’t use make-up and wear sunglasses for two-three weeks in order to protect the eyes from sunlight.
Usually, after a week, you can go back to the habitual way of life but remember that physical activity cannot be commenced earlier than in three weeks after blepharoplasty. The final effect of blepharoplasty can be seen only after six weeks. The average duration of the effects of the operation is six-ten years, and in some cases, it can be even fifteen years.
Alternative to blepharoplasty
Without a doubt, you should try any opportunity before the surgical intervention. There are cosmetic procedures that can help you look better so you won’t feel the necessity remodel the eyelids.
A facelift is a popular option to substitute the blepharoplasty. However, often the both operations are carried out in order to attain the maximum effect. Usually, the procedures are performed one after another which allows deciding the character of further actions with the highest accuracy.
Blepharoplasty can be also supplemented by lipo-filling and chemical peeling. These procedures refine the skin and, as the result, it looks much younger. Yet, you should keep in mind that blepharoplasty cannot change the properties of your skin, therefore, it won’t help you to get rid of facial wrinkles in the eye area. The effectiveness of this procedure depends greatly on the age: the younger the skin the more durable the effect of blepharoplasty.
Another temporary alternative to get rid of wrinkles is using Botox or Restylane injections; they will help you to forget about the problem for six months. Then you’ll have to repeat the procedure.
Complications after blepharoplasty
It is important to understand that blepharoplasty is a surgical intervention that may cause serious complications. Any mistake during the operation can bring irreparable damage to your eyelids which are quite a sensible area. Therefore, you should find an experienced surgeon and then strictly adhere to his recommendations.
Blepharoplasty can cause the following complications:
Swelling is a normal phenomenon after the surgery. But in case it doesn’t decrease after seven days, you should be alert. Swelling my negatively affect your vision. Thus, the sharpness may be reduced and you’ll see the objects unclear, or the vision may become double. These unpleasant complications can be also accompanied by headaches as fluid puts pressure on the eyeballs. The most common cause of prolonged swelling is an infection which may be brought under the skin during or after the operation. The process is also characterized by pain increase and pus discharge.
A blood vessel injury leads to the blood congestion under the skin. The complication may be also characterized by bleeding, which usually appears immediately after the operation, but may start in a few days, as well. A hematoma that stays for a durable period is characterized by pains and hard swelling.
Retrobulbar hematoma appears as a result of damaged vessels in the eye which leads to the blood congestion behind the eyeball. This type of hematoma can be indicated by protrusion of the eyeball, limited eye movements, pain and impaired vision.
Lower eyelid eversion
Lower eyelid eversion may take place in case of excessive skin elimination which results in eyelid deformation. As the lids cannot be closed in a usual way, the eyes remain partially open; thus, they are at risk of drying and infection. Therefore, it is extremely important to rectify the situation by reoperation.
Infections may develop both due to the fault of a surgeon or a patient himself. Thus, a surgeon may violate the hygiene standards during the operation, or a patient may be careless to his own health for the period of rehabilitation. So, with the purpose to prevent infections, a doctor usually prescribes antibiotics.
The acute inflammatory process is extremely dangerous as it may seriously affect the eye health. In the same way, chronic inflammatory processes may lead to recurrent keratitis and corneal damage.
The complications can also occur after the rehabilitation period. These late complications can be as following:
Severe swelling and erroneous suturing are the main reasons for the sutures separation. This condition is quite dangerous and it demands an urgent re-suturing. Unfortunately, there is a risk of a rough scar after the re-operation.
The effect of burning eyes often appears in a case when a patient goes through the re-operation without waiting for a full recovery after the first surgery. Consequently, the eyelids do not close as needed, which leads to the dryness of a cornea. The only way to fix it is to undergo blepharoplasty again.
Inappropriate suturing and problems with cicatrization may cause the eyes asymmetry. This effect can be also repaired by re-blepharoplasty.
There is a possibility of a hollow cyst development on the scar line. Though it can disappear on its own, it is better to consult a doctor; a cyst can be eliminated without any difficulty.
Keloid scar is another complication that may develop in the first few months after surgery. In case, the seams are superimposed correctly the scar is almost unnoticeable as connective tissue becomes whitish eventually.
Unlike the normal cases, keloids deliver a lot of trouble. They tend to grow to get red and bluish; the process is accompanied by itching. The size of such scars may vary from a pea to an egg. If you have a keloid, don’t agree to dissect the scar again as it would only aggravate the problem. There is a way to rectify the situation by cryosurgery; a keloid is cauterized by liquid nitrogen, which leads to its elimination and soft connective tissue development.
This complication is met fairly often after eye area surgeries; in this case, eye drops are usually prescribed.
Ptosis or eyelid drooping is quite an uncommon complication case that mainly typical of elderly people. It can only by repaired by an additional operation.
Without a doubt, re-operations are undesirable, but that what most complications of blepharoplasty require. You should understand, though, that the percent of extra surgeries is rather low and they can be prevented by thoughtful and responsible attitude. In order to be on the safe side, you should choose carefully a plastic surgeon and follow strictly his recommendations during the post-operation period.
Feedbacks on blepharoplasty
Helen, 51 years old:
"I have been hesitating whether to do blepharoplasty or not, although the condition of the eyelid skin was awful: I had drooping eyelids and bags under eyes, as well. Finally, I have gathered the required amount of money and visited an experienced doctor on the advice of friends. I had the surgery on the lower and upper eyelids simultaneously. Post-operation period was quite unpleasant: I felt pains and all my face was swollen. But in a few weeks, after the swelling disappeared, I saw the difference. My eye area looks much younger, and the eyelids are tightened. I hope that the effect of the operation will continue for a long time."
Nina, 45 years old:
"I went through blepharoplasty under local anesthesia. The operation took three hours overall and it was quite bearable. I talked with a doctor throughout the operation, so I even enjoyed a pastime. On the second day after the procedure, large swelling began to appear and I was prescribed diuretics diminish it. In addition, the doctor prohibited to apply any kinds of gels and creams that claim to help in swelling reduction. Then, I just waited till everything returned to normal. In fact, I don’t regret that I did blepharoplasty as I really like the effect. "