Dr. Paul L. Leong, MD

It's Your Face, Trust it to a Specialist

Blepharoplasty

Upper Blepharoplasty

facelift brunette
The eyes are an important focal point in the face and significantly impact the appearance of the face. As we age, the skin in our upper eyelid loosens which can cause hooding over the eyes and the appearance of smaller eyes. During upper blepharoplasty surgery, I remove excess skin and/or fat to open up the eyes and restore their previous youthful and rejuvenated look.

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Some women really benefit from this procedure because they are once again able to apply eye shadow to their upper eyelid without it smearing or wiping off. However, both men and women with extra eyelid skin can be great candidates for upper eyelid surgery.

One aspect of upper eyelid surgery, or upper blepharoplasty, that is very attractive is that the procedure is very tolerable for patients. In most cases I perform a blepharoplasty in the procedure room in my office. Upper blepharoplasty can be performed very easily under local anesthesia with a modest amount of oral sedation. The procedure can be completed in less than an hour and isn’t a big imposition on the patient’s life. Many patients find it very attractive that performing an upper blepharoplasty does not require going under anesthesia or a trip to the operating room. Certainly, if the patient would prefer to have this procedure done in the operating room that is fully available to my patients.

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Blepharoplasty Before & After

Blepharoplasty Photos - Before and After

 

Lower Blepharoplasty

One of the most common complaints I hear from patients is a tired and weary appearance from under eye bags. Puffiness and excessive under eyelid skin can be reduced with lower blepharoplasty surgery. During surgery, I meticulously remove extra skin or fat underneath the eye to restore the eyes to its more youthful and vigorous appearance. Often times, upper and lower blepharoplasty surgery may be performed together to further enhance the aesthetic result and really make the eyes standout. The recovery time after blepharoplasty surgery is approximately two weeks, but well worth it to patients who have been wanting to improve the look of their eyes for years.

The following will give you some additional information on Blepharoplasty surgery. If you would like to schedule a consultation to talk about this procedure, please contact Sistine Plastic Surgery.

Consultation

No one wants to feel rushed or hurried during a consultation. We allow ample time for all questions to be answered, pictures to be reviewed and goals to be thoroughly discussed. We encourage all patients to take their time when deciding to move forward with surgery. It should not be a rushed process. Patients can come back for more than one discussion in order to feel comfortable and well informed before proceeding with surgery.

Where in Pittsburgh is Blepharoplasty surgery performed?

Lower blepharoplasty surgery can be performed at several Pittsburgh area hospitals, including: St. Clair Hospital, West Penn Hospital or Sewickley Valley Hospital. The hospital where your surgery will take place will depend on your location and the day(s) you are available for surgery. Upper blepharoplasty surgery is performed in our clinical office in the Southside works, conveniently located minutes from downtown Pittsburgh.

Who is a good candidate for Blepharoplasty surgery?

A man or women with excessive skin and/or fat in the tear trough area or upper eyelids who understands the limits of surgery and has achievable expectations can be a good candidate for blepharoplasty surgery. In order to minimize possible complications, it is important that the patient not have any current eye conditions. Most patients who undergo blepharoplasty surgery are over the age of forty, but younger patients may also benefit from eyelid surgery.

How long does a lower and upper blepharoplasty procedure last?

Blepharoplasy surgery should last at least 10 years or longer. It is important to remember that we can never stop the aging process. Upper and lower eyelid skin will continue to thin and sag with age. Many patients may think that putting off surgery until they get much older is the best option, but getting surgery at a younger age allows for faster healing and allows you to enjoy the benefits of surgery longer. I will decide if you are currently a good candidate for eyelid surgery during your consultation.

How long does it take to recover from Upper and Lower blepharoplasty surgery?

Our Pittsburgh blepharoplasty (eyelid lift) patients are understandably interested in how long it will take for them to recover from blepharoplasty surgery. I tell my patients that they can divide their recovery into clinical downtime (when they might be taking pain medications) and social downtime (when they feel normal, but they may have some bruising and swelling that might make them self-conscious about social interactions). In general, my blepharoplasty patients can anticipate two to three days of clinical downtime. During this period of time blepharoplasty patients can perform light tasks (ex. Answering emails, light house tasks), but should avoid even modestly strenuous activity. Two or three days after their blepharoplasty surgery, patients can usually stop taking any pains medications and pretty much go about their normal daily activities. It should be noted that strenuous exercise needs to be avoided for the first several weeks.

The next question concerns how long post blepharoplasty bruising and swelling can limit social activity. Each patient is a bit different. Some upper or lower blepharoplasty patients have minimal swelling and bruising when their sutures are removed at five to six days post-op. Others can require up to two weeks before the visible swelling and bruising resolve. Virtually all my patients can return to work and most social activity within 10-14 days. If the blepharoplasty patient has a major social engagement (ex. Wedding), we encourage them to schedule their blepharoplasty at least a month ahead of time. Finally, patients should expect there to be subtle refinements in their wound healing and final resolution of minor swelling for up to four months after their surgery, though these changes are typically only noticeable when closely comparing before and after pictures.

When is the Best Time to Have a Blepharoplasty?

There are several factors that dictate the optimal age to undergo a blepharoplasty.  Age is not the most important factor when deciding when to have a upper or lower blepharoplasty.  Each individual must be evaluated separately with an individualized assessment of how much  excess skin and fat is present. The age at which the skin begins to “sag” is different for everyone, with heredity playing a very important role. Patients who have genetically heavy eyelids may undergo an upper blepharoplasty in their 30s while others may not need the surgery until their late 40s or even 50s. Certainly, there will be more of a “need” for the procedure as time goes on. Upper blepharoplasty can occasionally be performed more than once if spaced out 10-15 years apart.  However, one has to be careful with revision lower blepharoplasty.  Because of the possibility of sagging of the lower lid away from the surface of the eye, otherwise known as ectropion, care should be taken when entertaining the possibility of having a second lower eyelid blepharoplasty.

How Should My Upper Blepharoplasty Incision Look During the Healing Process?

Blepharoplasty incisions are among the best healing in all of facial plastic surgery. The majority of the blepharoplasty incision is typically hidden within the crease of the upper eyelid. As with all healing processes, there are a series of stages that are evident as the incision matures. Early on (in the first several weeks) it is fairly common to see small lumps or bumps along the blepharoplasty incision line. However, if the incision was closed correctly, they will resolve and smooth out over time. After one or two months the incision will smooth greatly, but the patient will still be able to feel a tiny bit of a line if they touch their eyelids with the tips of their fingers. Early in the healing process, redness is a normal characteristic of blepharoplasty incisions, especially if the patient has fair skin. Antibiotic ointment should be applied as instructed to help the incisions heal properly. Many patients are asked to switch to aquaphor if irritation occurs with the use of antibiotic ointment. Incision scars are likely to soften and mature over time. The total healing process can take 12-14 months, but for the great majority of patients, the incision looks very good after just a few weeks.

What is The Cost of Blepharoplasty in Pittsburgh?

In Pittsburgh, the cost of an in-office Upper Blepharoplasty ranges between $3,000 and $5,500. This price can vary based on region, physician experience, and practice expertise. The cost is also dependent upon procedure complexity which can sometimes differ from patient to patient. Each patient has a unique anatomy with different amounts of excess skin, fat, and tissue on their eyelids.

Contact Sistine Plastic Surgery

For more information about Blepharoplasty Surgery or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Paul Leong to talk more about your options, please contact Sistine Plastic Surgery today.

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Certifications & Training:

Yale Medical School – Certified Plastic Surgeon