Blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid surgery, is the most comprehensive approach for treating sagging eyelid skin and excess or misplaced orbital fat that accompanies aging. The surgery involves removing excess skin, reinforcing lax tissues of the lower eyelid when necessary, and repositioning or removing fatty deposits in both eyelids.
To shed light on the subject, Versa spoke with Ana Silva Guerra, an expert in reconstructive and aesthetic plastic surgery.
Blepharoplasty is recommended when there is excessive skin on the eyelids that covers the natural fold of the eyelid, potentially extending beyond the eyelid and interfering with vision. In severe cases, eyelashes can be misdirected into the eye, posing a risk of serious injury. Other indications for this procedure include excess volume in the eyelids (known as “bags”), deep creases between the lower eyelid and the cheek, difficulty applying makeup, and permanent and intense frontal muscle contraction (responsible for forehead wrinkles) that lifts the eyebrows to enhance the visual field when it is diminished by excess eyelid skin.
However, certain individuals should not undergo blepharoplasty. This includes those with severe ocular surface pathology (severe dry eye) that could worsen with this intervention, unrealistic expectations, severe allergies to the necessary components of the surgical procedure, and previous interventions specifically on the lower eyelid that could impair healing and recovery.
The results of blepharoplasty are impressive. The procedure can eliminate bags and swelling, as well as excess skin under the eyes and upper eyelids. It can also correct vision problems caused by excessive skin on the upper eyelid. The scars are hidden in the natural folds of the upper eyelids and along the eyelashes on the lower eyelid.
While blepharoplasty is primarily an aesthetic procedure, it can also greatly improve someone’s quality of life if they suffer from severely drooping eyelids. It can address functional issues such as compromised vision due to excessive skin on the upper eyelid, malposition of the upper eyelid (ptosis), removal of benign or malignant cutaneous neoplasms (e.g. xanthelasma), and malposition of the lower eyelid (entropion or ectropion), which can be corrected by combining blepharoplasty with other techniques.
It is important to note that this surgery provides long-lasting results but does not stop the aging process. Therefore, additional interventions may be necessary as time goes on.
Individuals considering blepharoplasty should consult with a qualified professional, such as a plastic surgeon or oculoplastic surgeon, who has experience performing the procedure. It is crucial to address any doubts and ensure that expectations regarding the surgery and expected results are realistic. Following all recommendations and maintaining a positive attitude will contribute to a fast and safe recovery.
When performed by a competent and experienced professional, the risks and complications of the procedure are minimal. However, there is a slight risk of adverse reactions to anesthesia, bruising, injury to adjacent structures (rare, especially during the first surgery), and unsatisfactory results (mostly due to insufficient prior clarification of expectations and outcomes). Patients can minimize these risks by following the instructions and recommendations of the medical team before and after the procedure.
The recovery time for upper eyelid surgery is usually around one week, while the lower eyelid may take approximately two weeks to heal.
Blepharoplasty is typically performed in a surgical room under local anesthesia or local anesthesia with sedation.
The cost of blepharoplasty can vary between 2,000 and 6,000, depending on the clinical indication and any additional necessary procedures.