Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
Our wish is to help you decide on the best treatment program tailored to your individual needs. With the knowledge and skills obtained from oculoplastic surgery training and years of experience and study, Dr. Zemplenyi is able to use the latest methods and technology to address functional and cosmetic eyelid concerns. During your consultation you and Dr. Zemplenyi will discuss these concerns and he will advise you on the various blepharoplasty techniques available for their correction. While Dr. Zemplenyi will provide you with his recommendation for treatment, you will be empowered to make an informed decision about those procedures best for you. At times, the fullness in the upper eyelids may be caused by gravity-induced descent of the eyebrows, and thus a brow lift may be needed to fully correct the upper eyelid problem. Lower eyelid surgery addresses removal of the fatty deposit and some of the skin excess. Other techniques such as a chemical peel or laser resurfacing may be recommended for treatment of more extensive lower eyelid wrinkling and crow’s feet. Non-invasive treatments with fillers and Botox may be indicated in other situations, either as the main treatment or as an adjunctive (complementary) procedure. Cosmetic surgeon Dr. Zemplenyi performs blepharoplasty at our Bel-Red Center for Aesthetic Surgery.
Blepharoplasty /eyelid surgery in our Bellevue surgical center near Seattle Washington, can achieve a dramatic rejuvenating effect on the overall facial appearance. The goal is to achieve natural looking, rested eyes while avoiding the “over-operated appearance” with contour changes and hollowing.
Before/After Eyelid Surgery
Pre-Blepharoplasty/Eyelid Surgery Consultation at our Bellevue Surgical Center
The effects of aging are commonly first noticed around the eyes, making the eyelid surgery also known as Blepharoplasty a very popular procedure. With years, loose skin and protruding fat develop in both upper and lower eyelids forming increased bulging and puffiness above and below the eyes. These changes result in a sad and tired look which can affect the way patients feel about themselves and how others see them. Excess skin of the upper eyelids can cause droopy lids, impairing vision and thus blepharoplasty may be performed on a functional basis to improve a person’s visual field. Through careful removal of extra skin and fat from both upper and lower eyelids, blepharoplasty (eyelid lift, eye lift, eyelid surgery) can reverse these changes resulting in a refreshed, natural look. Upper and lower eyelid corrections are most commonly done together, frequently being combined with facial procedures such as facelift, neck lift, rhinoplasty as well as other cosmetic facial procedures.
Anesthesia for Eye Lift Surgery
Our goal is to perform all surgeries without patient recollection of the procedure and with the least amount of discomfort or anesthetic side-effects. Dr. Zemplenyi performs blepharoplasty most commonly under “twilight sleep” sedation. Please refer to the section on Anesthesia for further information. The technique of blepharoplasty used will be decided by you and Dr. Zemplenyi in the pre-operative consultation. We often combine blepharoplasty with other cosmetic procedures we offer.
Before/After Brow Lift
The Blepharoplasty/Eyelid Surgery Procedure’s in the Seattle Area
Incisions for upper eyelid blepharoplasty are placed in the skin creases of the upper eyelid while for lower eyelid surgery incisions can be placed on the inside surface or under the eye lashes of the lower eyelids, thus making them almost invisible following the required healing time. Excess skin and fatty tissue are then carefully and conservatively removed and the incisions then closed. Special techniques are available to accommodate various needs: Asian patients requiring creation of a “double break” upper eyelid crease (Asian blepharoplasty), older patients with a droop of the upper eyelid margin (ptosis, blepharoptosis) needing raising of the lid margin, or patients with a lower eyelid droop (ectropion). Following blepharoplasty, patients are discharged home, accompanied by a responsible adult, usually within 30 to 45 minutes following completion of surgery. We’ve had many happy Asian eyelid surgery & eyelid lift patients and would be happy to show you more examples of our work.
After Your Eyelid Lift
Our Board Certified cosmetic surgeon Dr. Jan Zemplenyi will assist you with any post-operative discomfort, which is quite easily controlled with prescribed medications. Many of our eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) patients do not feel the need to use the prescribed narcotic medications at all or beyond the first 24 hours. Application of ice compresses and elevation of the head tend to decrease swelling and bruising. Application of mild antibiotic ointment to the incisions increases comfort. Artificial tears are sometimes used by patients to keep their eyes refreshed. A check-up visit with Dr. Zemplenyi occurs within three days, and sutures from the upper eyelids are removed in seven to eight days. While the amount of bruising is minimized using our modern surgical techniques, the actual amount varies depending on individual circumstances. Most swelling and bruising resolve in ten to fourteen days. Makeup can be applied after the first week, with many patients returning to work in less than one week using sun glasses to camouflage post-operative changes. The final cosmetic result may not be achieved for three to four months when residual changes have resolved.
- What is blepharoplasty or eyelid lift surgery?
- When we meet others, the eyes are the first feature of our face that people notice. In men and women, the eyes can also be the first feature to show our age. With time, the upper and lower eyelids can develop excess skin and excess fatty deposits producing a tired, sad countenance.
Eyelid surgery, in men and women, removes the folds of extra skin and fat pads in both the upper and lower lids, to give a more alert and rested appearance. However, blepharoplasty does much reduce the fine wrinkling in the thin skin around the eyes. This is better treated by techniques that address the skin surface, such as laser resurfacing, micro-needling, or chemical peels.
- Not only can excess skin give a tired, droopy appearance but folds of excess upper lid skin can hang down to impair vision and can make applying makeup more difficult. The excess upper lid skin can also be due to a sagging forehead and eyebrows which should be evaluated before surgery. Brow lift is frequently combined with upper lid surgery to provide the needed lift for a refreshed and revitalized look.
- Protrusion of fat in both upper and lower lids produces a bulging, baggy appearance. This may first be apparent only on awakening, but with age, can extend throughout the day. Sometimes an inherited trait, younger persons, even in their 20s, may have this puffy look.
- Can insurance pay for and cover blepharoplasty (eyelid lift)?
- While eyelid surgery is usually considered cosmetic and not covered by insurance, if droopy upper eyelid skin hangs down to obstruct your vision, your insurance may cover the cost of upper lid blepharoplasty. There needs to be visual field and photographic documentation of functional vision problems for coverage to apply. At Bel-Red Center for Aesthetic Surgery we help our Seattle and Bellevue patients determine if insurance coverage can apply to blepharoplasty surgery.
- How can I prepare for blepharoplasty?
- As for any surgery, taking care of your well-being will make both the surgery and recovery easier. You will be given pre-operative instructions during your pre-operative consultation. Dr Zemplenyi and our staff are available to answer questions at any time. We ask patients to: • Stop smoking well before surgery as smoking delays wound healing. • Avoid blood thinners, including aspirin, herbal supplements and vitamin E for about ten days prior to surgery to minimize the possibility of bleeding. • Continue taking certain medications as discussed at your preoperative exam. • Arrange for someone to pick you up after the procedure.
- What kind of anesthesia is used during eyelid (blepharoplasty) surgery?
- Our Bellevue and Seattle patients usually undergo IV sedation, “twilight sleep,” anesthesia for maximum comfort and safety during eyelid lift procedures. With IV sedation, the patient has a pain free experience without recollection, but continues breathing on her own without use of a breathing tube. Some patients, however, prefer and can be done under only local anesthesia to numb the eyelid skin, without use of intravenous medications. Whichever technique is used, the goal is safety and comfort. Most patients wake up, ready to be accompanied home within 30 minutes after surgery.
- What can I expect during blepharoplasty (eyelid lift) surgery?
- During upper lid blepharoplasty incisions are made in the lid upper lid crease. Extra fat and skin are removed from the upper lid and the incision line, sewn with fine sutures, is hidden in the upper lid fold when healed.
In lower eyelid surgery, the incision is made in the natural crease right below the lash line. Skin and fat are then removed and delicate sutures bring the skin edges together hidden in the natural fold beneath the lashes. If only fat needs to be removed from the lower lid, the fat is removed through an incision on the inside surface of the lower lid, thus completely hiding the incision and not involving any skin healing.In both upper and lowe lid surgery, skill and judgement are required to avoid leaving a hollowed-out appearance by removing too much fat.
- What is the recovery time for blepharoplasty?
- Most patients can resume normal social and work activities within a few days of surgery. Some patients are back at work within a day if the job does not involve strenuous activity. As swelling and bruising resolver over a week to ten days, your more youthful, rested look evolves. The incision lines hidden in natural creases usually heal very quickly.
- What can I expect after the blepharoplasty procedure?
- The discomfort after eyelid surgery is minimal. There are no bandages worn after surgery, and sutures, if non-absorbable ones are used, are removed after one week. Any bruising and swelling, along with excess tearing occurring after surgery, resolve over about a week. Cover-up make-up or sunglasses worn to camouflage any discoloration allows many patients to resume social and work activities within a day or two. It is best not to wear contact lenses for a few days after surgery until the eyes feel normal. Sun protection will protect the freshly rejuvenated site and help preserve your results.
- What other procedures can be performed with blepharoplasty?
- Lower lid tightening, canthopexy, lateral canthal resuspension, can be performed to correct looseness of the lower lid. If volume loss in the tear trough exists, it can be replaced with fat reposition. The fine wrinkles and lines of the lower lid, not addressed by blepharoplasty can be treated with laser resurfacing and other techniques.
- How much does blepharoplasty cost?
- The cost of blepharoplasty will be discussed during consultation since it depends on evaluation of the position of the brow, muscle tone surrounding the eye, need for surgery to address muscle laxity, and the amount of excess skin and fat to be removed.
- What are the risks with blepharoplasty?
- Eyelid surgery generally involves very few complications but as with any surgical procedure there can be need for additional or revision surgery, numbness, scarring, dry eye, difficulty closing the eyes, infection, droopy eyelid (ptosis), lower lid laxity (ectropion), hematoma (bleeding). Much rarer complications include visual loss and pulmonary and cardiac anesthetic risks.