Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) Questions

Serving Chattanooga, Tennessee

As you age, the skin on your eyelids stretches, muscles may weaken, and fat may accumulate around your eyes. The result can be "bags" both above and below your eyes, leaving you with droopy, tired looking eyes. In some cases, the condition actually interferes with vision. Generally speaking, the problem occurs in people who are in their mid-30s or older. It also tends to run in the family.

The goal of cosmetic eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty is correcting or improving the condition by removing the excess fat, skin and/or muscle, creating a more alert and youthful look. Blepharoplasty may be done alone or in combination with other cosmetic procedures, such as a facelift or a brow lift, depending on your personal appearance goals and your unique facial characteristics. For more information on blepharoplasty, contact our facial plastic surgery office, The Plastic Surgery Group, P.C. in Chattanooga, Tennessee. We will be happy to schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your questions and concerns regarding eyelid surgery.

1. Will my insurance policy cover blepharoplasty?

Insurance coverage varies widely, but if you suffer an obstruction of your vision because your upper eyelids have become significantly lax, insurance may defray some of your cost. This could be best determined by a visual field test. Lower lid blepharoplasty is considered cosmetic by most carriers and is not typically a reimbursed procedure.

2. How do I know I'm a candidate for eyelid surgery?

Good general health is a prerequisite of any aesthetic surgical procedure. Of course, if you are having a visual field obstruction from significant upper eyelid sagging, blepharoplasty is the procedure of choice. Blepharoplasty patients typically complain of a "tired" appearance or "bagging" of the lower eyelids. Others seek a deeper set, more youthful eye with correction of wrinkling and excess skin around the eye.

3. Where are the scars with eyelid surgery and are they noticeable?

Typically, the incisions for the upper eyelid are made in the natural crease lines. These extend from the inside corner of the eye and extend into the "crow´s feet.". In the lower eyelid, the incision may be placed just below the lash line extending, again, into the "crow´s feet." Another option for the lower eyelid is a tarsoconjunctival approach in which there is no visible external incision. Often this approach is combined with a resurfacing procedure to treat the skin.

4. What are the risks of blepharoplasty?

There is a certain amount of discomfort with any surgical intervention, however blepharoplasty would not be regarded as a painful procedure. Any post operative discomfort is well managed with some ice packs and a mild pain medication.

5. Is it eyelid surgery painful?

There is a certain amount of discomfort with any surgical intervention, however blepharoplasty would not be regarded as a painful procedure. Any post operative discomfort is well managed with some ice packs and a mild pain medication.

6. How long does eyelid surgery take?

A combined upper and lower blepharoplasty is easily performed in about two hours regardless of the technique used.

7. What are the limitations after blepharoplasty?

After a blepharoplasty, you will need someone to drive you home. Depending on the type of operation you have had, you may be wearing some dressings. Other than minor discomfort, you may have some dryness of the eyes. This is managed with antibiotic ointments and wetting agents. With upper lid surgery alone, the post operative down time is quite minimal, and clerical workers may be able to return to work in as little as three to five days.

8. Will I have blurred vision?

The "blurred vision" attributable to eyelid surgery is mostly due to dry eyes, and the ointments used to alleviate this minor problem. This problem is self limited and rapidly resolves in the post operative period.

9. How many times do I need to return to the office?

Typically, the first visit is about three days after eyelid surgery. Follow up is then done at a week, two weeks, and a month. This of course will vary from patient to patient.

10. Does Blepharoplasty need to be redone?

A well-done blepharoplasty has a long lifetime. A qualified plastic surgeon can typically deliver a long lasting result, safely. The aging process is, however, progressive. But, it is the unusual patient who would want or need a repeat of eyelid rejuvenation surgery before a decade has expired.

The Plastic Surgery Group, P.C., in Chattanooga, Tennessee offers the latest plastic surgery procedures, including eyelid surgery. For more information on the plastic surgery procedures we offer, visit our plastic surgery procedures page or call our plastic surgery staff at (423) 756-7134 or (800) 634-3334. You can also e-mail us your questions and we will be in touch with you shortly.