Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is one of the most rejuvenating facial surgeries performed today. In fact, upper eyelid surgery can be the best place to start with the surgical rejuvenation of your face. The procedure removes excess skin and fat to give you a well-rested, refreshed appearance as if you had been on a great vacation.
As you age, your eyelid skin can stretch and fat can accumulate, causing noticeable bags. By removing fat and excess skin and tightening muscle through incisions in the natural eyelid crease, eyelid surgery can resolve these problems. The upper eyelids will no longer droop and look tired. Makeup is also easier to apply. Sometimes, if the eyelids have been dropping enough, you’ll find they no longer block your eyelids and your vision becomes noticeably clearer.
Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Richard Rand performs upper eyelid surgery for men and women in the greater Seattle area. Through a commitment to patient education, Dr. Rand and his expert staff at the Northwest Center for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery help you feel positive about moving forward with cosmetic surgery.
Lower eyelid surgery carries more risk and often leaves incomplete cosmetic results and can require prolonged healing. Consequently, Dr. Rand has chosen not to perform lower lid surgery at this time. The safety and comfort of our patients is our number one concern.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of upper lid blepharoplasty, please don’t hesitate to contact our office in Bellevue today for more details. Our highly professional and friendly staff can answer any questions you may have and help you schedule a consult with Dr. Rand.
Am I a Good Candidate for Upper Eyelid Surgery?
Candidates for eyelid surgery have issues with dropping eyelids impeding their vision or making them look tired. Ideal candidates are:
- In general good health
- Have healthy skin
- Have not undergone previous upper eyelid surgeries
- Have persistent issues with the appearance of their upper eyelids, possibly also including vision issues
Candidates will be evaluated to make sure they can safely undergo eyelid surgery. We will do several medical tests to ensure that there are minimal complications. Safety is a major concern and we do not push patients to undergo procedures when they are uncomfortable or unsafe. You can put your faith in our professionalism.
If you opt to go through with eyelid surgery, we will provide you with a preparation routine and a recovery timeline. Good preparation and proper recovery procedures are important for getting great results. Some of this will require you to change your schedule and medication procedures.
Dr. Rand’s eyelid surgery technique is not a ‘one size fits all approach.’ Every patient has different requirements and goals. Dr. Rand customizes his approach to your surgery to meet them. Every aspect of the eyelid surgery will be tailored to you, from the type of anesthesia used to the recovery treatments. We care deeply about all of our patients and seek to provide the best, safest, most lasting results.
Please feel free to ask any questions you may have. Upper eyelid surgery is a delicate process and we know there are many rumors out there. We are happy to provide you with honest, true answers at any point during your preparation for eyelid surgery.
Upper Eyelid Surgery Technique
Dr. Rand has developed a specific technique over 25 years of experience to remove the correct amount of skin from the upper lid. Most surgeons commit to the skin removal right from the start of the procedure, and this can result in a little under-resection of skin and a lesser positive aesthetic result.
Alternatively, over-resection of skin can prevent proper eyelid closure and lead to devastating problems. Proper upper eyelid surgery should help patients feel and look better, not hinder their quality of life. Everything we do during every step of the process is designed to help you get better results.
Dr. Rand does not commit to the final skin removal until all other work has been completed on the upper lid such as fat removal. The eye is kept closed and the excess skin that he predicted would be removable is re-draped over the incision so that the exact amount can be re-assessed and removed. No surgery is treated the same. Every eyelid surgery is planned specifically for the patient.
Eyelid surgery can be an intimidating idea. The eyelid is a delicate part of the body and it is scary to have anything done to in the vicinity of your eye. Many people find it hard to even use contacts. However, eyelid surgery can make a significant difference in your quality of life. Not only can it make you look less tired and more alert, but it can also help you see better since eyelids can droop so badly that they impede vision as we get older.
After Eyelid Surgery: What to Expect
In most cases, patients look great 2 weeks after eyelid surgery and may resume light exercise after a few weeks. Contact lenses can usually be worn after 2 weeks. Patients should expect some tearing and sensitivity to light during the recovery period for several weeks.
There will be some bruising, swelling, eye dryness, and eye irritation as you recover. We will provide you with a recovery timeline and recovery timeline to help you recover. It’s important to have someone to take you to and from surgery. You will also want someone to take care of you for a few days until your vision returns to normal, as normal tasks can be hard and even dangerous to complete.
Eyelid Surgery FAQs
What is blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that corrects drooping or puffy tired-looking upper eyelids by removing excess fat and skin. Age and sun damage can cause eyelids to droop and possibly even impede vision. The surgery will correct eyelid issues by removing or repositioning fat deposits, removal of excess skin, and retightening of muscles.
How much time is required for eyelid surgery?
Eyelid surgery usually takes less than 1 hour and at most will takes around 3 hours. You should plan to clear out the day of surgery due to preparation time and recovery time. Also, plan on needing 2 weeks of recovery time before you can return to work and your regular routine. Strenuous activity may require a few months of recovery time to ensure everything is healed correctly.
Is eyelid surgery covered by insurance?
Upper eyelid surgery may be covered by insurance if it needed to help you have a full field of vision. Dr. Rand does not work with any insurance companies for this, however. Coverage will be based on your insurance policy and you will need to speak with them for details.
What type of anesthesia is used during eyelid surgery?
Eyelid surgery requires patients to undergo at least local anesthesia with sedation. In some cases, patients need to undergo general anesthesia. We ensure that all of our patients have a board-certified anesthesiologist present before, during, and immediately following eyelid surgery.
What are the risks of eyelid surgery?
Some of the side effects of eyelid surgery may include: temporarily blurred or double vision, infection, bleeding, swelling at the corners of the eyelids, dry eyes, slight asymmetry in healing or scarring, and temporary difficulty in closing the eyes completely. Dr. Rand will discuss all the possible complications with you prior to surgery. Our professional staff is held to the highest standards of health and safety. We will work with you throughout your recovery from eyelid surgery and monitor your progress throughout to ensure that you are healing properly.
Is there anything I need to do to prepare for eyelid surgery?
As a part of preparation, we will do several medical evaluations and tests to ensure the best results. You may need to adjust your medication regimen and possibly stop taking certain medications. You will need to make sure you don’t take any anti-inflammatory drugs, like aspirin, as they can cause further bleeding during surgery. If you smoke, you need to stop smoking before surgery and until recovery is complete after surgery. Make sure you schedule to have someone take you to and from surgery, as well as take care of you for several days until your vision returns to largely normal.
It may be easier for you to pre-prepare meals for after your eyelid surgery. The swelling will cause issues with your vision and attempting to cook will be difficult and dangerous for a few days. Plan to return to your normal routine in around 2 weeks. You will gradually be able to do things normally up to that point, so plan around having issues before then.
What can I expect during recovery from eyelid surgery?
Following surgery, your eyes will be loosely covered with gauze. There will be some initial swelling and bruising. Expect to experience dry eyes and eye irritation early on. Artificial tears are very helpful for this. Any pain can usually be managed by over-the-counter painkillers. Many patients are also affected by light sensitivity which will resolve during the recovery process.
Most patients have found that they can return to reading in 2 or 3 days and can go back to work between 10 to 14 days. Patients generally can start using contact lenses in 2 weeks or more. You can go back to participating in strenuous activities and drinking alcohol in about 3 weeks. Bruising and swelling should be gone after several weeks. Patients can expect to be completely recovered within a few months.
We will provide you with a detailed timeline for your recovery as well as a recovery routine to follow to help you heal after eyelid surgery. We will also schedule follow-on appointments to ensure that everything is progressing normally and answer any questions you may have about the status of your recovery.
How long do blepharoplasty results last?
Results last several years with proper care. Eyelid surgery does not halt aging, but it does bring your eyelids back to a refreshed and more youthful look. Good skin care and proper use of sun protection (sunblock, sunglasses) will help the results of your eyelid surgery last longer.
Are there eyelid surgery alternatives worth considering?
There are no alternatives that work like surgery for the upper lids. Using BOTOX Cosmetic in the brow area may hold off on the need for upper lid surgery by slightly elevating the brows and pulling up the eyelid skin. However, eyelid surgery is much more permanent and far more effective at fixing drooping eyelids. Everything else is only a temporary measure that will need frequent repeat treatments.
Taking the Next Step
Eyelid surgery can change your life. If you are tired of looking tired no matter the time of day and how much coffee you’ve had, eyelid surgery can help you look more awake. If you have noticed that you are having problems seeing well because your eyelids are dropping into your field of vision, then eyelid surgery is the only permanent way to fix the issue.
The idea of having anyone do anything near your eyes is frightening and that certainly extends to eyelid surgery. At our clinic, we understand. We have a knowledgeable, friendly staff who will happily address your concerns, from the process involved in eyelid surgery to what recovery requires to how your results will look after your recovery is done. We want you to be comfortable throughout the whole process before, during, and after your upper eyelid surgery.
Take a look at our photo gallery to see how Dr. Rand’s eyelid surgery has helped dozens of patients improve their appearance and their everyday lives. We know that eyelid surgery is intimidating, even if it feels like it can make a major difference. We would be happy to discuss the process and options with you so you can live the life you want without looking tired all the time or having your own eyelids make it hard to see. Please contact our office today or call us at (425) 688-8828 to learn more.