What is eyelid surgery?

, July 5, 2012


Eyelid surgery is also known as blepharoplasty.  There is an eyelid surgery called an upper blepharoplasty which corrects excess and drooping skin on the upper eyelid.  There is an eyelid surgery called a lower blepharoplasty which corrects excess and drooping skin on the lower eyelid.  And there is also a variant of these called a canthopexy eyelid surgery which lifts the outside corner of the eye to correct drooping and create more of a cat eye look.

In eyelid plastic surgery, the objective is to correct drooping upper eyelids or to correct bags under the eyes.  This plastic surgery usually involves some combination of removing either extra fat, muscle or skin.  Some patients get an isolated type of eyelid surgery to strengthen the muscle that opens and closed the eyes which is part of the upper eye.  Ptosis or drooping, aging, or other genetic factors can affect that muscle.  Some people have one droopy eye others have both start to droop as the age.

Eyelid surgery won’t improve your actual eyesight but it can get rid of extra skin around the eyelid.  Upper eyelid bleharoplasty is one of the only plastic surgery procedures that you maybe could get your medical insurance to help cover.  You’d only get some coverage if your upper eyelid was drooping so far down onto and over your eye that it was literally starting to block your vision because of the over hanging skin.  Some men and women into their sixties get this plastic surgery done.  They aren’t doing it for cosmetic reasons they are doing it because sagging skin is starting to literally block their eyes.  You’d have to have good insurance such as a PPO and legitimate physical justification of the need for plastic surgery in order for insurance to chip into the cost. 

While not quite as popular as liposuction, rhinoplasty and breast implants, plenty of people want to improve the look around their eyes.  Around a quarter million people a year get some sort of eyelid surgery and as baby boomers come into their golden years this number is only likely to increase.  About 85% of eyelid plastic surgery patients are women, the other 15% re men. 

One of the biggest reasons women and men get eyelid surgery is that they feel as though their face looks permanently tired and they want a fresher appearance.  Sometimes its because their upper eyelid droops over their eyes creating a hooded effect, and sometimes its because they have doopy bags under their eyes that make them look exhausted or depressed.  Smokers especially can get really thin frail skin under the eyes and if you have discoloration and big bags your eyes look tired. 

The procedure for upturning the corners of the eyes is more cosmetic, although some people have a phenomenon when they age that the outer corners of their eyes start to fall.  So their eyes look like they are pointing down at the corners rather than sitting horizontally on their face.   One of the biggest pluses of this surgical procedure is that those that seek it out feel like their eyes portray them as tired and haggard.  So if there are no complications they like like themselves, only refreshed.  If you are unlucky in the genetics department, tanned way too much, smoked excessively or had some other hardcore negative lifestyle habits your eyes will be one of the first body parts to reflect that.

Eyelid plastic surgery takes about a week to ten days to recover from.  The eyes are very swollen up after such a surgery and there is quite a bit of icing to keep swelling and puffiness down.  If you have contacts or corrective lenses you might have to account for not being able to wear them the first few weeks after the surgery.  Usually the surgical scars heal well in this area and can be hardly seen after a few months.  So much of the pricing depends on where you get this procedure done and how reputable the surgeon is.  Big city, top notch plastic surgeons might charge double what a smaller town surgeon charges.  

When it comes to plastic surgery, you typically get what you pay for.  It’s not the type of surgery to be cutting pricing corners on just to get a good deal.  For a surgery like this you should save up the money then go to someone well established.  The surgeon fees in some cheaper areas of the country are around $3,000.  Once you add in the anesthesia or IV sedation fees and surgery room fees this will run you around $4,000 to $5,000 just to get one of the procedures (e.g. upper blepharoplasty, or lower blepharoplasty, or canthopexy).  To get more than one of these cosmetic corrections done at the same time, the price of the surgery might go up by one or two thousand dollars.

Eyelid surgery, includes upper blepharoplasty, lower blepharoplasty, canthopexy plastic surgery


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