Thursday, January 8, 2009

Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is a popular cosmetic plastic surgery to remove excess skin, fat, or muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. Blepharoplasty cosmetic surgery improves baggy skin under the eyes, sinking upper eyelids, or drooping eye lashes that impair vision. The surgery may also be performed to treat a medical condition called ptosis (drooping eyelid), which is caused by poor muscle tone or nerve damage. Ptosis causes the eyelids to hang very low and block vision.

Blepharoplasty treats drooping eyelids, but not drooping eyebrows or wrinkles. Blepharoplasty is often performed with another cosmetic surgery such as abrow-lift or facelift to improve droopy eyebrows, crow's feet, and facial sagging.

Why Blepharoplasty?

As we age, excess skin forms in the eye area and the skin loses elasticity. Fatty tissue can accumulate under the skin. Your eyes will "look older" because these aging processes leave the eyes appearing tired, wrinkled, or puffy. Even with a good skincare and eyecare regimen, wrinkles, puffiness, and drooping eyelids will catch up to you. Genetic factors and body chemistry can cause these aging effects in younger people. Plastic surgery may restore a youthful and refreshed appearance to your eyes.
Is Blepharoplasty Right for Me?

The best candidates for blepharoplasty are physically healthy, emotionally stable, and well-informed about the procedure. Ideal candidates are typically at least 35 (although genetic factors may indicate treatment for younger patients). Candidates may be excluded if they suffer from any of the following conditions: dry eyes, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, glaucoma, or Graves' disease. Personal anatomy issues, including bone and supporting structure, may also affect your candidacy.
The Blepharoplasty Procedure

Incisions are made along the line creases of the upper eyelid and possibly along the outer lower rim of the eye's skin. When removing fatty tissue, but not skin, the surgeon may perform a transconjunctival blepharoplasty with an incision inside the lower rim of the eye's skin. These incisions often reach the outer corners of the eyes. The surgeon then divides the fatty tissue and muscle from the skin so that excess skin, fat, or muscle can be removed.

The blepharoplasty procedure is often performed under local anesthesia — while you are sedated, numbed, and awake — in an outpatient surgery center, surgeon's office, or hospital. General anesthesia (while you are asleep) may be used. Be sure to discuss the appropriate type of anesthesia with your doctor and the anesthesia provider. Depending upon the number of eyelids and extent of the procedure, time in surgery may be up to three hours. Patients return home typically within hours of the surgery.
After Blepharoplasty Surgery

The eyes will often be lubricated and covered with bandages after surgery. Pain and discomfort can be managed with oral medications. Unmanageable pain should be reported to your doctor immediately. The doctor will also prescribe an antibiotic to prevent infection. You will receive a list of instructions to follow for a number of days, including

* the proper way to clean your eyes
* use of cold compresses
* use of lubricating eye drops
* head elevation
* no makeup
* no alcohol
* no television
* no contact lenses

Stitches are removed about a week after surgery. Bruising and swelling will continue to decrease after stitches are removed. Sunglasses and a protective sun block are required for several weeks. Normal activities can be resumed after about ten days. Strenuous activities such as lifting, bending, or exercise can be resumed after about three weeks.
Complications and Risks of Blepharoplasty

Following surgery, patients may experience tearing, itchy, burning eyes, dry eyes, light sensitivity, and blurred or double vision, which can persist for several days. These complications can be relieved with lubricating eye drops. There will also be some swelling around the eyes. Scarring is another possible complication. Sometimes patients will have difficulty closing their eyes when asleep: although very uncommon, this complication can be permanent. The lower lids may appear to be pulled down: this rare condition, called ectropion, may require additional surgery. There also may be some asymmetry to the eyes.

As with any surgery, there is risk of complications related to infection or reaction to anesthesia. You can avoid most complications by selecting the right plastic surgeon and following pre- and postoperative instructions. With proper precautions by the surgical team, complications are typically minimized or prevented. During consultation with a qualified plastic surgeon and ophthalmologist, your medical history and vision will be evaluated to assess candidacy and risks.
Consult a Qualified Surgeon

Before deciding on blepharoplasty, be sure to discuss the options with aboard-certified plastic surgeon and an ophtalmologist. The plastic surgeon and eye surgeon should have extensive experience performing blepharoplasty. Surgeons can show you the photos of other blepharoplasty patients with similar eyelids. You can look at these pictures to help create your individual surgical plan, as well as get a better idea of what to expect from plastic surgery.

Here are some guidelines to consider when consulting a plastic surgeon:

* Ask about credentials, training, and the number of times the treatment has been performed in the practice.
* Discuss the type of anesthesia to be used.
* Find out where surgery will be performed (surgical suite, hospital, other facility).
* Ask about the extent of the eyelid reshaping, and any associated procedures you may be having.
* Ask about the recovery period and limitations on your activities.
* Ask for an explanation of risks, possible complications, and likely results.

Blepharoplasty Costs

Since blepharoplasty may be performed to reduce fatty tissue, skin, and muscle, the extent of the procedure can vary, which makes it difficult to give a range or an average cost. Each eye may have a different cost. The average cost for blepharoplasty is hard to estimate accurately until you are examined by a surgeon and have discussed a surgical plan.

Blepharoplasty plastic surgery comprises three costs: anesthesia fees, facility fees, and surgeon's fees. Since blepharoplasty is often performed during a brow-lift, facelift, or chemical peel, anesthesia and facility fees can be combined with the other procedures. The total fees can range from $2,000 to $5,000 or more, depending on the extent of the procedure.

Some of the cost can be covered by insurance if the blepharoplasty is related to ptosis or other medical necessity. Be sure to ask your surgeon about filing for insurance. Blepharoplasty for purely cosmetic reasons is not covered. If you are having a medically necessary procedure, and want to add on a cosmetic procedure performed at the same time, you can save out-of-pocket cost by combining the necessary and cosmetic procedures into the same facility and anesthesia fees.

If the cost is more than you can pay at once, ask your surgeon about monthly payments. For financing options and tips, continue reading about Patient Financing.

1 comment:

Ran said...

Thanks for great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get this tips from you.

Drooping Eyelid Surgery