What is Eyelid Surgery?
There are two types of eyelid surgery — or blepharoplasty — cosmetic and functional. Cosmetic eyelid surgery is surgery which isn’t medically necessary but is undertaken to achieve a more youthful appearance. As we age the upper, and sometimes the lower eyelids, begin to droop and sag; the skin of the eyelids stretches, their muscles weaken, and pockets of fat develop. The result is an older, tired look, which many people feel doesn’t reflect how they generally feel. Upper-eyelid surgery — or an ‘eye lift’ — can produce a more alert, youthful look; while lower-eyelid surgery can remove or improve the bagging of skin under the eye and smooth out wrinkles.
Functional eyelid surgery, in contrast, is carried out for medically necessary reasons. The drooping skin of the upper eyelid may be excessive enough to hinder vision, causing serious problems, particularly for driving. Droopy upper or lower eyelid skin can also make wearing glasses or contact lenses difficult; a particularly serious problem for those with limited eyesight. Excess eyelid skin can also cause irritation and forehead pain, as the muscles strain to lift the eyelids’ sagging skin.
If the operation is a more complex one, the patient will be given a general anaesthetic, but otherwise, a local one is administered and the patient remains awake through the procedure.
This involves the surgeon making incisions in the natural folds of the eyelid, in the crease of the upper eyelid and below the lashes or behind the lower eyelid. The post-operative scars are then virtually invisible. If the operation involves both upper and lower eyelids, surgeons tend to start with the upper. Following careful preoperative evaluation, excess skin, muscle and fat are then removed from the upper eyelid and the incision is closed. Similarly with the lower lid, excess fat, muscle and sagging skin are removed or redistributed, and the cut closed.
In cases where the eyebrows are also drooping, ‘brow lift surgery’ may also be included. Incisions are made in the scalp and the skin of the brow tightened to lift the eyebrows upward.
Barring complications, patients usually go home on the same day as the procedure, following closely the clinical advice given to speed complete recovery. This involves ice-packs and, after a certain time, warm compresses applied to the eyes; eye-patches are rarely needed, and medication for any pain is can be prescribed. It may take a few weeks for the bruising around the eye area to fade completely and the bloodshot in the whites of the eyes to clear. But the worst of the bruising and swelling tends to have gone after fourteen days.
The Cost of Eyelid Surgery
The average cost of the procedure in the US is $4,650 (1) but bear in mind that the average price doesn’t include the costs of anaesthesia, use of clinical facilities or related expenses.
In Europe, the current average cost is significantly lower, as it tends to be for many other cosmetic procedures, at €2,241 (2). But one also has to factor in other costs related to the procedure.
The Eyes Have It
The eyes are traditionally regarded as ‘the windows of the soul,’ which may be something of an exaggeration, but there’s no denying they’re a very powerful factor when it comes to beauty and general attractiveness. Any improvements in the eye area tend to make a big impression, though it must be borne in mind that the ageing process continues, and, further down the line, another ‘eyelid tuck’ might be felt necessary. Though, on average, cosmetic improvements to the eyelids tend to last at least a decade.
Anyone considering eyelid surgery, should, as with every cosmetic procedure, seek advice from a certified practitioner. Research on price is vital, and do keep in mind the fact that prices in Central and Eastern Europe tend to be lower.
‘Eyelid Surgery For A More Youthful Appearance’: https://www.allaboutvision.com/cosmetic/blepharoplasty.htm
Updated 9th April 2020, Viewed 9th April 2020
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Updated 6th April 2020, Viewed 9th April 2020