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The Eyelid Surgery Procedure

Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery

Procedure Description

Eyelid surgery - what to expect

Where will my eyelid surgery be performed?

In most cases, eyelid surgery is an outpatient procedure, not requiring an overnight hospital stay. It can be performed in a surgery suite at your plastic surgeon's office, at a dedicated outpatient surgery facility or in a hospital. (Many hospitals have dedicated outpatient surgical facilities as well.)  Outpatient eyelid surgery will, in almost all cases, cost less than eyelid surgery which requires hospital admission and an overnight stay.

 If you are having other cosmetic surgery performed at the same time as your eyelid surgery, your plastic surgeon may recommend an overnight stay in a hospital. This is also known as "inpatient" surgery.

What is done during the eyelid surgery procedure?

During eyelid surgery, your plastic surgeon will make several incisions that follow the natural contours and lines of the your eyelids.  This helps to minimize the appearance of scars, since they will be in the natural folds and creases. When doing upper eyelid surgery, the incision is made in the creases of your upper eyelids.  For lower eyelid surgery, the incision is made just below your lower eyelashes.  If you are only having upper eyelid surgery or lower eyelid surgery, then only the corresponding upper or lower incision will be made.

Your plastic surgeon may extend the incision into the laugh lines (a.k.a. "Crow's Feet") at the outer corners of the eyes.  These lines help to hid any scars and these incisions allow your surgeon to reduce the size of the Crow's Feet.

Using the incisions, your surgeon separates the skin from the underlying tissue.  The deposits of excess fat are removed as is the sagging skin.  If you have loose, hanging muscle tissue in the area, it may be trimmed, taking care to keep the muscle attached.  Your plastic surgeon will close the incisions using very fine sutures.  The thread used for these stitches is among the smallest gauge (narrowest) suture material available. If you have pockets of fat under your eyes but do not yet have sagging skin, your surgeon may perform a special type of eyelid surgery, known as a "transconjunctival blepharoplasty". When performing this procedure, your surgeon makes an incision inside your lower eyelid.  Through it, the bag of excess fat is removed.  Your skin remains intact.  Transconjunctival blepharoplasty is typically performed on younger patients who have thicker, more elastic skin.

How long does eyelid surgery take?

Since you can have surgery on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both, we will provide a range of times. Your plastic surgeon will be able to give you a much more accurate timeframe for your particular surgery. 

Typically, eyelid surgery takes from one to three hours. If you are having other cosmetic surgery procedures done at the same time, such as a facelift or browlift, your surgery may take longer.

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