Is eyelid surgery worth it? The answer to that question depends on how unhappy you are with your droopy eyelids and puffy eye bags. If you find yourself avoiding mirrors or you look tired no matter how much you’ve rested, it may be time for an eye lift.
Blepharoplasty is a long word that’s kind of difficult to say, and is just another name for an eye lift or eye lid surgery. Collagen, our main structural protein, declines with age. This loss of elasticity in the skin, and the never ending tug and pull of gravity, can lead to an accumulation of excess skin on the upper eyelid, and bagginess underneath the eyes.
This lovely effect can make you look tired, haggard, and worn out. It can also make you feel older than you are, which negatively affects your confidence and self-esteem. Blepharoplasty tightens the skin around the eyes, and is often performed alongside other procedures, such as forehead lifts, brow lifts, fillers, and laser resurfacing. Skin elasticity begins to decline in the 30s, making anyone over 35 a candidate for an eye lift, although, blepharoplasty is performed most often in people over 50.
Surgery is done with a laser or scalpel, using tiny incisions that heal quickly, without noticeable scarring. Blepharoplasty does not require lengthy down time, but recovery time will depend on which other procedures are done at the same time. Bruising and swelling is minimal, and the results are long lasting.
What Is The Difference Between Upper Eyelid And Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty?
Upper eyelid surgery involves removing excess skin from the eyelids. We’ve all seen people with that hooded, droopy-lid look. In older people, or even younger people that have a genetic predisposition to saggy eyelids, vision can be affected. In my opinion, this would be reason enough to get an eye lift.
A lower eye lift also removes excess skin, but from underneath the eyes. Bulging skin below the eyes leads to a puffy look, and can at times affect the appearance of the eyes. A lower eye lift is recommended when the white below a person’s iris begins to show as a result of excess skin, and saggy lower lids.
Some people have both their upper and lower eyelids done at the same time, while others may opt for just one surgery. If you’re considering getting an eye lift, set up a consultation with a plastic surgeon in your area. He’ll able to make recommendations based on your unique needs.
He’ll be able to determine the extent of fat that needs to be removed, the placement of tear glands and eyelid folds, how much extra skin needs to be removed, and how the lift will affect the rest of your face.
Transconjunctival blepharoplasty is a scarless lower eyelid surgery that removes eye bags, and decreases the risk that the eyelids will pull down as they heal. This type of surgery doesn’t require an external incision. However, a skin pinch may be needed depending on how the skin retracts after the fat is removed. A small incision underneath the lash line is then made to remove the excess skin.
If surgery scares you, you can opt for nonsurgical alternatives to blepharoplasty, such as Botox or Dysport, which can mimic an eyebrow lift. Fillers, such as Restylane and Juvederm are also alternative options because they raise the corners of the eye brows, elevating the eyelids.
How Much Does An Eye Lift Cost?
Blepharoplasty will run you anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000. Many factors will determine the cost of surgery, such as the nature of the surgery itself, where the procedure is performed, what type of anesthesia is used, and how much post-operative care will be required.
Insurance may cover blepharoplasty if your eyelids are affecting your vision. This condition is called ptosis. An eye test will be required to confirm if your eyesight is being negatively affected.
Lower eye lifts may never need to be repeated. Upper eye lifts will last several years, at which time, they may need to be redone if sagging becomes noticeable. If this is the case, a forehead lift should be considered, which may correct the problem.
What About Recovery?
Blepharoplasty is typically performed with local anesthesia and oral sedation, and is done on an outpatient basis. Many plastic surgeons do eye lifts in their offices. The surgery takes about two hours for both upper and lower lids.
Recovery time is generally about a week, but may take longer, depending on the nature of the surgery. Activities should be limited for a few days following surgery. Swelling is normal so it’s suggested to use ice packs to accelerate recovery, and sleep with your head elevated.
You’ll be instructed on how to safely wash the sutures, and you may need to use eye drops if you tend toward dry eyes. Contact lenses cannot be worn for a few days following surgery, and it’s recommended to protect your eyes and eye area by wearing sunglasses when going outside.
Stitches are removed around day five, and makeup can be used after that to cover any bruising. Recovery time is quicker with an upper eye lid surgery, and there is usually less bruising. The scar is essentially invisible since it is strategically placed in the crease of the eyelid.
Over-the-counter painkillers can be used as recommended by your doctor, but aspirin, Aleve, Advil, and Motrin should not be used due to bleeding risk.
Natural Eye Lift
Not everyone is comfortable getting surgery for a variety of reasons, cost being a significant factor. There are some targeted techniques you can do at home to create the illusion of a natural eye lift. Following are some suggestions:
1. Curl your eyelashes. Check out this electric heated eyelash curler.
2. Use mascara. Long lashes give you a more open-eyed look. I like this brand. It’s hypoallergenic, lasts a long time, and doesn’t smudge.
3. Use a bronzer on the crease of your brow. This will make the sockets of your eyes appear deeper and your eye more pronounced. Here’s an awesome matte bronzer that is paraben free.
Watch the video below for more makeup tips to diminish the look of hooded eyes:
Things droop with age. It’s an unfortunate fact of life that we can thank gravity for. Blepharoplasty is one the first cosmetic surgeries I would consider doing. Compared to other types of plastic surgery, it is a relatively uncomplicated surgery, not as expensive as other procedures, and you get a lot of bang for our buck.
An eye lift can make you look years younger because of the tightening effect around the entire eye area. Droopy eyelids can adversely impact vision, so not only will you look younger and more refreshed, you’re eyesight may improve as well.
Eye lifts run anywhere from 3K to 5K, but various factors will determine the final cost. Recovery time takes approximately a week, but could be longer depending on the nature of the surgery. If you feel you could benefit from blepharoplasty, check out plastic surgeons in your area. Eye rejuvenation can be a big boon to your self-confidence and self-esteem.
What do you think – is eyelid surgery worth it? Do you know someone who’s had one? Let me know in the comments:)