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Frequently Asked Questions
About Eyelid Surgery

  1. What is an eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty?
  2. When should I have an eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty?
  3. What is the difference between a lower eyelid lift through an internal incision compared to an external incision?
  4. Can other surgical procedures be done during the same operation?
  5. Will insurance cover my eyelid lift/blepharoplasty procedure?
  6. Is there a chance I could go blind in one eye?
  7. Is an eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, a difficult recovery?
  8. When can I return to work and exercise?
  9. What is the cost of an eyelid lift/blepharoplasty?

1. What is an eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty?

An eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure that rejuvenates the upper and lower eyelid. It generally involves removing skin, a strip of muscle, and fat. The lower eyelid can be tightened to improve the angle. The addition of a chemical peel can smooth out the crepe paper skin that often appears with age on the lower eyelid. The result is eyelids that are more youthful, and a rested, energetic appearance to the face overall.

2. When should I have an eyelid lift/blepharoplasty?

In general, people start considering eyelid lifts, or blepharoplasty, in their late 30s to early 40s. The eyes are a prominent feature and tend to be the first place to show signs of aging. This is especially true of people who have fair complexions and have had a lot of sun exposure.

The age to have an eyelid lift varies from person to person. People age at different rates and certainly all people do not feel the same about the changes that come with age. Also, a person may opt to have both upper and lower eyelids lifted, or simply an upper or lower eyelid lift alone.

3. What is the difference between a lower eyelid lift/blepharoplasty through an internal incision versus an external incision?

An eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, through an internal incision is called a transconjunctival blepharoplasty, or eyelid lift. This means that the incision is made on the inside of the eyelid. Therefore, there is no external incision. This is a good technique to remove fat bags, but does not tighten the skin. This procedure is appropriate for younger patients with good-quality skin tone that is still elastic.

The external eyelid lift is through an incision made just below the eyelash line. The advantage is that more tissue layers can be treated. The fat can be removed, the muscle tightened or trimmed, and the fat removed.

Dr. Delgado addresses the needs of each patient individually, explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each surgical approach.

4. Can other surgical procedures be done during the same operation?

Yes, patients who undergo eyelid lift/blepharoplasty frequently choose to have additional facial procedures done at the same time. This may be a complete facelift, which includes the eyelid lift, an endoscopic browlift, and a lower face/neck lift. Other non-facial surgical procedures, such as breast surgery or body contouring, can also be done in conjunction with an eyelid lift.

5. Will insurance cover my eyelid lift/blepharoplasty procedure?

In some cases, yes. When the upper eyelids begin to restrict the vision, then it becomes a medical issue. If peripheral field of vision testing shows a reduction in eyesight, then the surgical procedure will be covered by insurance. Sometimes, the lower eyelid will be covered, if the eye does not close correctly, causing dry eyes.

6. Is there a chance I could go blind in one eye?

Unfortunately, yes. This complication is very rare, but does occur with 0.02% of eyelid lifts, or blepharoplasties. It is usually due to bleeding or a hematoma, which arises when a vein or artery begins to bleed. This can be successfully treated if caught in time.

7. Is an eyelid lift a difficult recovery?

The upper eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, is an easy recovery. The lower eyelid lift is a more difficult recovery, particularly when an external incision is made and several layers are tightened. The eyes are very sensitive and highly reactive, and though pain is not the issue, the area becomes tight from swelling. At times, this swelling can temporarily affect tear duct function.

8. When can I return to work and exercise?

After an upper and lower eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, the sutures are removed after one week and bruising resolves in approximately 10-14 days. Patients typically can drive by the end of one week, work by the end of the second week, and exercise after four to six weeks. Over time, the incisions heal beautifully to become practically invisible.

9. What is the cost for an eyelid lift/blepharoplasty?

The cost of an upper and lower eyelid lift/blepharoplasty is $5700. Lower eyelids alone are $3500, and upper eyelids alone are $3000. Upper eyelids can also be done in the office under local anesthesia for $2400. Note: lower eyelids must be done in the operating room under general anesthesia.

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