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Functional Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty

What is Eyelid Surgery?

Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the eyelids. This type of surgery can be performed on either the upper and lower lids, or both. Whether you want to improve your appearance or are experiencing functional problems with your eyelids, eyelid surgery can rejuvenate the area surrounding your eyes.

What Are the Symptoms?

  • Sagging, puffy or wrinkled eyes
  • Wrinkles and folds around the eyes
  • Excessive skin and fat, causing droopy lids
  • Loose skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid, sometimes impairing vision
  • Excess fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the eyelids
  • Bags under the eyes
  • Drooping lower eyelids that reveal white below the iris
  • Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid

Who Is a Good Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?

Good candidates for Austin eyelid surgery are typically individuals who are in good health and have realistic expectations. Most are 35 years or older, but if baggy eyelids or droopy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have the surgery done sooner. Eyelid surgery can enhance your appearance and help build your confidence, however, it may not result in your ideal look or alter your facial structure. Before you decide to have surgery, think about your goals and be prepared to discuss them with Dr. Paul.

Specifically, eyelid surgery can treat:

  • Loose or sagging skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid, sometimes impairing vision
  • Excess fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the eyelids
  • Bags under the eyes
  • Drooping lower eyelids that reveal white below the iris
  • Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid

Dr. Paul uses minimal incision techniques to remove the excess fat of the lower eyelid in most cases. There is not one single technique that is ideal for all Austin, New Braunfels and San Antonio eyelid surgery patients, therefore Dr. Paul will decide with you what is the most appropriate method to bring back your beautiful, vibrant eyes.

How Is Eyelid Surgery Performed?

An eye lift usually takes about two to three hours if both upper and lower eyelids are done together. Dr. Paul will most likely use local anesthesia (a painkiller injected around the eye) with oral sedation. If you are having the procedure done at a surgical center, you will most likely receive IV sedation.

If you’re having all four eyelids done (upper and lower), Dr. Paul will likely work on the upper lids first. He will usually cut following the natural lines of your eyelids. Through these cuts, he will separate the skin from the underlying tissue and remove skin and muscle as well as the fat underneath the lids depending on your individualized surgical plan. Next, Dr. Paul will close those cuts with very small stitches. The stitches in the upper lids will stay in for five to eight days. The lower lids may or may not require stitches, depending on the technique used. Surgery on the lower eyelids may be done using one of several techniques. In one method, Dr. Paul makes a cut inside your lower eyelid to remove fat. That cut won’t be visible. Another method involves making a cut along the eyelash margin. Through that cut, he can remove excess skin, loose muscle, and fat. The cut lines fade after time and can sometimes be expedited by using a scar gel to speed up the healing process.

If you are interested in blepharoplasty strictly for cosmetic reasons, then Dr. Paul will likely advise you to keep expectations realistic. While cosmetic procedures can sometimes dramatically improve appearance, they are not the “fountain of youth”. The aging process will continue and — as with any cosmetic procedure — your improved appearance due to an eyelid lift will not last indefinitely. And at some point in the future, you may opt to repeat the procedure.

What Is Recovery Like After Eyelid Surgery?

After eyelid surgery, you will likely have stitches that will remain for as long as a week. It is common to have swelling and, occasionally, bruising with some discharge. Your eyelids should begin to look normal within a week or two.

What Are the Possible Complications from Eyelid Surgery?

Complications and unwanted results from eye surgery are rare, but they can sometimes occur. These possible complications include: infection, dry eyes, abnormal coloring of the eyelids, bleeding or discharge, eyelid skin that folds in or out abnormally, not being able to fully close your eyes, a pulled-down lower lid lash line or possible vision loss.

Does Insurance Cover Eyelid Surgery?

Health insurance companies typically don’t cover cosmetic procedures. However, if you’re getting eyelid surgery for a medical reason (for instance, because your eyelids are drooping so much that it affects your vision), and if a vision test confirms that, your insurance company may cover it. Check on that before you get the surgery so you can have a good idea what you will pay.

All blepharoplasty procedures are performed by Dr. Paul himself in Austin or New Braunfels, Texas. To schedule an eyelid surgery consultation, call 512-642-5050 or email us at info@austinoculoplastics.com. The details of your eyelid lift (both the limitations and the benefits in your particular situation) will be explained to you during your blepharoplasty consultation with Dr. Paul and his team.