Blepharoplasty is the most common cosmetic procedure Dr. Levin performs. Blepharoplasty restores a youthful and rejuvenated look to the eyes and the face, improves the sensation of “heaviness”, and when severe, improves peripheral vision. It is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is most commonly performed in her Westport, Connecticut office with local injections of anesthesia.
Upper eyelid blepharoplasty is a common procedure performed by many surgeons. However, it is a delicate surgery, which requires a unique understanding of the eyelid anatomy and a specialist to attain the desired results. Excessive removal of skin, fat or muscle can result in an unnatural appearance and cause complications. An experienced eyelid surgeon, like Dr. Levin, understands what a youthful beautiful eyelid looks like and can assess the individual needs of each patient. During your consultation, Dr. Levin will explain which procedure is best for you to get the most natural, long-lasting results.
- Incisions are made in inconspicuous places in the creases of the upper eyelids.
- For the first 48 hours after surgery the patients are instructed to apply ice to the eyelids for 20 minutes every hour while awake, rest, and keep the head elevated.
- Early recovery may include swelling, bruising, mild discomfort, and eye irritation or dryness.
- Patients return to the office 5-7 days after surgery for examination and suture removal.
- Patients can usually return to regular daily activities 2-3 days after surgery but exercise and strenuous activity should be avoided until after the first post-operative visit.
- During your appointment, you will receive more detailed instructions from our office. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call and ask.
What is an Upper Blepharoplasty?
Many people complain of droopy or heavy upper eyelids when there is excess eyelid skin. A true eyelid droop, called ptosis (pronounced ‘to-sis’), is when the upper eyelid descends below its original or normal position and covers the iris (colored part of the eye) or the pupil. In many patients, there is no ptosis but rather excess upper eyelid skin that is sagging over and obscuring the platform above the eyelashes (limiting the use of eyeshadow or eyeliner). There may also be a component of droopy eyebrows, which further pushes the eyelid skin down. This results in an overall tired and aged appearance, compelling many to consider eyelid surgery.
To select the best procedure for a specific patient, the surgeon must assess whether there is an element of true ptosis as well as the position of the eyebrows. In addition, patients with severe dry eye may be poor candidates for eyelid surgery, as this condition can be made worse when the eyelid is lifted.
What’s the procedure like?
The surgical procedure to remove the excess eyelid skin and restore a more youthful eyelid (and overall facial) appearance, is called a blepharoplasty. Blepharoplasty is an in-office procedure done under local anesthesia. Light sedation can be used for patients who are anxious. The amount of skin to be removed is carefully marked in an upright position and then rechecks with the patient reclined to ensure that the eyes will close without difficulty after surgery. That amount may be slightly different on the two sides as most people’s right and left sides of the face are not perfectly symmetric.
A local anesthetic is injected under the skin that has been marked. The incisions are placed in the eyelid crease to hide the scar. The patient’s eyes remain closed during the surgery, which generally takes 30-60 minutes. The fat pads that are normally present in the eyelids can be trimmed or repositioned to contour the eyelid for a youthful appearance, which is concave closer to the nose and fuller at the tail of the brow.
Non-dissolvable sutures are placed under the skin to minimize scarring and bandages may be placed to secure the sutures in place. These sutures will be removed after 5-6 days. Most patients can resume driving after 2-3 days and return to their normal physical activity after one week. Eye make-up can be resumed 2 weeks after the surgery. It is normal to experience tightness of the eyelids for the first few weeks. Other common but not abnormal sensations are feeling of numbness along the eyelashes and mild dryness, both of which improve with time. The results become most noticeable once the swelling subsides, usually 1-2 weeks after surgery.
In patients who do have ptosis, blepharoplasty is usually combined with ptosis correction to achieve the best results. By and large, only plastic surgeons specifically trained in ptosis correction surgery perform this operation, which requires a high level of skill and intricate knowledge of the eyelid anatomy.
While blepharoplasty is done by many, there are fine details in the surgical technique that when taken into consideration, will result in the best and most natural result, while minimizing the risk of complications or revisions. As a specialist is eyelid surgery, Dr. Levin has performed thousands of blepharoplasties, allowing her experience and skill to achieve the best possible results for her patients.
Is there significant bruising with upper blepharoplasty?
The amount of bruising and swelling can vary significantly from one person to another. Younger patients usually have minimal bruising or swelling. With age, vessels become more fragile and bleed more easily. Certain herbal supplements and medications (i.e. Aspirin, Motrin) thin the blood and make bruising worse. Meticulous surgical technique is used to avoid excessive intraoperative or post-operative bleeding. In addition, we provide each patient with pre- and post-operative instructions that help minimize bruising and swelling after the surgery.
Are there scars after upper blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty incisions are placed in the natural crease of your upper eyelids. This effectively makes the scars invisible, as they are hidden within these creases. With time, the scars fade and become almost unnoticeable even with eyes closed – usually by 6-9 months.
What are the risks of upper blepharoplasty?
Thankfully, serious complications after upper blepharoplasty are rare. However, there are potential risks and complications as with any surgery: infection, bleeding, and poor wound healing. Some eyelid-specific risks include worsening of dry eye, eyelid tightness, numbness of the lash area (this usually improves with time). In experienced and conservative surgeon’s hands, complications such as inability to close the eyes or vision loss are extremely unlikely.
Is upper blepharoplasty covered by insurance?
If upper eyelids are so droopy that they interfere with peripheral vision, eyelid surgery may be medically necessary and may be covered by health insurance plans. All health plans have stringent criteria regarding a degree of vision loss for medical necessity and testing has to be done to objectively corroborate the patient’s complaints. If the procedure is performed to rejuvenate the eyes and eliminate cosmetic sagging, it is treated as cosmetic.
Is upper blepharoplasty a painful procedure?
With local anesthesia, the only discomfort is the needle injection under the skin, similarly to any other dermatological or dental procedures. The effect of the anesthetic is instant and patients do not experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Most patients say that “this was easier than I thought it would be” right after the surgery. Postoperatively, some patients need Tylenol the day of the surgery, with most not needing any pain medication after that. Ice and lubricating eye drops also help keep the eyes comfortable for the first few days.
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Dr. Levin is an excellent doctor. I received Botox injections and fillers under my eyes, cheeks and temples. She was very thorough and took her time explaining and answering all my questions. The wrinkles were smoothed and my entire face looks much more youthful and rested. I would absolutely without hesitation recommend Dr. Levin to all my friends. The results are amazing.
I had surgery with Dr. Levin for droopy eyelids. From the first to the last appointment I felt as if I was her only patient. She spent as much time with me as needed, answered all my questions and alleviated all my concerns. The surgery went very well, and I’m very happy with the results. Everything you would want from a doctor! Highly recommend.
Saw doctor Flora Levin for a Botox consultation. She took her time explaining everything to me, and was very thorough. I scheduled the procedure, and was very happy with the results! She followed up within a week after the procedure to check, and make sure i got the results that i expected. Would highly recommend!
Dr. Levin is extremely knowledgeable in the field of cosmetic surgery and cosmetic rehabilitation. Her diagnosis is astute and her hands are gentle. She is most generous with her time. It is the patient and not the clock that comes first. I have already recommended Dr. Flora Levin to a great many colleagues.
Dr. Levin is an outstanding surgeon. She somehow takes the time to fully understand a patient's goals and expectations. My procedure was over two years ago and I still cant believe how good I look and feel! I would highly recommend her to anyone!PS I was told I look more like the sister of the bride rather than her mom! Thank you, Dr Levin!!!
“Dr. Levin was amazing! She answered all my concerns and thoroughly explained everything to me prior to the procedure and even though I was awake, Dr. Levin’s calm and reassuring presence made me feel perfectly at ease during the relatively painless procedure. My recovery went quickly and smoothly and I couldn’t be more thrilled with the cosmetic result. The change in my look is subtle and natural looking. I am so pleased I chose Dr. Levin to do my surgery. I look refreshed and awake now and I wish I had it done sooner!”
“Dr. Flora Levin is the most caring, professional doctor I have ever encountered. She preformed eyelid surgery on me, and she is a true perfectionist. I am always told how beautiful my eyes are. Thank you Dr. Levin. I think you are wonderful!!!”
Significant "smoker's lines" (I've never smoked a day in my life!) and "elevens," both from a life of expressiveness now come back to haunt me! Met Dr. Levin at Yale and followed to her office in Bridgeport. She's a "doctor's doctor" in my opinion, with brilliant knowledge, wonderful manner, patience and finesse in her work. Absolutely worth it!
Dr. Levin operated on me. I am an R.N. working with plastic surgeons. I was very picky regarding my choice of cosmetic, oculoplastic surgeons. She was the right choice. I couldn't be happier. The office staff was very helpful as well. The atmosphere was welcoming and professional. I would highly recommend Dr. Levin.
I am in awe of the artistry of her work and am ecstatic with the results of my surgeries. I felt very comfortable during my office visits because she spent the time with me. I also felt very comfortable during my recoveries. My face used to be crooked and now it is symmetrical. My eyes are no longer hooded and she has given me a wider field of vision. An unintended consequence is that I look years younger and the results are very natural. I am a very happy patient and I highly recommend Dr. Flora Levin without reservation.