Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

smilingEyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, can involve the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. The procedure typically involves removal of the excess skin from the eyelids and contouring of the fat pads that often show up as puffy areas around the eyes. Dark circles under the eyes that are caused by shadowing from the fat pads often will be improved, but dark circles caused by pigmentary conditions of the skin are not specifically addressed. Patients often begin to consider eyelid surgery after friends tell them that they “look tired,” when in reality their droopy eyelids cause them to appear tired or older than they feel.

How Is the Eyelid Surgery Procedure Performed?

At your first appointment to discuss eyelid surgery, our plastic surgeon, Dr. David L. Durst, will obtain a medical history regarding your overall health and eye health. He will specifically examine the condition of your eyelids. Additionally, he will look at your face from the standpoint of generalized harmony. Sometimes the problem is not the eyelids, but instead is the result of a drooping forehead or a combination of the two. Many patients will seek eyelid surgery before they believe that they need a facelift or brow lift. Dr. Durst will individualize his plan for surgery based on your specific needs.

Upper Eyelid Surgery

Patients with excess skin and localized fat in their upper eyelid region can typically benefit from an upper blepharoplasty. In this procedure, excess skin is removed and fat pockets are reshaped or removed. Fine lines and wrinkles can also be addressed to create a smoother, more youthful eyelid appearance.

To perform upper eyelid surgery, Dr. Durst will typically make an incision in the crease of the upper eyelids. This ensures potential scarring can easily be hidden within the natural lines of the eyelid. He will then remove any excess skin, and the fat pads will be reshaped or removed for a rejuvenated outcome.

Lower Eyelid Surgery

Some of the most common cosmetic concerns in the under-eye area include puffiness caused by fat pads and dark circles resulting from shadows. Patients who wish to address this puffiness and under-eye shadowing can often benefit from a lower blepharoplasty, achieving a more refreshed eye appearance. Dark circles caused by pigment abnormalities, however, are not corrected during eyelid surgery.

During lower eyelid surgery, an incision is typically made beneath the lower eyelashes, allowing for scarring to be easily concealed. Excess skin is removed, and fat pads are repositioned to fill tear troughs or removed to reduce puffiness. The area is then tightened to address lax skin, producing a smoother under-eye area.

What Is Eyelid Surgery Recovery Like?

The surgery will be performed in Dr. Durst’s in-office surgical suite under either general or local anesthesia. This surgery typically does not require an overnight stay. You will go home with eye patches that you will need to wear for a couple of days. Patients often are surprised that there usually is very little pain or swelling after eyelid surgery, and they find that they only need pain medication for the first day. Swelling is mild to moderate, and many patients are out and about with sunglasses about three to four days after surgery. Most individuals return to work in approximately five to seven days. The incisions from eyelid surgery heal very quickly, and they generally can be covered with makeup in about two weeks. After approximately four to six weeks, the incisions often are imperceptible. Dr. Durst will advise you regarding your activities after surgery, but most patients can resume light exercising at around two weeks after surgery and be back to full activity at about three weeks after surgery.

Most patients think they look great four to six weeks after eyelid surgery. Pictures will be taken two months after surgery and then again one year after surgery. Eyelid surgery is a procedure that generally lasts a very long time and can make a dramatic difference in your appearance.

How Much Does Eyelid Surgery Cost?

The cost of eyelid surgery will vary based on the specific details involved in a patient’s surgical plan. The total amount you can expect to pay will be influenced by the extent of your needs, the experience of your surgeon, anesthesia fees, surgical facility costs, and the geographic location of the practice.

During your initial consultation process, Dr. Durst will discuss your aesthetic goals and examine your eyelids to determine the details of your surgery. At this time, our staff can provide you with a personalized quote for what you can expect to pay for your procedure. For patients interested in financial assistance, our practice works with multiple plastic surgery financing companies to help you divide your total cost into more manageable payments. For more details about these options, please inquire with a member of our knowledgeable staff.

Additional Eyelid Surgery FAQs

​​When can I wear contacts again after eyelid surgery?

It’s important to avoid wearing contact lenses until your blepharoplasty incisions fully heal. This helps prevent dirt, dust, and bacteria buildup in the eyes and promotes proper healing after your procedure. While the exact timeframe varies from patient to patient based on each person’s unique rate of healing, most patients are able to wear contacts again after approximately 10 days. Dr. Durst can personally advise you once he evaluates your needs in a consultation.

Will my vision change after blepharoplasty?

While there are no permanent vision changes associated with eyelid surgery, your eyesight may be blurry or sensitive to light in the days following surgery. It’s also not uncommon for there to be a temporary loss of vision. These effects should resolve naturally as your eyelids continue to heal following your procedure.

How long before I can wear makeup again after eyelid surgery?

Makeup application can usually resume about two weeks after your blepharoplasty procedure. This gives your incisions the opportunity to fully heal after surgery, minimizing the risks of a potential infection. Once Dr. Durst confirms that it’s safe for you to wear makeup again, our team advises replacing your old products with new cosmetics in order to further reduce the risk of bacteria buildup after surgery.

Is eyelid surgery the same thing as ptosis repair?

Eyelid surgery and ptosis repair are two separate procedures designed to treat different conditions. Blepharoplasty is utilized to treat more cosmetic concerns, such as drooping skin, “hooding,” and puffiness causing a fatigued appearance. On the other hand, ptosis repair is performed for patients whose eyelid (levator) muscles fail to fully open the upper lids as a result of weakened musculature over time. That said, ptosis repair is designed to treat more functional concerns while blepharoplasty is considered an aesthetic procedure.

Wll blepharoplasty help get rid of dark circles?

Eyelid surgery can certainly provide an improvement in the appearance of shadows under the eyes caused by displaced fat pads. These fat pads tend to bulge outward, causing a puffy or exhausted appearance in the lower lids. Therefore, repositioning the displaced fat can make the eyes look brighter and lighten the appearance of dark circles. That said, blepharoplasty cannot correct dark circles caused by your natural anatomy or other pigmentary conditions.

If you would like to make an appointment to see Dr. Durst about possible upper or lower eyelid surgery, please contact our office today.