Eye Lift (Blepharoplasty)
View before and after photos
Blepharoplasty (cosmetic eyelid surgery) is an operation to remove excess skin, fat and muscle from the eyelids. It is generally done under intravenous sedation ("twilight anaesthesia") where you are very sedated and relaxed. These features tend to make you look older and more tired than you really feel.
Most individuals seeking this surgery simply want to change the reflection they see in the mirror. The procedure can be done to the upper or lower eyelids alone, or to both. The surgery can be done alone or in combination with other facial plastic surgery.
The best candidates for eyelid surgery are men and women who are healthy, and most are over 35 years old. Occasionally, patients who are younger request this type of surgery. These particular patients usually have a strong family history of "baggy eyelids".
A blepharoplasty will not remove "crow’s feet" or other wrinkles from the eyelids. Similarly, it will not remove dark circles from under the eyes – there is no surgical procedure that can do that. Asian patients may request a particular type of blepharoplasty, which can add a crease to their upper eyelids.
Eyelid surgery is usually done as an outpatient (you can go home the same day). This procedure can be done under intravenous sedation ("twilight sedation"), where you are very relaxed and sedated, or under general anesthetic, where you are sound asleep. We prefer to use "twilight sedation", because there is much less bleeding and much less nausea after the procedure. With twilight sedation, you will be very sedated and relaxed, like being in a dream world. The surgery usually takes 2 to 3 hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. An incision is first made following the natural lines of your eyelids, in the creases of the upper lids and just below the lashes in the lower lids. Working through these incisions, the skin is separated from the underlying fatty tissue and muscle. Excess fat, muscle, and skin are then trimmed. The incisions are then closed with very fine sutures.
After surgery, Lacrilube ointment will be placed in your eyes as a lubricant. Ice packs will be applied for 20 minutes per hour for several hours. Because you have had intravenous sedation, someone will need to be available to take you home later in the day. When you arrive home, you should keep you head elevated for several days, in order to decrease your swelling. You should apply ice packs for 20 minutes of each hour, until you go to sleep on the night of surgery. Then the following day, you should resume applying ice packs for 20 minutes each hour until that evening. They can then be discontinued.
You will be surprised to find how little pain there is following this surgery. You will be given a prescription for Tylenol #3 before your surgery to control any discomfort. For the first few days, you should put Lacrilube ointment into your eyes just before you go to bed each night. In some instances, the eyelids do not quite close during sleeping for a few days after this surgery. The Lacrilube ensures that the eyes are nice and moist during this time. Your vision will become somewhat blurred after the Lacrilube in inserted.
During the first week, swelling and bruising are quite variable from person to person.
The swelling will be at a maximum after 2-3 days. Then it will settle progressively each day. Similarly, the bruising will be much more noticeable on the day after surgery than initially. It should disappear by about 12 days after surgery. You may find that your eyes tend to tear more frequently during the 1st week after surgery. This will settle as your swelling settles.
You will likely be able to read and watch television within 2-3 days of your operation. Your sutures will be removed from your eyelids 6 days after your surgery. Your eyelids will then feel much more natural. If you wear contact lenses, then you won’t be able to use them for about 10 days. You will need to take life very easy for about 2 weeks after surgery. You can usually return to work in 12-14 days. You can do easy walking after a few days, but you will need to wait at least 3 weeks before running or doing any other strenuous exercises.
Your incision lines may remain pink for several months. Ultimately, though, they will fade nicely. On the other hand, the positive side of your surgery – your more alert and youthful look – will last many years. For some people, the results are permanent.
There is currently a huge amount of information available concerning blepharoplasty surgery. Much of this will be covered during your initial office consultation. You will also be shown before and after photos of other patients, whose findings are very similar to yours.
The cost of an upper or a lower Blepharoplasty is $4,500 + HST. If both procedures are done at the same time, then the cost is $6,500 + HST. The $100 consultation fee is deducted from the surgical fee.