Genetics. Age. Saggy skin. Dark circles under the eyes. There are many reasons why patients desire to have an eyelid lift procedure performed by Dr. Cram. Loose or saggy skin above or below the eye can be corrected through an eyelid lift, also known as blepharoplasty. Since the eyes are considered the gateway to one’s facial expression and mood, patients who present themselves with skin that sags above the eyelid often have a tired, angry or unpleasant expression. Saggy eyelid skin can age a person beyond their years. Eyelid surgery can remove extra skin or fat that causes the eyelids to sag, providing brighter, refreshed, more youthful look to the entire face.
Is An Eyelid Lift Right For You?
Eyelid surgery is performed on men and women of all ages who want to improve their self-image. Most people have eyelid surgery to minimize the effects of aging. However, there are people in their 20s and 30s who will benefit from this procedure. Patients who are good candidates for eyelid surgery have any of the following conditions:
- Excess skin the hides the natural fold of the upper eyelids
- Loose skin that hangs down from the upper eyelids
- Puffiness in the upper eyelids that creates a tired look(1)
(1)Source: Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery, Blepharoplasty, Prepared by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
The Eyelid Lift Patient
When you first meet with your physician at Iowa City Plastic Surgery, you should discuss your surgical goals and what you hope to achieve through your eyelid lift. Please inform the staff of any health conditions that may impact your surgery, including high blood pressure, heart disease, glaucoma, thyroid disease or any other vascular or other medical condition. Please notify us of any medications you are taking. At this initial meeting, Dr. Cram will assess your upper and lower eyelid area, the elasticity, fat content, and eyebrow position on your face. Your physician will discuss your treatment options, which could include a forehead lift in conjunction with your eyelid lift to maximize results. As with every procedure, we consider each patient to be unique and individual. Therefore, we customize each treatment based on a patient's age, needs, overall health, desired results and abilities to heal.
Eyelid lifts can be done under local anesthesia with sedation, or can be done under general anesthesia. In either case, the procedure is performed on an out-patient basis. The choice of anesthetic technique will be discussed during your consultation. Patient safety and comfort are our primary concern, and the anesthetic will be chosen with these two parameters in mind.
Prior to your surgery, Iowa City Plastic Surgery will explain how they will perform the procedure, and where your incisions will occur. During eyelid surgery, Dr. Cram keeps the incisions within the natural contours of the eyelid to hide the small incision line following surgery. Depending on whether your treatment requires upper or lower eyelid surgery, your physician will remove or redistribute excess fat, muscle and skin to best smooth the area and brighten and widen the appearance of the eyes.
Your surgery will be performed at Mercy Hospital of Iowa City on an out-patient basis. A comprehensive team, including Dr. Cram will perform the surgery and will monitor your progress before, during and after surgery. Most eyelid lifts will take 1-3 hours depending on your age, health and complexity of the procedure.
Following surgery, you will be given pain medications to deal with the minor to moderate discomfort you will experience. You may experience any of the following(1):
Blurred vision – This temporary condition is caused by the ointment that may have been applied to lubricate and protect the eyes.
Tightness around the eyes – This sensation will diminish once the swelling goes down.
Discomfort – Some discomfort is common after any type of operation. Iowa City Plastic Surgery will provide pain medications to help you with any pain or discomfort.
Bruising and swelling – You may experience slight bruising and swelling following surgery. This will vary by patient and can be eased through a number of common remedies, including over-the counter pain medications, light application of a cold compress, or by elevating the head.
Iowa City Plastic Surgery recommends a schedule light with activity and we request that for the first few days, you keep your head elevated. You will need a responsible adult with you immediately after surgery and to help you when you first return home. Our staff will monitor your recovery closely after your procedure. Within a few weeks, the patient’s incisions have healed, swelling has eased and patients are delighted with their results. Most patients return to work 7-10 days after an eyelid lift. The appearance of scarring is minimal, if at all and can be covered with a light makeup application. The result will be a noticeable change in the contour, tightness and youthful appearance of the skin around your eyelids. If only an upper eyelid lift is performed, we may recommend other options, such chemical peels, Botox or other injections to help with under-the-eye wrinkles.
With any surgical procedure there are risks and potential complications. Bleeding and infection are two risks of any operation and could occur in a eyelid lift as well. There is a possibility of blurred vision, slight swelling and numbness of the skin as it is healing, though this is not common. Sudden swelling, increased pain or excessive bleeding should be reported to Iowa City Plastic Surgery immediately. Despite our best efforts there is always the possibility that one of these complications could occur. In that event, the patient and the surgeon must remain a team, and work together to obtain the best outcome possible under the circumstances.
The cost of the procedure will depend on the complexity of the eyelid lift as well as the cost of the operating room and the anesthesiologist fees. The patient is usually given the information on cost at the time of the first consultation. It is important to understand what the price quote includes so that the total cost of surgery is determined.
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