An eyelift, also called Blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure that repairs droopy eyelids and may involve removing excess skin, muscle and fat.
Why Get an Eyelift?
As you age, the skin around your eyelids stretches and the muscles supporting them weaken. As a result, excess fat may gather above or below your eyelids, which causes sagging eyebrows, droopy upper lids, or bags under the eyes.
Droopy or sagging eyelids may keep your eyes from opening completely or pull down on your lower lids. Removing excess tissue from your upper eyelids can also improve problems with your peripheral vision. In addition, work on your upper and lower lids can make you appear younger and more alert.
Is Eye Lift Covered by Insurance?
Insurance coverage most likely depends on whether the surgery will repair a condition that impairs your vision. If you are having the surgery for purely cosmetic reasons, it most likely won’t be covered.
How to Prepare for Your Eyelift Surgery
Before your surgery, you’ll need to have:
● A physical exam
● A vision exam
● Eyelid photography (in which your eyes will be photographed from different angles.)
In addition, you will be asked to:
● Stop smoking several weeks before surgery to help with healing
● Stop taking certain medications (such as warfarin and aspirin) that interfere with blood clotting
● Arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery, and to stay with you the first night after surgery
Before the Procedure
Dr. Zoumalan will put numbing medication on your eyelids, as well as inject an intravenous sedative to help you relax.
During the Procedure
If you have surgery on both the upper and lower eyelids:
● Dr. Zoumalan works on the upper lids first
o Gently and delicately, an incision is made along the fold of the lid. If you are awake for this portion, you will not feel any discomfort!
o Excess skin, muscle, and possibly fat is removed
o The incision is closed with high quality sutures that are removed on day 6 or 7.
● Next, the lower lid is worked on
o A cut is made just below the lashes in your eyes’ natural crease, or else inside the lower lid (aka transconjunctival approach). Dr. Zoumalan more commonly prefers the transconjunctival approach.
o Redistribute excess fat, muscle, and sagging skin is removed. Dr. Zoumalan terms his lower eyelid surgery a Natural Looking Blepharoplasty ® technique.
o The cut is closed, again with dissolvable sutures
● If the upper eyelid droops so far down that it is close to your pupil
o Dr. Zoumalan might do an additional surgery called ptosis (TOE-sis)
o This will provide additional support to the eyebrow muscle
After the Procedure
When the procedure is done, you will be monitored in a recovery room for a few hours to make sure there are no complications. You can go home later the same day.
After surgery, you may temporarily experience:
● Blurred vision from the lubricating ointment applied to your eyes
● Watering eyes
● Light sensitivity
● Puffy, numb eyelids
● Swelling and bruising
● Some discomfort, pain is pretty unusual
Dr. Zoumalan will likely suggest you take the following steps after surgery:
● Use ice packs on your eyes on and off throughout the first few days. Dr Zoumalan and his team of nurses have developed a very thorough post surgery care sheet that allows rapid recovery healing.
● Gently clean your eyelids and use prescribed eyedrops or ointments.
● Avoid straining, heavy lifting and swimming for up to two weeks.
● Avoid strenuous activities, such as aerobics and jogging, for a week.
● Avoid smoking.
● Avoid rubbing your eyes.
● If you use contact lenses, don’t put them in for about two weeks after surgery.
● Wear darkly tinted sunglasses to protect the skin of your eyelids from sun and wind.
● Sleep with your head raised higher than your chest for a few days.
● Apply cool compresses to reduce swelling.
● On day 6 or 7, return to Dr. Zoumalan’s office to have stitches removed, if needed.
● For about a week, avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve, others), naproxen (Naprosyn), and other medications or herbal supplements that may increase bleeding. If needed, use acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) to control pain.
Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:
● Shortness of breath
● Chest pain
● An unusual heart rate
● Severe new eye pain
● Vision problems
What Results Can I Expect After my Eyelid Surgery?
Most people find they are satisfied with the results of eyelid surgery, such as a more rested, youthful, and bright-eyed appearance. If you had the surgery to correct vision problems, you will certainly feel a significant improvement in your peripheral vision.
How Long will the Results Last?
For some, the results last a lifetime. For others, droopy skin does eventually recur. Always wear sunglasses when outdoors to protect the skin around your eyes, and dab an eye cream on at night (trying not to stretch the skin) to help preserve your skin’s youthful appearance. It’s important to take good care of your skin and also consider preventative non-surgical options such as Botox or injectable fillers to help in cases of aging that continues to occur.
Eyelid Surgery in Los Angeles
Dr. Christopher Zoumalan, MD FACS, offers a broad range of eyelid surgeries at his Beverly Hills, practice. These include Upper and Lower Eyelid Surgery, Browlift, and Asian Eyelid Surgery, among others. If you have further questions regarding eyelid surgery in Los Angeles, call 310-278-4000 or contact us today to schedule a Skype Consultation!