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An eyelid lift is a cosmetic plastic surgery option that can enhance the shape of the eyes and visually reduce the signs of aging. The medical term for an eyelid lift is "blepharoplasty.", An eyelid lift can aesthetically enhance the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. An eyelid lift is one of the top five most popular plastic surgery procedures sought by men and women in the United States. The majority of patients who seek eyelid lift surgery are over the age of fifty, though patients in their forties and thirties may be good candidates for an eyelid lift.
Good candidates for eyelid lift surgery are individuals who are physically and psychologically stable. An eyelid lift patient should also have a realistic expectation of what this procedure can and cannot do. Learning what to expect before, during, and after surgery can also make an eyelid lift procedure a more satisfying experience. Prospective eyelid lift patients should also discuss their full medical history and current use of medications with their surgeon to avoid related complications.
Eyelid lift surgery is performed to correct droopiness in the upper eyelids and/or to reduce the puffiness in the lower eyelid region. An eyelid lift can remedy saggy and excess skin and fat in the eyelids that may limit a patient's field of vision. An eyelid lift cannot correct wrinkles and fine lines, dark circles under the eyes, or change sagging eyebrows. There are, however, other cosmetic procedures that can be done in conjunction with an eyelid lift to remedy these imperfections.
Eyelid lift surgery is performed on an outpatient basis using a local anesthetic plus a sedative or a general anesthetic. The eyelid lift procedure itself can take anywhere from one to three hours depending on the nature of an individual's surgical needs. The eyelid lift surgeon will make incisions in the eyelid area as inconspicuously as possible in order to excise excess fat, muscle and loose skin from the area. Stitches may be used in some eyelid lift procedures which are invisible and dissolve on their own.
After an eyelid lift, it is important that the eyes not be covered. An eyelid lift surgeon will provide their patient with detailed aftercare instructions to facilitate proper healing. The surgeon may prescribe a topical ointment and pain medications as needed during the first week after eyelid lift surgery. An eyelid lift patient is usually able to return to work and begin to resume normal activities a week to ten days after surgery. As with all surgical procedures there are risks associated with this procedure that a patient should understand before eyelid lift surgery.
When an eyelid lift is done for cosmetic purposes, insurance will not typically cover the cost of this surgery. When it is done for medical reasons, such as correcting vision problems, health insurance may cover the cost. A good surgeon will work with their patients to help find the best way to manage eyelid lift costs.