Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
Eyelid surgery, more technically referred to as blepharoplasty and colloquially as an “eye lift”, is a form of plastic surgery that removes excess fat, skin, and bulges from the upper and/or lower eyelids.
While commonly performed for cosmetic purposes, blepharoplasty may also help to improve vision if skin folds or drooping eyelids hinder a patient’s line of sight as well. The aesthetic benefits of eyelid surgery include correcting wrinkled folds of skin on the upper eyelids, bags under the eyes, and sagging eyebrows, which allows for an appearance that is less aged, tired, and melancholic.Additionally, psychological perks include boosted confidence and greater self-esteem.
While eyelid surgery can improve appearance, it cannot correct certain blemishes such as skin discolouration, along with other imperfections like deep eyelid creases.
Best Candidates for Eyelid Surgery
Your eye lift should be performed in a reputable cosmetic surgery firm such as Clinic 360 in Toronto by an oculoplastic surgeon (specialist in plastic and reconstructive surgery of the eye), an experienced plastic surgeon, an ear-nose-throat surgeon, or a dermatologist. The best candidates for eyelid surgery are in good health and have realistic expectations for the procedure. Most patients are 35 years of age or older, though those prone to droopy eyes may wish to have an eye lift earlier. Other than age, the amount of surgery time required and technique chosen will also be based on personal factors such as client expectations, medical history, overall health, and skin texture. Results may not be fully apparent and realized for an entire year and many patients also opt to have eyelid surgeries revised after 5 to 20 years as the effects of aging are ongoing.
How is Eyelid Surgery Performed?
Generally, an eyelid surgery should take approximately 2 hours and you can return home the same day.
Local anaesthetic, in conjunction with an oral sedative or intravenous sedation, is most commonly used, though general anaesthetic is also an option. This decision will be based on personal preference (both your own and your surgeon’s) during your complimentary consultation at Clinic 360.
The upper eyelid is usually where your surgeon will start, with the first incision made along the natural line of the eyelid. The surgeon will enter through the wound to remove any excess fat, skin, and muscle. Once completed, tiny stitches will be used to close the eyelift incision. These will be left in place for 3 to 6 days.
Eyelid Surgery Techniques
Lower eyelids, may not require incisions (depending on the technique chosen). To remove under-eye bags, a cut will be made along the lower eyelid to remove the fat. Because of the incision’s placement in a natural crease, it shouldn’t be visible following surgery. Fine lines can also be further softened in the area with carbon dioxide and erbium laser. Advantages to using a laser include a faster operating time with reduced bleeding and pain.
Risks & Complications
While generally considered very safe, eyelid surgeries do carry certain inherent risks of complications. As a preventative measure, it is best to stop smoking, and taking Aspirin-based painkillers at least a month prior to your blepharoplasty procedure. These can constrict blood flow and inhibit natural healing. Common risks associated with eyelid surgery are:
- Blood clots
- Complications from anaesthetic
- Dry eyes
- Discolouration of the eyelids
- Inability to completely close eyes
- Possible loss of vision
Many eyelid surgery complications can be avoided by being completely honest with your surgeon at Clinic 360 during your complimentary consultation. At this time, they will go over all risks in further detail with you as well. You also should be sure to carefully follow your doctor’s instructions, both prior to and after your blepharoplasty surgery.
Eyelid Surgery Recovery
You can generally return home the same day as your eyelid surgery though you should arrange for a friend or family member to drive as the effects of the anaesthetic may not have entirely worn off. Additionally, your vision may be impaired based on the location of the surgery. Upon arriving home, you should have a recovery area or a kit set up including:
- Ice packs
- Gauze pads
- Eye drops
- Clean washcloths
- Over-the-counter painkillers
Your surgeon may have further suggestions to add to the above list. Some bruising and swelling during the first week is normal and can be alleviated with cold compresses applied to the eyes. Any stitches should be removed within several days of your eye lift surgery and scars should be barely noticeable after about 2 months. If scars continue to be apparent after this period, a second revisionary procedure may be required.
Cost & Financing
As a general estimate, eyelid surgery (eyelift) at Clinic 360 in Toronto will cost upwards of $3,500. Health insurance will generally not cover the cost of your blepharoplasty for aesthetic reasons; however, if drooping eyelids compromise your vision then there is a possibility of financial assistance. Otherwise, if you are unable to pay for the procedure in its entirety up front, financing and payment plans are available.