What is lower blepharoplasty? Also known as lower eyelid surgery, lower blepharoplasty is an operative procedure that rejuvenates the eyes. It is achieved through removal of excess skin and/or muscle and removal or repositioning of excess fat from the lower eyelids.
How is the procedure performed? Please see the description of lower eyelid surgery.
Will insurance pay for lower blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)? In almost all cases, no.
Do I need anesthesia for lower blepharoplasty? Dr. Jen Chow recommends that most of his patients have the procedure performed under anesthesia, either light intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. This minimizes discomfort (when used along with local anesthetics that numb the lower eyelid). The procedure is commonly performed in an outpatient setting (you will go home after the procedure). When this procedure is combined with others, such as the endoscopic brow lift, the midface lift, facelift, and upper blepharoplasty, general anesthesia is usually recommended.
How long does the surgery take? In general, Dr. Chow performs most eyelid surgeries in less than an hour. However, there is never a time limit, and his focus is on safety and excellent results rather than speed. Therefore, the overall time may vary depending on a host of factors, including your eyelid shape and function, aesthetic concerns, and even the type of anesthesia used.
Will I have bruising after lower blepharoplasty? Most patients experience some level of bruising and swelling after surgery. This can last several weeks, depending on the person. Many patients are presentable and return to work within one to two weeks.
When are the stitches (if any) removed?Not everyone will have stitches after surgery. Those that do not require skin excision or a transcutaneous approach will have no stitches. For those that do, however, stitches are removed 3-4 days after surgery.
Are there scars after lower blepharoplasty? There can be scarring after any surgery involving an incision. However, through the transconjuctival approach, in which the majority of the surgery is done behind the eyelid, the scar is hidden.
What are the risks of lower blepharoplasty? Before surgery, you will have an in depth discussion with Dr. Chow about the risks and benefits of the procedure. You will also receive an information packet that includes many of the major risks of this surgery. Fortunately, most eyelid surgery complications are infrequent and minor when performed by a competent facial plastic surgeon. All patients should expect some bruising and swelling after surgery, as well as possible blurry vision from the use of eye ointments and/or swelling immediately after surgery. More serious complications, including, but not limited to, chronic dry eye, inability to close the eyelid, bleeding, infection, heavy scarring, out-folding of the eyelid, and permanent vision changes are also possible, but thankfully much less common.
I have already had a lower blepharoplasty and desire revision surgery. Is this possible? Dr. Chow does perform revision lower eyelid surgery. However, he does not recommend any revision procedures before at least one year has passed since the prior surgery. The best way to determine if revision surgery is right for you is to schedule an appointment at the Chow Center for Facial Plastic Surgery for a detailed consultation in a friendly environment.
Will lower blepharoplasty help with the dark circles under my eyes? If the circles are caused by shadows cast by large bags beneath the eyes and/or hollowness in the tear trough area, fat repositioning during lower eyelid surgery can improve these dark circles. The use of fillers such as Restylane or Juvederm can also fill in the tear trough area. However, there are also many other reasons for dark circles beneath the eyes, including allergies, thin skin overlying prominent (and purple) muscle, swollen veins, and hyperpigmentation (darkening) of the skin. These will not be improved by lower eyelid surgery.
When will I be able to see the results? After the swelling and bruising has subsided, you will be able to see a definite difference. Because every individual is unique, this time period varies. Most improve within one to two weeks.
When can I exercise after my lower blepharoplasty? Although you may feel ready to resume your normal physical activity within days after surgery, you should refrain from exercise for a week after surgery. During the second week after surgery, you can begin to engage in lighter exercises, avoiding prolonged aerobic workouts and heavy lifting. After three weeks, you should be able to safely resume any and all of your usual physical activities.
What other procedures can be combined with lower blepharoplasty? A number of other aesthetic procedures are often combined with upper eyelid surgery. These include lower blepharoplasty, brow lift, facelift, necklift, midface lift, neck liposuction, and skin resurfacing.