Sagging upper eyelids and puffy under-eye bags can create a look of fatigue and conceal an individual’s internal vibrancy and youthfulness. Dr. Nicole Schrader is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon and otolaryngologist (head and neck surgeon) in Princeton, NJ, with more than a decade of experience. Dr. Schrader performs eyelid surgery, which is technically called blepharoplasty, to give men and women a lasting, noticeably refreshed appearance.
The Blepharoplasty Procedure
Sagging eyelids and bags under the eyes can be the result of both genetics and age. Over time, the eyelid skin stretches, the muscles weaken and fat pockets under the eyes bulge. These unpleasant symptoms distract from the beauty of the eyes and face and can cause men and women to appear chronically fatigued and older than they are. Blepharoplasty is an eyelid surgery that corrects drooping skin and wrinkles in the upper eyelids or puffy bags under the eyes. A blepharoplasty surgery can also improve visual field of patients with droopy eyelids that interfere with their line of sight. This can eventually cause excess skin and wrinkles to appear.
Blepharoplasty is used to remove excess sagging skin, muscle and fat from the upper eyelid and to lift drooping eyelids. The undereye puffiness or bags are caused by a collection of fat that becomes more apparent as the tissue in the lower lids relaxes and allows the fat to sag and bulge forward.
Some temporary, non-surgical options can effectively treat the early stages of aging around the eyes, including creams, cosmetic laser treatments and injections of BOTOX® or fillers. However, for those seeking more permanent treatment or correction of more advanced aging, surgery is typically needed to attain the desired results. Blepharoplasty treatment lifts and treats drooping eyelids and reduces the appearance of under-eye bags to create a more energetic, youthful appearance. Dr. Schrader performs blepharoplasty in Princeton, NJ, to rejuvenate the area around the eye by:
- Removing loose upper or lower eyelid skin
- Reducing under-eye puffiness
- Reducing wrinkles around the eyes by combining with peels and laser treatment.
Dr. Schrader usually performs upper and lower eyelid surgery in the office using a local anesthetic. The blepharoplasty procedure is typically completed in as little as 1-2 hours.
Upper Eyelid Surgery
Dr. Schrader removes excess skin, and fat through strategically placed incisions in the natural creases of the upper eyelids. Dr. Schrader then meticulously closes the incisions, using a series of tiny sutures, which leave nearly invisible scars that are hidden in the creases of the eyelids.
Lower Eyelid Surgery
Dr. Schrader places the incisions along the lower eyelash line or in the lower eyelid, which is called the transconjunctival approach. Dr. Schrader carefully removes the excess fat and loose skin through these incisions to transform the under-eye area. Very fine sutures are used to close the incisions.
Blepharoplasty patients typically do not experience significant discomfort. Some eyelid tightness and soreness may be experienced, and this discomfort can be controlled with over-the-counter or prescription pain medication. Dr. Schrader provides thorough post-care instructions. Patients must keep their head elevated as much as possible for the first few days, even while sleeping, and cold compresses must also be applied during the first 24 hours to reduce swelling and bruising. Bruising is the primary concern after blepharoplasty surgery, and applying cool compresses during the first 24 hours will significantly reduce potential bruising and swelling.
Dryness, itching, tearing and blurry vision may be experienced during the first week. Contact lenses must be avoided for at least one week to allow the incisions time to heal. Bruising usually fades completely within ten days. Patients can resume reading in two to three days, and the stitches are removed at day five. Most patients return to work and normal activities within seven days. Strenuous activities should be avoided for approximately three weeks.
Blepharoplasty (eyelid lift surgery) significantly lifts and rejuvenates the upper eyelids and reduces the appearance of under-eye bags. Men and women achieve a more energetic and youthful appearance with blepharoplasty. Patients can also anticipate clearer vision after eyelid surgery if their lids are obstructing the field of vision.
Adding additional treatments can provide complementary results, including the following:
- Facelift: Facelift to reduce wrinkles and signs of aging in the lower two-thirds of the face.
- Brow lift: Brow lift that raises sagging or heavy brows that may be weighing down the upper eyelids.
- BOTOX®: BOTOX® treatment to raise the eyebrows and reduce the appearance of forehead lines and crow’s feet.
- Laser resurfacing: Laser resurfacing to smooth wrinkles and fade dark, under-eye circles.
- Fat transfer: Fat transfer that adds volume to the area under the eyes or brows.
The Ideal Blepharoplasty Candidate
Men and women who want to improve the appearance of puffy under-eye bags or drooping upper eyelids are ideal candidates for blepharoplasty.
Dr. Schrader offers the highest quality of cosmetic procedures, and she customizes each treatment to match the specific needs and desires of the patient. During each consultation, Dr. Schrader carefully reviews the patient’s health history and examines their eyes, face and skin. She thoroughly explains the best treatment options available and provides each patient with her recommendations and a customized treatment plan.
The cost for eyelid surgery varies depending on the patient’s customized treatment plan, which may include upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both. The blepharoplasty may also be combined with other facial plastic surgery procedures to achieve the patient’s goals. After thoroughly evaluating each patient and determining the best treatment plan, Dr. Schrader has her team provide a written quote that includes the procedures and techniques that the patient and surgeon have discussed.
Blepharoplasty is a cosmetic treatment that is not typically covered by insurance. However, a surgical repair of severely drooping lids may be covered by some insurance. A field of vision study with an optometrist is usually needed to prove that eyelid surgery is medically necessary.
Blepharoplasty Questions and Answers
Q – What is a Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is a cosmetic surgery that is performed to treat drooping or sagging upper eyelids or puffy under eye bags by removing excess skin, loose muscle and sometimes fat.
Q – Am I a Good Candidate for Blepharoplasty?
Dr. Schrader must meet with you in a private consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for Blepharoplasty. She may determine that you are a good eyelid surgical candidate if you want to improve the appearance of puffy under-eye bags or heavy, sagging upper/lower eyelids.
Q – Can I Combine Blepharoplasty with Other Procedures?
Yes, Blepharoplasty can be combined with other procedures to achieve specific goals. Dr. Schrader specializes in facial rejuvenation and often combines eyelid surgery with other facial rejuvenation procedures, such as a facelift, forehead lift, Botox® injections, laser skin treatments for dark under-eye circles and fat transfer to add volume under the eyes or brows.
Q – What Can I Expect at My Consultation?
Dr. Schrader will meet with you to review your health history and your cosmetic goals. She will examine you to determine if an eyelid lift is the best procedure for you. Dr. Schrader will show you before and after photos that can help you visualize the results that you can anticipate.
Q – How Long Does Blepharoplasty Take?
The eyelid lift typically is completed in as little as 1-2 hours.
Q – How Long Does it Take to Recuperate After Blepharoplasty?
The recuperation varies but bruising is the main concern after blepharoplasty. Apply cool compresses as directed for the first 24 hours to minimize potential bruising and swelling. Also, keep your head elevated at all times for the first several days, even when sleeping. Avoid wearing contact lenses for at least 2 weeks to provide the incisions time to heal. Most patients are ready to return to non-strenuous work in about one week. Strenuous activity and work must be avoided for up to three weeks. Bruising usually fades completely in about seven days.
Q – When can I Return to Work?
Most patients return to work within seven to ten days.
Q – How Soon can I Resume My Exercise Routine?
You may be able to resume your exercise program one to two weeks post-surgery.
Q – Is Blepharoplasty Painful?
Eyelid lift surgery is mildly uncomfortable, but this discomfort is greatly reduced with the use of prescription pain medication or even Tylenol.
Q – How Much Does Blepharoplasty Cost?
The price of your eyelid surgery will depend on the type of blepharoplasty (upper or lower eyelid) that you are having completed along with any additional treatments, such as an eyebrow lift.
Q -Does Insurance Cover Blepharoplasty?
Medical insurance will not cover the cost of blepharoplasty unless it is being performed to restore a droopy eyelid that significantly obstructs your vision. A visual field test is usually needed from an optometrist to qualify for coverage.
Schedule Your Consultation in Princeton, NJ
If you are interested in learning more about eyelid surgery, call 609-279-0009 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Nicole Schrader in Princeton, NJ, or contact Schrader Facial Plastic Surgery HERE. We have three convenient locations in Princeton, Robbinsville and Voorhees, NJ. We look forward to meeting you!