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Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is the simple removal of excess skin and fat around the eyes. It can be performed on upper and lower eyelids separately, simultaneously or in conjunction with other procedures (face lift, brow lift, etc.). While it is impossible to repair every wrinkle around the eye, this surgery can be one of the most gratifying procedures our patients receive. Eyelid surgery does not address crow’s feet lines, dark pigmentation of the lower eyelids or drooping eyebrow skin.Results from eyelid surgery should last several years and can sometimes be permanent.

Your Consultation

At the time of your consultation, you will meet with your chosen board-certified surgeon who will talk with you about your goals and the best way to achieve your desired outcomes. Our goal is to make sure every one of your questions is answered and you feel comfortable with your knowledge of the procedure. In your initial consultation, the doctor will evaluate your health, discuss your medical history and skin care regimen, and carefully examine and assess your eye features. He will then review your goals and make recommendations based on his evaluation. The techniques used in the blepharoplasty procedures will be described in detail, and informational materials will be provided. Be sure to tell him if you smoke or are taking any medications, vitamins or other drugs.

We have three Patient Care Coordinators who work closely with you through your entire time in our practice, serving as your resource for any questions or concerns you have along the way. After your time talking to the surgeon, your Patient Coordinator will provide you with a detailed, written estimate of surgical fees for your procedure when you have your initial consultation at Cool Springs Plastic Surgery in Nashville, Tennessee. She will assist you in selecting a date for your surgery, convenient for your schedule. Your Patient Care Coordinator will also inform you about all payment options available in our office. Information regarding “Payment Options” are detailed under the “About” tab at the top of our web page.

To learn more about blepharoplasty and what we can do for you, please contact us today for a consultation.

Surgery: What to Expect

Pre-Operative

It is imperative that you do not take aspirin, ibuprofen or products containing these medicines for at least two weeks prior to surgery. Moreover, do not wear any eye makeup for two days before surgery.

Please shower the morning of your procedure, but do not apply deodorant, creams, lotions, powders or oil to your skin. Please do not wear jewelry or makeup, and do not bring valuables with you to surgery.

Day of Surgery

Blepharoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis It lasts roughly one to two hours, unless performed with another procedure. Incisions are made after the anesthetic is injected near the eyelid. The doctor will place the incisions in the natural crease of the eye for upper blepharoplasty, and just below the lower lashes for lower blepharoplasty.

In certain cases, a lower blepharoplasty can be performed without a skin incision. People without notable skin sags will likely have an incision made on the inside of the lower eyelid to gain access to the fat bags. If there is eyelid skin wrinkling, a light chemical peel or laser resurfacing may be done at the same time. Though this procedure may eliminate the need to remove sutures, giving a scar-less result, the recovery time is similar to “routine” blepharoplasty.

Post-Operative

You can expect swelling and bruising of the eyelids after surgery. Your eyes may even swell shut, but this can be minimized by applying ice compresses. Do this for at least the first 24 hours following surgery. Discoloration may last 10 to 14 days. Sleep in a recliner or with your head elevated by two pillows, and remain upright as much as possible to reduce swelling. Also:

  • Eyes may become dry, so you will be advised to use saline eye drops for lubrication. You will also be asked to use ointment in your eyes while sleeping.
  • Apply the antibiotic ointment to sutures four times daily.
  • Report any pain not readily relieved by the prescribed pain medication.
  • Do not apply makeup for 10 days after surgery.
  • Do not wear contact lenses for 10 days. You may wear eyeglasses if they do not pull on incision lines.
  • Do not pluck eyebrows for 14 days.
  • Do not drive while taking pain medication, or if your vision is blurred from ointment or drops.
  • You may bathe or wash hair normally.
  • Report any change in vision to the clinic immediately.

You may be able to return to work or attend social events in five to seven days, but avoid strenuous exercise and alcohol for three weeks. Wait ten days before wearing contact lenses.

Risks

Risks of complications are quite low but do exist. Problems include infection, bleeding, unequal swelling and discoloration caused by bleeding. Dry eyes requiring prolonged use of artificial tears may be needed. You may also experience temporary or permanent paralysis of the eyelids and weakness of the lower lids. Visual impairment has occurred in rare cases.

Insurance

Some eyelid surgeries may be covered by your health insurance. However, most health insurance plans do not cover this procedure for purely cosmetic reasons.

Costs

Your Patient Coordinator will provide you with a detailed, written estimate of fees for your procedure when you have your initial consultation at Cool Springs Plastic Surgery. Your “Estimate of Surgical Fees” will include: implants, surgeon’s fee, operating room and the anesthesiologist’s fee.

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