The eyes are one of the main focal points of the face. Unfortunately, they are the first structures to show obvious signs of aging.
Most patients describe themselves as looking “tired” or “unhappy” due to sagging of the eyebrow and skin of the upper-lids, as well as heavy bags under the eyes. If you are experiencing similar concerns, eyelid surgery might be the right option for you.
What is Eyelid Surgery?
Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure that tightens sagging or drooping eyelids. Patients often choose to undergo eyelid surgery when aging, sun exposure, smoking, or other factors have caused the muscles and tissues around the eye to weaken. Additionally, eyelid surgery can correct eyelids that are affecting peripheral vision. Dr. Cilento performs blepharoplasty on both the upper and lower eyelids.
Candidates for Eyelid Surgery
Patients who want to undergo eyelid surgery should be in good overall mental and physical health. Candidates must have enough healthy facial tissue and muscle before surgery. Additionally, patients should not have any serious eye conditions such as glaucoma or retinal detachment. During your consultation, Dr. Cilento will discuss if you are a candidate for surgery and all of your treatment options to help restore a more youthful appearance.
“Dr. Cilento is one of the best surgeons I have ever met. His bedside manner is superb and his patients are always relaxed knowing they are in good hands! Just a great person! I cannot wait to get my eyes done!!!” – Angelina E.
The Blepharoplasty Procedure
To start the upper eyelid procedure, Dr. Cilento will make an incision along the natural crease of the eyelid. Then, he repositions or removes fat deposits. Next, Dr. Cilento tightens the tissues and muscles and removes excess skin. Finally, the incisions are closed with sutures.
A lower blepharoplasty is a more delicate operation. Dr. Cilento performs both transconjunctival blepharoplasty (no external skin incision) and skin muscle flap (small external incision) on the lower eyelid. The type of lower eyelid surgery will depend on the patient’s anatomy. Patients can receive upper and lower eyelid surgery separately, together, or in conjunction with other procedures.
Before & After Eyelid Surgery
How long does Eyelid Surgery take?
Most eyelid surgery procedures are performed in an operating room that takes place in an outpatient surgery center or hospital. Light intravenous sedation and local anesthesia are used in most cases for patient comfort. The procedure generally takes 1-2 hours depending on the complexity of the problem.
Eyelid Surgery Recovery
Our staff will provide detailed postoperative instructions after surgery. Usually, a patient feels “recovered” after a week. By this time the patient has had their first postoperative visit and Dr. Cilento has removed the sutures. A great deal of the swelling has resolved, however, bruising can linger in a mild form for 10 days to two weeks depending on the patient’s skin type. Most patients report minimal discomfort.
For lower lids, taping is sometimes required for one to two weeks following suture removal but this is rare. The wounds generally reach the height of redness at around 4 weeks but this generally fades fully after 2 months.
Combining Blepharoplasty with other procedures
Dr. Cilento takes careful consideration before performing blepharoplasty to ensure he can help restore a more youthful appearance. In some cases, he often performs eyelid surgery in combination with a facelift or neck lift to further enhance the overall appearance. Oftentimes some of the drooping or sagging in the upper lid area can be attributed to eyebrow drooping. For this reason, Dr. Cilento often recommends a forehead lift to select patients in combination with their blepharoplasty. During the consultation, this will be something Dr. Cilento discusses in more detail.
Alternatives to Eyelid Surgery
If surgery isn’t for you, Dr. Cilento offers a few other options. Signs of aging, such as fine lines and crows feet, can be addressed with non-surgical treatments. Botox or Dysport injections can lessen and prevent crows feet. Additionally, dermal fillers can treat deep grooves and dark circles under the eyes. Crepe-like changes in the lower lids can be treated with fractional laser. Dr. Cilento offers these non-surgical treatments through Cilento Medspa and Wellness.
Will insurance cover Eyelid surgery?
Patients can experience obstructed vision from excess upper eyelid skin. In those cases, eyelid surgery may be reimbursable by third-party payers. If this appears to be the case, our staff will arrange a visit to an ophthalmologist for the testing necessary to document any obstruction.