What is a Blepharoplasty?
A blepharoplasty is a procedure on the eyelids done to improve the appearance of the eyelids. Often patients complain that they always appear tired due to the appearance of their eyes. This procedure can be completed on the upper eyelids, called an upper lid blepharoplasty; or the lower eyelids, called a lower lid blepharoplasty. In an upper lid, blepharoplasty excess skin is excised. Sometimes fat, particularly from the medial part of the eyelid is excised as well if the upper eyelid appears too full. Other times, fat, in the form of fat grafting, can be added to help improve a hollowed upper eyelid appearance. Lower eyelids typically develop fine wrinkles and bulging of the fat beneath the eye. This leads to the development of a crease between the eyelids and cheek, which is a sign of aging. In lower lid blepharoplasty the objectives are typically to improve the fine wrinkles and re-create a smooth transition between the eyelid and cheek that was present in youth. There are multiple options to improve the fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid. Sometimes a CO2 laser or a chemical peel may be recommended, whereas other times a small amount of skin may be excised. The lower eyelid bags are treated through an incision on the inside of the eyelid. Some of the fat is excised, however, most of the fat is repositioned down into the cheek to recreate that smooth transition between the eyelid and cheek.
Dr. Namin’s Philosophy
Rejuvenating the appearance of the eyes is one of the most powerful procedures in facial plastic surgery. Dr. Namin’s objective is to deliver a natural appearance through a careful examination and well thought out operative plan. While many individuals will seek out blepharoplasty, there are many other facial features that must be assessed before embarking on this procedure. First, it is very important to assess the eyebrow position. Often as individuals age and develop excess upper eyelid skin, they also develop descent of the eyebrow. Because of this, a brow repositioning procedure may be recommended along with an upper lid blepharoplasty. Second, the appearance of the upper eyelid in youth must be assessed. Some individuals have always had more hollow upper eyelids, whereas others have always had fuller upper eyelids. Determining the patient’s desired aesthetic, and their appearance in youth is important before developing the operative plan. Third, the presence of ptosis or a “lazy” eye must be carefully examined for. This sometimes requires a separate procedure, known as a ptosis repair. Lastly, however, most importantly, the strength of the lower eyelid must be assessed. Lower eyelid blepharoplasty has unique, and potentially disastrous complications. As individuals age, the lower eyelid weakens and becomes more prone to scarring forces. This can lead to ectropion, which is where the lower eyelid becomes everted and retracted inferiorly. Dr. Namin performs the deep repositioning maneuvers through an incision on the inside of the eyelid, which helps decrease the incidence of these complications.
Blepharoplasty Postoperative Recovery
You will have bruising and swelling of your eyelids that will peak around 3 days after surgery and take about two weeks to completely resolve. Using ice packs or cool compresses for 20 minutes every few hours will help minimize this. Taking the Arnica Montana as prescribed will also help minimize the bruising and swelling. Beginning on the fourth day after surgery you should stop using the ice packs or cool compresses and transition to warm compresses. Gently clean the incisions as instructed twice daily and then place bacitracin ophthalmic ointment to keep the incisions moist. Use the artificial tears to prevent any dry eye during the recovery period. Dr. Namin will see you about one week after surgery for suture removal. Light exercise can be resumed one week after surgery, and vigorous exercise can be resumed two weeks after surgery. By two weeks after surgery, most bruising and swelling has resolved. Plan to sleep on your back with slight head elevation (1-2 pillows for comfort) during the recovery period. Do not flex your neck or elevate your head excessively.
How Much Does a Blepharoplasty in St Louis Cost?
Estimate price range: $5,000 – $10,000
Blepharoplasty Postoperative Timeline
Day of Surgery: Dr. Namin will meet with your family or friend after the procedure is completed. You will typically spend 1-2 hours in the surgical facility after the procedure is completed. It is important that someone spends the first night after surgery with you.
Post Operative Day 1-3: Use cool compresses or ice packs for 20 minutes every few hours. This will help minimize the swelling.
Post Operative Day 4-5: You can begin using warm compresses. Swelling begins to slowly subside.
Post Operative Day 7: Return to clinic for Dr. Namin to see you. The sutures will typically be removed at this visit.
Post Operative Day 8-14: Bruising and swelling typically resolve during this time frame.
Post Operative Week 2: Vigorous exercise can be resumed.