Our eyelids have some of the thinnest skin found anywhere on the human body. While this has the benefit of enabling easy, efficient movement, it also contributes to our eyes being the first area on our face to show signs of aging. Of course, it doesn’t help that our eyes are continually exposed to the sun and the elements. Couple that with our natural decline in collagen production and you have the perfect recipe for sagging eyelids, puffy under eye skin, and an appearance that can be years older than your actual age. Dr. Lin performs eyelid surgery to refresh your eyes and rejuvenate your face. This procedure can take years off of your facial age and is very satisfying for our Boston patients.
What is eyelid surgery?
Eyelid surgery is clinically known as blepharoplasty (eyelift). Dr. Lin performs these procedures on one or both eyelids (upper or lower eyelids), removing excess skin and tightening the underlying support muscles. In most cases, fat is repositioned or removed. He also safely removes as much of the puffiness possible that develops under the lower eyelid.
Candidates For Eyelid Surgery
The reality is that many people over the age of 40 could benefit from eyelid surgery. This is especially true if you’ve spent much time outdoors. This surgery also plays no favorites by gender — everyone’s eyes age and it’s not a good look on anyone.
Surveys show that people usually say the eyes are the area of the face they notice first when meeting a new person. People who opt for eyelid surgery don’t want those people to see tired sagging eyelids as their first impression.
Good candidates for blepharoplasty still have good tone in their facial muscles and tissue. Most candidates are 40 or older. Only people with eye diseases are not able to have eyelid surgery, at least until the condition has been addressed.
How is the blepharoplasty procedure performed?
Dr. Lin is a double board certified plastic surgeon and has extensive experience with this delicate procedure. Patients can opt to have surgery performed on either the upper or lower eyelid, or both. For that reason, the surgery can take from 45 minutes to two hours.
On the upper eyelid, a small incision is made in the natural crease of the eyelid. This conceals any visible scarring. Muscles are tightened as needed, fat is repositioned, and excess skin is trimmed. Unless there is an abundance of fat, the fat is reduced rather than removed. This avoids the hollow look that may be present. Treatment of the fat creates the natural look that Dr. Lin strives for with all of his cosmetic procedures.
In some cases, a patient can have enough sagging in the upper eyelid that it interferes with the field of vision. In some of these cases, insurance will usually cover the surgery.
On the lower eyelid, Dr. Lin makes the incision just below the lower eyelash or sometimes within the inside of the eyelid. This depends on the patient’s eyelid characteristics. Additional excess skin may be removed on the lower eyelid if it is causing puffiness and excessive wrinkling beneath the eye.
Eyelid surgery is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries every year around the world for a simple reason: it delivers remarkable rejuvenation and it doesn’t require a difficult recovery.
When you return home, Dr. Lin will have your eyelids covered with light gauze. We provide you with lubricating eye drops and a cold compress. If you’re diligent using the compress you can really minimize any swelling and bruising. There will be some of each, but they are not dramatic. This surgery doesn’t create acute pain, more of a soreness that can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. You’ll return to our Boston offices in one week and Dr. Lin will remove your stitches. At this point, your recovery is mostly complete. You can have some on again off again light swelling, but this completely resolves in just two or three weeks.
Results of Blepharoplasty
This rejuvenation of your eyes is long lasting. The excess skin Dr Lin removes is gone for good. The support muscles he tightened won’t slacken to the same degree again. Yes, your eyes will still age, but they will age from a much younger starting point, and they will never again have the same degree of sagging tissue. You’ll enjoy your younger-looking, fully refreshed eyes for the rest of your life.
Risks of Eyelid Surgery
There are the potential risks and complications of any surgery: infection, bleeding, and poor wound healing. There can be some eyelid specific complications such as dry eye, entropion or ectropion, and problems closing an eyelid, but these are very rare. Blepharoplasty with an experienced surgeon such as Dr. Lin is a safe, satisfying procedure.
“My motivation for the eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) was medical in nature that is to assist with my peripheral vision. However it was also cosmetic as I am in my early to middle 50s. and my eyes clearly demonstrated my age…With Dr. Lin there were no cons, only pros involved in the entire process. Dr. Lin was highly professional, both in evaluating me as a candidate for these operations, in setting expectations, and during post-operative followups. The ultimate outcome, for both procedures, was outstanding. Thanks to Dr. Lin and staff, years were taken off my appearance, particularly around my eyes, and my nose has a much better shape. I’m very pleased w/ the outcome and would recommend Dr. Lin to anybody needing plastic surgery w/out reservation.”
What is the cost of eyelid surgery?
The cost of your eyelid surgery will depend on if you are having one or both eyelids addressed. After your consultation with Dr. Lin, we can provide you with an estimate of the cost of your procedure.
Unfortunately, blepharoplasty is deemed to be elective cosmetic surgery, and health insurance plans don’t cover it. As mentioned above, however, in cases of severe upper eyelid sagging, where the skin is impinging on your field of vision, the procedure is deemed functional and may be covered.