Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
Eyelid surgery, also known as Blepharoplasty, can be a medical necessity but, it is also performed as a cosmetic procedure. If you have “droopy eyelids” or “bags under your eyes” you can consider cosmetic surgery to rejuvenate your eyes. With more than 18 years of experience performing cosmetic eye surgery, Dr. Linda Vu can let you know if you would benefit from this type of surgery. During your FREE Eyelid consultation, Dr. Vu can answer any questions you may have about the procedure.
Dr. Vu is a board certified ophthalmologist and experienced Los Angeles eye surgeon who will perform a number of exams and discuss your goals with you so that you can make the best decision for yourself. During your free eyelid consultation, Dr. Vu can answer any questions you may have about this type of eye surgery.
Linda Vision is located in the San Gabriel Valley Monterey Park Alhambra Pasadena area within Los Angeles. We offer interest free financing to help make eyelid surgery more affordable for patients. The goal is to still look like yourself. Only better. As we get older, most of us will start to see a difference in the eye area, (e.g. increased looseness of the skin, bags below and above the eye) sometimes so much that the upper lid seems to disappear underneath the extra fatty area under the brow bone. The eyelid skin and fat pockets make up a large part of the expressions of the face. If the lids are droopy or bulging, the face can look tired despite adequate rest and good health. Besides making you look older, severely sagging skin around your eyes can also impair your vision. The puffiness under eyes is usually a cosmetic concern and rarely a sign of a serious underlying medical condition. At-home remedies, such as cold compresses can help improve the appearance of bags under eyes, but are only temporary solutions.
When to Consider Eyelid Surgery
This procedure can give a more youthful appearance to an otherwise older, more tired looking face. Blepharoplasty is intended to improve your appearance and your self-confidence, but it will not necessarily change your looks to match your “ideal.” The goal is to still look like yourself. Only better. You will however, appear younger and more alert. If the lids are loose enough to block your vision, removing excess tissue from the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both, may improve how you see.
What Blepharoplasty Can Correct
- Baggy or puffy upper eyelids
- Excess skin of the upper eyelid that interferes with your vision
- Droopy lower eyelids, which may cause white to show below the iris (colored part of the eye)
- Excess skin on lower eyelids
- Bags under your eyes
Am I a Good Candidate for Eyelid Surgery in LA?
You may be a suitable candidate for eyelid surgery if you:
- Are Healthy
Ideally you should not have any serious or uncontrolled medical conditions, like an autoimmune disorder, that could raise the risks of surgery or jeopardize the healing process. Another medical condition that could prevent you from having eyelid surgery is Graves’ disease (i.e., hyperthyroidism).
- Do Not Have a Serious Eye Condition
Having other eye conditions, such as blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid), does not necessarily exclude you from eyelid surgery, but conditions such as diabetes, glaucoma or dry eye should be controlled.
- Do Not Smoke
Smoking can increase the surgical risks and cause complications to the healing tissues, leading to poor wound healing, unfavorable scarring or prolonged recovery.
- Have a Positive Attitude
Dr. Vu will want to know that you have a good attitude and that you maintain a positive outlook about the outcomes throughout the surgical experience.
- Have Concrete, Reasonable Goals
You should be able to articulate clear, concrete goals of surgery. You should also be realistic about the outcomes — i.e., you should expect improvement and not necessarily perfection.
- Can Dedicate the Time Needed to Recover
The recovery from eyelid surgery is usually short and well tolerated. However, you should be prepared to take at least one to two weeks off from work and your regular routine. You should arrange to have someone that can accompany you home after surgery and stay with you at least overnight.
Preparing for Eyelid Surgery
There are a number of actions you can take to prepare you for Blepharoplasty surgery. Dr. Vu will discuss any specific restrictions for surgery with you during your pre-operative appointment.
- Plan to have someone drive you home after the procedure.
- You should avoid taking any medications containing Aspirin (Anacin, or Bufferin, or Baby Aspirin), Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, or Nuprin), Naproxen (Aleve), any other Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs), or Vitamin E for seven days before surgery. These substances impair platelet function in the normal clotting process and thus promote bleeding and bruising. It is permissible to take acetaminophen (Tylenol or Anacin-3).
- You will begin taking antibiotics prior to surgery.
- Do not drink alcohol for 2 days prior to surgery; this might cause excessive bleeding, decrease resistance to infection.
- You should eat a light, low fat meal, such as toast and juice, fruit, dry cereal and/or non-fat milk no closer than two hours prior to surgery. Please minimize caffeine the day of surgery.
- Wash your hair and face before surgery, and do not wear any makeup or lotions the morning of surgery. You can’t wash your face and shower until 24 hours after surgery.
Eyelid Surgery Procedure
Blepharoplasty is usually done on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. Before surgery begins, pre-operative photographs will be taken. The eyelids to be treated will be marked with a black felt-tip pen and you will be given a sedative pill. Local anesthesia is injected with a very fine needle to the eyelids. Then, the face is cleansed with an antiseptic cleaning solution and the face is draped to isolate the eyes.
The procedure itself can vary depending on the condition of the eyes and the cosmetic goals of the patient. In general however, each eyelid surgery places incisions above the eyes. In the upper eyelids, the incision is placed in the natural fold. In the lower eyelids, the incision is placed just below the eyelash margin or on the inside of the lower eyelid. Next, prolapsed fat and excess skin is removed. Finally, the eyelid skin is sutured with stitches. After completing eyelid surgery, ice packs wrapped in cloth are placed over the eyes. After a period of observation, you are ready to get up and go home. Because of residual local anesthesia, it will be several hours after completing the eyelid surgery before any significant soreness begins. Tylenol is usually sufficient to treat post-operative discomfort.
Eyelid Surgery Recovery
You should plan to rest the entire day after surgery. Dr. Vu will monitor you during your recovery to make sure everything is going smoothly. Most patients can resume light activities including driving the next day, and slowly return back to normal activities within a few days. Bruising around the eyes can be noticeable for about 2 weeks. Most people look presentable in 1-2 weeks, but scars from the incisions may take six months or longer to fade. You can begin to wear makeup one week after surgery, once the stiches are removed. You should protect your delicate eyelid skin from too much sun exposure during your recovery by wearing good UV protecting sunglasses.
Blepharoplasty Follow-up Care
In most cases, Dr. Vu will need to see you one week after surgery. Future appointments depend on each patient’s individual recovery. It is important that you keep all follow-up appointments.
The Many Benefits of Eyelid Surgery
There are many benefits of eyelid surgery, both aesthetic and health-related.
The most obvious benefit of blepharoplasty is that it creates youthful, alert and rested-looking eyes. Loose, saggy skin is removed, displaced fat is repositioned and the tissues are tightened to lift the eyelids into a youthful position. Depending on the details of the treatment plan, under-eye bags or puffiness may be softened for a smoother under-eye area.
For women, eyelid surgery can make it easier to apply makeup to the lids. The skin is tighter and firmer, creating a smooth “canvas” to which a woman can apply eyeliner, eyeshadow or mascara.
The cosmetic improvements of eyelid surgery often lead to improved self-image and self-confidence.
An important functional benefit of eyelid surgery is that it can restore clear vision. Sometimes the skin on the upper eyelids is so loose and saggy that it not only obscures the natural folds of the eyelids but also droops over the upper lash line, partially obstructing the line of sight and limiting peripheral vision. Some people with this problem find themselves constantly squinting or tilting their head back in order to see clearly. But eyelid surgery trims and tightens this skin so it no longer hangs over the lash line into the visual field.
Blepharoplasty procedures to improve vision may be classified as medically necessary and therefore eligible for insurance coverage.
Schedule a Free Consultation for Blepharoplasty
For more information about eyelid surgery, please email or call Dr. Vu and request a consultation.