Upper Eyelid Surgery
Eyelid Surgery, medically known as Blepharoplasty has become one of the most popular and often performed cosmetic procedures for both men and women because of its high level of patient satisfaction. Fortunately, Medicare and most insurance companies now cover â€śfunctionalâ€ť eyelid surgery for upper lids if the vision is impaired enough to hinder normal vision. This usually occurs when the upper eyelid encroaches upon the lid margin and eyelashes. A feeling of fatigue results from the patient unconsciously trying to raise their eyebrows enough to lift their eyelids to keep the extra skin and fat pads from blocking their vision. This unconscious and involuntary lifting of the eyebrows causes wrinkles on the forehead and fatiguing of the forehead muscles which may cause the patient to feel unnecessarily tired.
If a patientâ€™s vision is not impaired by their eyelids, the procedure is considered only â€ścosmeticâ€ť and health insurance or Medicare does not cover the procedure. If the surgery qualifies as â€śfunctionalâ€ť surgery, the insurance pays for the procedure which may accomplish the additional highly desirable result of a more youthful and rested appearance. It does not, however, correct crowâ€™s feet.
Lower Eye Lid Surgery
Lower eye lid surgery, also known as Blepharoplasty removes excess skin or/or the fat pads below the eye. This procedure is not covered by insurance plans or Medicare because it is considered cosmetic plastic surgery that improves the appearance of the person but does not improve their vision. It is a self-pay procedure that may be done at the same time as the upper lids and or a brow lift.
Preparing For Blepharoplasty
Before you can schedule your eyelid surgery, you will need to meet with a doctor for a consultation. During this consultation, your surgeon will be able to determine what needs to be done to correct your issue, and whether or not it will be covered by insurance. Your doctor will make sure you are healthy enough to undergo the surgery and ask about your medical history.
You will be able to ask your surgeon any questions about blepharoplasty and voice any concerns.
If you are in good health and able to safely undergo the procedure, you can schedule your blepharoplasty!
Before your surgery, youâ€™ll be asked to:
- Quit smoking in the weeks before your surgery. Smoking can reduce your healing rate after surgery.
- Stop taking over the counter pain relievers, as these can increase bleeding. Only take medications approved by your surgeon.
- Find someone to drive you home after surgery. You should also plan for someone to stay with you the first night after your surgery.
During Your Blepharoplasty
Before the procedure can begin, your surgeon will numb your eyelids and administer intravenous medications to help you relax. How your procedure proceeds from here depends on if you are getting an upper or lower blepharoplasty. If you are having surgery on both your upper and lower eyelids, your surgeon will typically start on the upper eyelids.
On the upper eyelids, your surgeon will make an incision along the crease of your eyelid. This will help conceal the scar afterward. Through this incision, your surgeon removes excess skin, muscle and fat to tighten the eyelids. The incision will be closed with sutures.
During a lower lid blepharoplasty, the surgeon makes the incision just below the lower lash line, or inside of the lower eyelid for no scar. Through the incision, your doctor will remove excess fat, skin and muscle and close the incision with sutures.
After your procedure, you will have a resting period. Once the medication has worn off a bit, you will go over aftercare instructions with your doctor once more. Once home, we recommend taking a nap to recuperate. After surgery, you will experience blurred vision, watering eyes, light sensitivity, puffy and numb eyelids, and some discomfort. These side effects are all temporary.
After your surgery, you should refrain from the following for the first one to two weeks:
- Rubbing eyes
- Straining, lifting or swimming for a week
- Using contact lenses
- Going outside without sunglasses
- Using aspirin, ibuprofen or other medications that can increase bleeding. Acetaminophen is suitable for pain relief.
Recovery from blepharoplasty can take a while, depending on the patient. Bruising and swelling should subside in 10 to 14 days. Scars can take a few months to heal, protect your delicate eyelid skin from too much sun exposure.