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Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)

Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is designed to reduce the appearance of aging and exhaustion around the upper and lower eyelids, thereby refreshing the upper-third of the face. The eyes are commonly considered one of the most noticeable facial features and often cast a spotlight on visible signs of aging around the eye contours, such as wrinkles, fine lines, drooping tissue, and puffiness. Blepharoplasty is performed to address these concerns and restore a more youthful, refreshed look in the eyelids. Depending on your goals, this may involve lifting tissue, removing excess skin, smoothing wrinkles, repositioning bulging fat, or generally rejuvenating the region around the eyes. Dr. Joe Gryskiewicz or Dr. Karan Chopra, our highly skilled plastic surgeons, can develop a unique treatment plan for your upper and/or lower eyelids to correct aging and produce a brighter, more energetic appearance. For patients seeking more comprehensive enhancement, eyelid surgery is often performed in conjunction with other facial procedures, such as a facelift (rhytidectomy) or neck lift.

What are the Benefits of Eyelid Surgery?

Eyelid surgery performed by an experienced plastic surgeon can be an effective and long-lasting way to achieve a younger-looking appearance around the eyes. In general, the procedure can:

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The healing process for this procedure is approximately one week or longer, depending on whether eyelid surgery was combined with another procedure.

Who is a Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?

Blepharoplasty can be very successful and effective for patients who feel like they constantly look aged or fatigued due to the effects of gravity, sun exposure, repetitive facial expressions, and getting older. Those who exhibit eyelid “hooding,” which describes the phenomenon of loose tissue in the upper eyelids sagging or drooping into a patient’s peripheral vision, are usually excellent candidates for blepharoplasty. In general, you may consider an eyelid surgery procedure if you want to improve:

Patients interested in eyelid surgery should be healthy enough to undergo the recovery period and have no uncontrolled medical conditions. With any cosmetic procedure, individuals should also maintain a positive outlook on surgery and have realistic expectations for the outcome. Our plastic surgeons will meet with you in a consultation to evaluate your needs and help you determine if blepharoplasty is the best option to achieve your overall goals.

Types of Eyelid Surgery

Upper Blepharoplasty

Common signs of aging in the upper eyelids include a loss of skin elasticity, weakened musculature, and fat accumulation — factors that can all lead to “hooding” or drooping tissue in general. During upper eyelid surgery, Dr. Chopra or Dr. Gryskiewicz can restore a tight, smooth, and rejuvenated contour through an inconspicuous incision made along the natural fold of the eyelid. “Hooding” can be corrected, thereby restoring the full scope of a patient’s line of sight.

Lower Blepharoplasty

Dr. Chopra performs lower eyelid surgery, which can improve puffy, bulging, or sagging lower eyelids. This is accomplished by repositioning protruding fat in the lower lids, simultaneously reducing the shadows that can cause dark circles to form underneath the eyes. Depending on your needs, the junction between the lower lids and tear troughs can be smoothed as well to diminish a sunken or hollow look. This procedure is typically performed through an incision made along the lower lash line.

Scarless Lower Eyelid Surgery (Transconjunctival Blepharoplasty)

The transconjunctival technique refers to a lower eyelid procedure in which an internal incision is made to smooth “eye bags.” This approach leaves no visible scar. Under-eye puffiness is generally caused by fat in the lower eyelids pushing outward, creating a baggy look. During transconjunctival blepharoplasty, protruding fat is removed while the remainder is sculpted to achieve a smooth contour. While it may not be suitable for everyone, this approach offers the benefit of no external scarring after the procedure. Dr. Chopra recommends this procedure for most patients who have eyelid bags without an excessive amount of extra skin.

Double Eyelid Surgery

Sometimes referred to as “Asian eyelid surgery,” this specialized form of blepharoplasty is designed to create a natural-looking eyelid crease just above the lash line. This can make the eyes appear brighter and larger for patients born without a double fold in the upper eyelids, or for those with an indistinguishable, low-hanging eyelid fold. Although this characteristic is observed in some men and women of Asian descent, not all Asian patients experience a single-fold eyelid — nor do all individuals without an eyelid crease wish to obtain one. Our plastic surgeons simply offer this variation of blepharoplasty for patients who seek a double-fold eyelid in place of, or in combination with, treating signs of age and exhaustion.

How is Eyelid Surgery Performed?

The procedure uses tiny incisions made in the natural contours of the eyes. Dr. Joe and Dr. Chopra will usually work on the upper eyelids first to remove any fatty tissue and tighten loose skin and musculature. If both eyelids are being treated, the lower eyelids are addressed next to eliminate puffiness and reduce dark circles under the eyes. Newer techniques may utilize BOTOX® Cosmetic injections to firm and smooth fine lines and wrinkles. The surgery generally takes about one to three hours and is performed at a same-day surgery facility.

What is Recovery Like for Eyelid Surgery?

During recovery, getting plenty of rest is key to accelerating the healing process. Limiting activity is encouraged, but patients should also practice light ambulation (walking around, standing up, etc.) as soon as they feel up to it. Swelling, bruising, and tenderness are expected, but should mostly subside within 7 to 14 days of surgery. In the meantime, oral pain medications can manage any discomfort. Most patients return to work approximately one week after surgery depending on the nature of their treatment plan. Exercise and strenuous activity should be avoided for at least two weeks, or until Dr. Gryskiewicz or Dr. Chopra instructs otherwise. Closely following their post-operative instructions can be the best way to help incisions heal as quickly as possible and facilitate a smooth recovery period.

How Long Do Blepharoplasty Results Last?

Although no procedure can stop the natural aging process, patients who undergo blepharoplasty generally enjoy their eyelid rejuvenation for 10 to 15 years or longer. This timeframe varies from patient to patient, but individuals who have received blepharoplasty will generally always look younger than those who did not undergo the procedure. Simple preventative measures like wearing eye protection while outdoors (sunglasses, hats, sunscreen, etc.) and using high-quality skin care products can also further prolong the results achieved with eyelid surgery. Our plastic surgeons will help you understand what to expect from the outcome of blepharoplasty after they evaluate your concerns.

How Much Does Blepharoplasty Cost?

The cost of eyelid surgery in Minneapolis typically varies depending on whether the upper, lower, or both eyelids are being treated, as well as the complexity of the procedure. While we cannot provide an exact cost estimate without evaluating your needs in person, you will receive a personalized quote from our patient care coordinator after your consultation. At Gryskiewicz & Chopra Twin Cities Cosmetic Surgery, we accept plastic surgery financing from CareCredit® and ALPHAEON™ Credit for qualified patients who prefer to pay for their blepharoplasty expenses over a series of smaller installments. Once approved through the fast application process, each healthcare lending company offers several low- to no-interest payment plans to suit virtually any budget. If you have any questions about the cost of eyelid surgery, please don’t hesitate to contact our practice.

Is an Eyelid Lift Without Surgery Possible?

Eyelid surgery remains the most powerful procedure of its kind to correct signs of aging in the upper face, but there are other non-surgical treatment options that can refresh the area around the eyes. While unable to correct eyelid hooding or excess skin, BOTOX® Cosmetic injections can smooth crow’s feet around the corners of the eyes to rejuvenate your facial expression. The injectable can also treat frown lines between the eyebrows and forehead creases, often achieving a more energetic and youthful look. Although the results from BOTOX® Cosmetic will be temporary, injectables can provide some degree of enhancement in lieu of, or in tandem with, eyelid surgery.

Does Eyelid Surgery Have Any Limitations?

Blepharoplasty is only designed to address the upper and lower eyelid contours and generally does not treat signs of aging in the mid- or lower face. Since the eyes and brow often age together, many patients elect to combine their eyelid surgery with a brow lift to simultaneously improve lax/drooping tissue in the forehead, thereby refreshing the entire upper face. Facelift surgery is also a popular complement to blepharoplasty for patients who may want to improve the appearance of jowls along the jawline in conjunction with their eyelid rejuvenation. Even non-surgical treatments, such as dermal filler injections, can be utilized to resolve volume loss in the mid-face, further highlighting the results of your blepharoplasty by emphasizing a more youthful appearance. Our plastic surgeons would be happy to develop an optimal treatment plan to address your unique area(s) of concern and achieve your goals.

Questions? For more information about eyelid surgery or to schedule a consultation with our plastic surgeons, please contact Gryskiewicz & Chopra Twin Cities Cosmetic Surgery today.

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