Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
What Can Eyelid Surgery Do For You?
The focal point of our faces is our eyes. The expression and appearance of our eyes convey our thoughts and emotions. Wrinkles around the eyelids, drooping upper lids, excess skin on the lower lids, and bags under the eyes are taken as signs of aging, stress, and fatigue.
This procedure is performed by your triple board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Gilbert Lee, who has been voted by the San Diego Medical Society "Top Doctor" for the past 6 years running. Read more about Dr. Lee's qualifications on his CV.
Eyelid Surgery Photos
These eyelid surgery photos were taken of patients in San Diego who received eyelid surgery at Changes Plastic Surgery. Please visit our complete photo gallery of eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) performed by Dr. Lee in San Diego.
33 year old woman complains of baggy eyes. Four lid blepharoplasty performed with lower lid fat redistribution. Photo taken 10 months post op
Determining Your Candidacy for Eyelid Surgery
The best candidates for eyelid surgery are men and women who are physically healthy, and have realistic expectations. Most patients wanting a blepharoplasty are 35 or older. Age is not a deciding factor, however. Many patients have these conditions at a young age because the condition is genetic, rather than induced by aging.
A few medical conditions make a blepharoplasty more risky. These include thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism and Graves' disease, dry eye or lack of sufficient tears, high blood pressure or other circulatory disorders, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
When eyelid surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Dr. Gilbert Lee is a triple board-certified plastic surgeon. The procedures are performed either in our San Diego office or in a state licensed and Medicare certified surgical center. These credentials help ensure the highest standards of care and your utmost safety.
Nevertheless, there are possible complications, including infection or a reaction to the anesthesia. You can reduce your risks by closely following your surgeon's instructions both before and after surgery.
Additional minor complications that occasionally follow a blepharoplasty can include double or blurred vision for a few days, temporary swelling at the corner of the eyelids, and a slight asymmetry in healing or scarring.
Following surgery, some patients may have difficulty closing their eyes when they sleep; in rare cases, this condition may be permanent. Another very rare complication is ectropion, a pulling down of the lower lids. In this case, further surgery may be required.
A blepharoplasty is generally done in our San Diego office under a local anesthetic. It can also be performed on an outpatient basis in a surgical center.
Eyelid surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia, which numbs the area around your eyes, along with oral or intravenous sedatives. You'll be awake during the surgery, but relaxed and comfortable. Some patients prefer to be asleep during the procedure. If this is the case, you and your surgeon may decide to use general anesthesia.
Blepharoplasty usually takes one or two hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. If you're having your upper and lower eyelids done, the surgeon will probably work on the upper lids first, then the lower ones. In a typical procedure, the surgeon makes incisions in the natural lid creases of your upper lids, and just below the lashes in the lower lids. The incisions may extend into the crow's feet or laugh lines at the outer corners of your eyes. Working through these incisions, your surgeon will remove excess fat, and trim any sagging skin and muscle. The incisions are then closed with very fine sutures.
If you have a pocket of fat beneath your lower eyelids but don't need to have any skin removed, your surgeon may perform a Transconjunctival Blepharoplasty. In this procedure, the incision is made inside your lower eyelid, leaving no visible scar. It is usually performed on younger patients with thicker, more elastic skin.
After surgery, your eyelids may feel tight and sore as the anesthesia wears off, but you can control any discomfort with the medication prescribed by your surgeon. If you feel any severe discomfort, call your surgeon immediately.
Your surgeon will instruct you to keep your head elevated for several days, and to use cold compresses to reduce swelling and bruising. Bruising varies from person to person. It reaches its peak during the first week, and generally lasts approximately two weeks. You'll be shown how to clean your eyes, which may be gummy for a week or so. Your surgeon may recommend eye-drops to help with dryness, burning, or itching. For the first few weeks you may also experience excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, and temporary changes in your eyesight, such as blurring or double vision.
You will be scheduled for post-operative follow-up appointments, so your plastic surgeon can follow your progress closely. The stitches will be removed five days after surgery. Once they're out, the swelling and discoloration around your eyes will gradually subside, and you'll start to look and feel much better.
You should be able to read or watch television after two or three days. However, you will not be able to wear contact lenses for about two weeks, and even then they may feel uncomfortable for a while.
Most people feel ready to go out in public and back to work within ten days to two weeks. By then, depending on your rate of healing and your doctor's instructions, you'll probably be able to wear makeup to hide any remaining bruising. You may be sensitive to sunlight, wind, and other irritants for several weeks, so wear sunglasses when you go out.
Correction of previous Blepharoplasty by non-plastic surgeon
Eyelid surgery is a procedure to remove excess skin, muscle and fat from the upper and lower eyelids. This procedure can correct drooping upper lids and puffy bags below your eyes. Many patients combine chemical peels, BOTOX® treatments, or a browlift with a blepharoplasty to eliminate crow’s feet and sagging eyebrows. The result of this combination yields the most dramatic results and creates a rested, alert, and pleasant look.
Take a look at our current specials, which offers our professional procedures at great discounts!