Six Surprising Facts about Eyelid Surgery

At one time or another, we've all looked in the mirror and seen tired, puffy eyes staring back at us. There are many types of eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) that can help refresh our eyes. These procedures can help make us look as bright eyed and bushy-tailed as we feel.

During lower eyelid surgery, excess skin, muscle and fat are removed (alternatively, fat may be redistributed) to eliminate puffiness. If your upper lids are what concern you, any excess skin or fatty tissue can be eliminated through an incision that's hidden within the natural fold of the eyelid. Beyond surgery, injections, too, can help smooth under-eye skin.

Think you know everything about eyelid surgery? Think again. Here are six surprising facts about eyelid surgery.

1. Eyelid surgery can help you see better

While most people think that eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty is purely cosmetic, the surgery may also improve your vision. Sagging skin (ptosis) around your eyes and on your upper lids can hamper your side vision. As a result, eyelid surgery that removes the skin hanging down from the upper eyelids can help you see more clearly.

2. Insurance may cover some (or all) of the cost of eyelid surgery

Insurance rarely foots the bill for cosmetic procedures. That said, if eyelid surgery is done at least in part to improve your sight, insurance just may pay up. This is valuable info as eyelid surgery can cost between $2,500 and $5,000. The cost depends on the extent of the surgery. For example, surgery on both upper and lower lids costs more than single lid surgery. Also, doctors in big cities often charge more than those who practice in less-populated areas because big city practices have higher overheads. Check with your doctor and insurance provider before booking your eyelid surgery.

3. Got raccoon eyes? Eyelid surgery can't help

There is a lot that eyelid surgery can do. It can refresh and rejuvenate your eyes, correct sagging or drooping eyelids and/or remove excess fat, skin and muscle around your eyes. But sorry, it can't get rid of those dark circles. Getting a good night's sleep is a great place to start, but if "raccoon eyes" are the issue, concealer can camouflage them, intense pulsed light (IPL) can zap those dark pigment cells away and skin lightening creams that contain hydroquinone can help erase them. Eyelid surgery, however, is not going to do the trick.

4. Your love of sushi may be driving you to pursue eyelid surgery

Genetics, allergies, sushi and other salty foods also play a role in how your eyelids look. The skin around the eyes is thin and sensitive. Colds, flus, allergies or sinus infections can all lead to a build-up of fluid underneath the eyes, and so can a sushi dinner with soy sauce – even the low-sodium variety. It's a good idea to try and troubleshoot the real reason for the puffiness before scheduling your surgery.

5. Not everyone is a candidate for eyelid surgery

Eyelid surgery, like all surgery, has its share of risks. If you have an eye disease such as glaucoma, dry eye or a detached retina, or have high blood pressure or diabetes, eyelid surgery may not be in the cards. Eyelid surgery risks such as dry eyes and blurred or impaired vision may be more likely if you have underlying issues. Better safe than sorry. Tell your facial plastic surgeon about any and all medical issues even if they don't seem relevant to you. Let him or her be the judge.

6. Smoking can slow your eyelid surgery recovery

We all know smoking is no good for us. The list of diseases linked to smoking goes on and on. But smoking before or after your eyelid surgery may increase your chances of complications and delay your healing. This means more swelling and bruising! Guarantee a smooth eyelid surgery recovery by following your doctor's instructions, namely not smoking or drinking alcohol. If you do this, you will be back in the game in no time.


  • Halaas 58x57

    Yael Halaas, MD, FACS

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    New York, NY 10022
    (332) 239-6439

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    Mune Gowda, MD

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    Sean Maguire, MD

    Physician's Center for Beauty
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    Louisville, KY 40207
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