The eyes are one of the most prominent facial features, and play a big role in how awake, open, and youthful you look. Unfortunately, the delicate skin around the eyes is also one of the first areas of the face to display signs of age such as wrinkles and sagging. If your eyelids are drooping or you have prominent bags under your eyes, people may think you’re older and more tired than you actually are.
Philadelphia plastic surgeon David Bottger, MD has years of experience performing eyelid surgery on men and women to help them look as good as they feel. If you’re interested in refreshing your appearance with a safe, effective, and popular surgery, call Dr. Bottger today at 610-355-1929 to schedule your consultation.
What Is a Blepharoplasty?
“Blepharoplasty” is the technical name for upper and lower eyelid surgery, also called “eye lift” or “eyelid lift.” An upper blepharoplasty deals with sagging upper eyelids, while a lower blepharoplasty targets unwanted eye bags underneath the eyes. These procedures can be done separately or together, depending on individual need.
A blepharoplasty is a great way to rejuvenate the appearance of the eyes, and often leads to an overall more youthful look. It can also be combined with other procedures such as a facelift or fat grafting for more comprehensive results.
View before-and-after photos of upper and lower blepharoplasty procedures to see what a difference eyelid surgery can make.
The Blepharoplasty Procedure
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, eyelid surgery is among the top 5 cosmeitc surgical procedrues in the United States. There are two separate blepharoplasty procedures, upper and lower. Details of each surgery are as follows:
- Upper Blepharoplasty: Upper lid blepharoplasty treats drooping or sagging excess skin on the upper eyelids. The incision is made in the natural crease of the upper eyelid, and excess skin and fat are removed.
- Lower Blepharoplasty: Lower lid blepharoplasty treats wrinkled, sagging skin in addition to prominent bags under the eyes. A transconjunctival blepharoplasty uses an incision inside the lower eyelid, while the standard procedure involves an incision just below the lash line.
Dr. Bottger will advise you on which procedure would be best for your individual case. In all blepharoplasty procedures, the incisions are well concealed within the natural anatomy of the eyelid region.
Recovery from an Eyelid Lift
The initial healing process following an upper or lower blepharoplasty involves some swelling, bruising, and possibly eye irritation. During this time, you should follow all of Dr. Bottger’s post-surgery instructions to make sure that the healing process goes smoothly.
In general, you should try to keep your head elevated and use cold compresses to help with swelling. Eye ointment, saline drops, and pain medications also help with discomfort during recovery.
Most patients can return to light normal activities within a few days of surgery. Most swelling and bruising should resolve within two weeks, and you can use makeup to conceal any visible scars during this time. Contact lenses can be worn after ten to fourteen days.
Blepharoplasty is usually performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia with IV sedation. In some cases, depending on the extent of surgeries performed and the overall health of the patient, it may require an overnight stay at the hospital.
Will You Have Scars After A Blepharoplasty?
All surgical procedures involve some amount of scarring. However, when performed by an experienced plastic surgeon, scars from a blepharoplasty are usually minimal and heal very well. Proper placement of the incisions is crucial to minimizing scar visibility after eyelid surgery, so be sure to visit a board-certified, experienced plastic surgeon for your procedure.
It is important to remember that immediately following your surgery, you may experience significant bruising and swelling. There may also be some red discoloration around your eyes. This is temporary, and should fade over time. Don’t worry if you see color changes around your eyes – this is a perfectly natural part of the healing process. Typically, the red color fades to purple then to yellow before disappearing.
Remember also that all people heal at different rates. Skin type and lifestyle factors such as smoking will impact your rate of healing.
You may be a good candidate for a blepharoplasty if you:
- Have sagging skin on the upper eyelid
- Have large eye bags underneath the eyes
- Have impaired vision due to drooping upper eyelid skin
- Have puffy upper or lower lids due to excess fat
In addition to the above, the ideal candidate for any type of plastic surgery has the following attributes:
- Is in good overall health
- Is a non-smoker (or is able to quit for a month before and after surgery)
- Has a positive outlook and realistic expectations
Realistic expectations are key when undergoing any kind of plastic surgery procedure. It’s important to understand that an eye lift (or facelift, or rhinoplasty, etc) will not make you look 25 again if you are in your 40s or 50s. It will also not make you look like someone else. You will look like yourself, just a little more youthful and refreshed.
Eyelid surgery is a bit different from a facelift in that younger patients may also benefit from it. While the majority of eye lift candidates are over the age of 35, in some cases, younger patients with droopy eyelids or under eye bags may also opt for this surgery.
You may be at an increased risk for complications if you have any of the following conditions, and should talk to Dr. Bottger about whether or not you are a candidate:
- Dry eye syndrome
- Problems with tear ducts
- Graves’ disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Detached retina
Potential complications following eye lift surgery can include unfavorable scarring, infection, bleeding or hematoma, pulling down of the lower eyelid (ectropion), or difficulty closing the upper eyelid. Dr. Bottger will discuss these complications and their likelihood of occurring with you during your consultation.
How Long Do Blepharoplasty Results Last?
In general, results from a blepharoplasty are very long lasting, and most people do not require additional procedures. Fat removed does not grow back, nor does excess skin. However, having eyelid surgery performed does not stop the natural aging process from occurring. Over time, it is possible that new sagging and wrinkling can occur.
As long as you take good care of your skin, the chances of needing a second blepharoplasty are slim. Factors that can impact the longevity of blepharoplasty results can include:
- The extent of the procedure performed
- Your natural skin condition
5-Star Average Rating
I’ve really enjoyed my visits/checkups with Dr. Bottger and his staff. Everyone is so nice and patient and I feel like they are friends and not just his staff 🙂 . He’s experienced, answered all the questions I had, told me about any problems that might occur during or after my procedures and has helped me tremendously over the last couple of months. I’m proud of the way I look now and feel privileged to have had Dr. Bottger perform my surgery. He’s an absolutely top notch surgeon who cares about how you’ll look after surgery and what the finished product will look like.
Does Blepharoplasty Remove Wrinkles?
Blepharoplasty removes puffiness and sagging skin, and can improve the appearance of wrinkles in the lower lids. Wrinkles at the corner of the eyes (“crow’s feet”), however, will not be completely removed with eyelid surgery. These wrinkles can be treated effectively with BOTOX® Cosmetic.
Eyelid surgery alone will not address wrinkles between the eyebrows (“frown lines”) or lines on the forehead. However, when combined with a brow lift, these wrinkles can be better addressed. In many cases, though, Botox combined with eyelid surgery will give the best results as far as wrinkles around the eyes and on the forehead.
Cost of Blepharoplasty
The cost of a blepharoplasty procedure varies depending on whether you’re having upper eyelid surgery, lower eyelid surgery, or both. In addition, if you combine your blepharoplasty procedure with another surgery such as facelift or brow lift, that will also affect the price.
The skill and experience of your plastic surgeon also plays a role in blepharoplasty cost. While it might be tempting to “shop around” for the lowest priced plastic surgeon, your risk of complications goes up and chances of getting a great result goes down if you don’t do your research and choose an experienced, board-certified plastic surgeon.
Dr. Bottger offers plastic surgery financing plans for patients considering eyelid surgery. If you are worried about the cost, ask about options for financing. We want to make it as easy as possible for you to look and feel your best.
Schedule Your Blepharoplasty Consultation
If you are in the Philadelphia area and considering having upper or lower eyelid surgery, contact Dr. David Bottger at 610-355-1929 to schedule your initial consultation today. Dr. Bottger is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and is a member of prominent professional societies such as the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
We serve patients in Philadelphia, Newtown Square, and other nearby areas of Pennsylvania. Get directions to our eyelid surgeon from Google Maps.