“When you’re tired of looking tired, an eyelid lift may be right for you.”
Common name – Eyelid Lift.
Technical name/also known as – Blepharoplasty.
Benefits of an Eyelid Lift
As people get older, the appearance of the eye changes. For the upper eyelid, the skin may loosen and obscure part (or, in severe cases, all) of the lid. Some eyelids may even rest on the eyelashes. There may be heaviness seen on either side of the nose as the fat which surrounds the eyeball becomes more prominent. For those with a heavy upper eyelid, called dermatochalasia, an eyelid lift may be indicated.
Sometimes, the excess skin of the upper eyelid may be caused by dropping of the eyebrow, called brow ptosis. In this case, a browlift would be indicated. Depending on the amount of excess upper eyelid skin, an eyelid lift may or may not be needed in addition to a browlift.
For the lower eyelid, the skin may loosen, but in this area, fat is often responsible for the tired and puffy look of the lower eyelid. Some of the deep structures around the eye relaxes with age allowing the fat to protrude. Prominence of the tear trough (the groove from the middle corner of the eye which follows the bottom of the lower eyelid ) can also be seen as the fat appears to rest above it.
How it is done: How the eyelids are lifted
For an upper eyelid lift, an incision is planned along the natural crease of the eyelid. The excess skin is marked and removed. Through this incision, the excess fat is identified and carefully removed. The scar hides inconspicuously in the eyelid crease and out towards the smile lines around the eyes.
For a lower eyelid lift, several techniques may be used. In the fat redraping technique, an incision is made underneath the lower eyelash line. The excess fat of the lower eyelid is contoured and draped over the lower orbital rim to blend the lower eyelid and cheek skin. Excess skin is removed as needed. Another technique is to remove the fat via a transconjunctival incision (inside the lid) and skin through an incision below the lash line if skin removal is needed.
Eyelid lifts, both upper and lower, give the eyes a more refreshed look. In those with a significant amount of excess upper eyelid skin, this operation usually also improves peripheral vision. People report looking as good as they feel when previously they looked tired despite being well-rested.
The tradeoff to facial surgery is always downtime. For the first two weeks at least, the eyelids may appear swollen. Bruising for some may also last up to several weeks. This may be difficult to conceal when out among others. Initially the eyes may feel dry, irritated, or sensitive. If both upper and lower eyelid surgery is done at the same time, those side effects are more likely. Some patients require prescription drops in their eyes for relief. Moisturizing drops and ointments are recommended for everyone. Color of the lower eyelid skin and wrinkles in the eyelid are not usually improved by a blepharoplasty.
Who pays for this
For some patients with loss of peripheral vision due to excess upper eyelid skin, health insurance may cover a portion of the procedure. It almost always requires precertification, meaning there is a list of qualifications that must be met in order to meet criteria the insurance company puts forth to meet medical necessity. A visual field test will be required and can be performed by an ophthalmologist. If criteria are not met, cosmetic pricing is offered. Lower eyelid lift surgery is always considered cosmetic.
What to expect
Length of operation
1 – 4 hours (depending on the extent of procedure).
Upper eyelids: Can be done under local (in select patients) or general anesthesia
Lower eyelids: General anesthesia, you will be asleep and monitored the entire time.
In or out patient
This is same-day or outpatient surgery.
Time until final appearance
2 – 3 months for swelling to resolve. Scars will take 6 – 12 months to fade.
Length of results
Long lasting, but varies from patient to patient.
Temporary bruising and swelling, pain, incomplete eyelid closing.
Risks of procedure
All surgery carries risk. I recommend patients carefully weigh the benefits of having surgery against the potential risks which may arise. Pain, bleeding, infection, damage to surrounding structures, need for other operations, recurrence, incomplete eye closing, sensitivity to sunlight, asymmetry, incomplete improvement, loss of vision, double vision, scarring, corneal exposure, dry eye, dissatisfaction with the result. A complete list of risks will be discussed with you before surgery.
“I love when patients tell me they look as well-rested as they feel!”
– Dr. Danielle DeLuca-Pytell
While we are under social distancing and shelter at-home instructions, I am offering virtual consultations for new patients interested in meeting with me.
You can do this from a computer (via an invitation) or a smartphone (via an invitation and the Google Meet app).
There are four parts to the consultation:
1. Arrange a consultation by phone or email,
2. Download the new patient forms. Click here.
After you fill them out, you can either fax or email them to me.
3. Once the consultation is arranged, a meeting invite will be sent to you with the link for the consultation. At our prearranged time, follow the link to our secure and private consultation.
There, you and I will have time to talk about your goals, medical history, and all about the procedure.
While the examination is limited to observation in two dimensions, I should be able to determine whether or not you are a candidate for surgery.
4. If you are indeed a surgical candidate, you will be contacted by Andrea, my patient coordinator, to get a surgical quote (or if insurance-based, your expected out of pocket costs), and an opportunity to hold a surgical date.
You will also be given a follow-up visit to confirm with your exam that you are a candidate and preoperative visit time for us to prepare you for surgery.
I hope to virtually see you soon!
Your Next Step!
Call or email us to schedule an appointment and find out if you are a suitable candidate for this procedure.
Our phone number
Give our office a call Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm, Friday 9am to 3pm.
Our email address
Please also email us anytime with questions you have.
Quick Contact Form
Before and After Gallery
When you come into the office for your appointment, you will be able to see more ‘before and after’ photos of this procedure including different options.
If healing proceeds as expected:
For the first two weeks, no lifting, strenuous activity, work, or exercise. Sunglasses are recommended to be worn outdoors during this time to protect the eye from sun and debris.
2-4 weeks, return to gentle exercise, gradually increasing activity.
After 6 weeks, return to all activity.
Returning to Work
This depends on the type of work that you do and how comfortable you are that you might be seen looking bruised or swollen. For people with the flexibility to work remotely at a sedentary job, you can resume work when you feel up to it, usually a week to 10 days. It may be tiring to read initially. Having a backup plan is helpful in the event you do not feel up to returning to work. Most feel comfortable being seen in public two to three weeks after surgery. If your work is strenuous, you will need four to six weeks off from work or return to work light duty only.
Time until final appearance
2 – 3 months for swelling to resolve. Scars will take 6-12 months to fade.
Length of results
It should be long-lasting but varies by patient.
Smoking and Surgery
If you smoke, it is imperative that you quit six weeks both before and after surgery. To better understand why, please click this link:
It is best to sleep with the head elevated for the first few days after the procedure to help reduce swelling. Cool compresses may also be used during this time. Lubricating ointments are used along the suture line for comfort to reduce pulling on the skin from scabs. It is also used in the eyes during sleep to help protect the cornea as the eyelids may not completely close after surgery because of swelling (this is temporary). Saline drops should be used frequently during the day to increase eye comfort as well. Reading and prolonged computer time may also make the eyes more tired more quickly following surgery. Contact lenses should be avoided until the sutures are out and all scabbing has resolved. Lower eyelid massage will be demonstrated once the sutures are removed for those who have lower eyelid surgery.
If you color your hair, do so right before surgery as you will not be able to color your hair until three weeks following the procedure. Plan to bring a hat with you to the hospital on the day of the procedure as well as dark glasses to camouflage your temporarily swollen appearance on leaving the hospital.
See what her patients have to say about their surgical experience.
Follow the link to read some of the many letters received by Dr. Danielle DeLuca-Pytell.
When you visit the office for your appointment, we will talk about the side effects and risks of this procedure.
You will have the chance to ask any questions you might have.
Don’t forget: it is your body! There is no such thing as a bad or silly question!