|EYELID COSMETIC SURGERY
Droopy, baggy and wrinkled eyelids are problems that develop as “time goes by”. These changes are often hereditary. People are concerned that they look tired or old because of these changes. Eyelid surgery can remove the droopy skin and the baggy bulges creating a younger, rested look. This surgery is called blepharoplasty.
The surgery is performed in Dr. Webb’s office surgery suite. The patient spends half a day in the office and the surgery itself takes 1-2 hours. Medication is given to relax the patient, and local anesthesia makes the procedure completely painless. Dr. Webb marks the exact areas in the upper eyelid where fine-line incisions will remove the extra skin and the bulging fat underneath. For the lower eyelid incisions are often made on the inside of the lid to eliminate any scarring. In some cases the lower eyelid surgery is done with an incision on the skin just below the eyelashes. Fine, precise stitches are used to promote optimal healing. After surgery, soothing ice compresses are applied to the eyelids to reduce swelling. There are no bandages. It is necessary for someone to meet the patient in the office and drive home.
There is no pain after surgery. Patients relax at home using ice compresses. Vision is normal, but there is significant swelling of the skin around the eyelids and usually some bruising. The swelling and bruising subside over the next week. Patients are seen at intervals in the office to monitor their healing and remove sutures. Make-up can be applied and light activities can be resumed after 4 days, and the patient can return to work after 1week. The eyelids look good after 2 weeks but the full benefit of blepharoplasty is sometimes not seen for several months.
The cost of the surgery ranges from $2,500 to $6,000, depending on the extent and complexity of the procedure, and should be discussed with Dr. Webb. The fee includes follow-up visits, materials and anesthesia charges. The surgery is not covered by insurance because it is cosmetic. Insurance will pay for surgery only when the upper eyelid skin hangs over the eye and obscures vision.
Eyelid surgery is among the most frequently performed surgical procedures, and is a very safe operation. There is no involvement of the eye itself in the surgery. However, there are risks with any surgical procedure. The risk of infection is controlled with sterile procedures and antibiotics. The risk of bleeding is controlled with careful technique and appropriate medications, and the patient must avoid any aspirin or advil similar medication for two weeks prior to surgery. There are rare reports of the vision being affected by blepharoplasty. The risks and the specific benefit of blepharoplasty for each person’s problem should be discussed in detail with Dr. Webb.
Alternatives to surgery include rejuvenation of lower lid skin with retin A or other anti-aging creams. Laser resurfacing can help with some aspects of wrinkling. A cutting laser can be used for the blepharoplasty surgery.
Michelle P. says”Dr Webb made the surgery so comfortable, and I was back to work in a week. People said I looked great, but they couldn’t figure out what was different.”