If you follow news about cosmetic procedures, you may have caught the buzz last week generated by the story of a woman who is suing her plastic surgeon for leaving her unable to close her eyes. Indeed, that’s a pretty scary outcome of eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty.
Electing to have a scalpel anywhere near your eyes is frightening enough to begin with. Now that this New Jersey woman can no longer blink, should you forget about that eyelid surgery you were considering?
Of course, any decision about a cosmetic procedure is entirely up to you. But in the right—read: “experienced and credentialed”—hands, blepharoplasty is usually very safe and involves a fairly easy recovery. In addition, it offers pretty good bang for the buck, as rejuvenation procedures go. That’s why the procedure ranks number three in popularity for both men and women, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, with almost 150,000 patients choosing it in 2009.
Is the Procedure Right for You?
If your upper eyelids droop to the point where you feel you always look tired, old or even angry, blepharoplasty may be a good choice for you. If the droopy skin invades your field of vision, your insurance company may even cover the surgery.
Blepharoplasty can be performed on lower lids as well. In this case, the complaint is usually chronic puffiness that can be attributed to loss of skin elasticity, and/or dark, sunken areas below the eyes.
How is Blepharoplasty Performed?
In upper eyelid surgery, the surgeon removes an ellipse of skin along natural eyelid fold lines, meaning scars will be almost completely invisible. Lower lids are usually approached from the inside, where small amounts of fat can be removed through tiny incisions. In some cases, fat is re-positioned to fill in hollows. If there is excess skin, a small amount can also be removed from the lower lids.
What is Recovery Like?
There is usually little pain associated with eyelid surgery. Most patients experience dry, scratchy eyes for a day or maybe two.