9 Things I Wish I Knew Before Eyelid Surgery
- Last updated: 2 months ago
Drooping eyelids, puffy eye bags, and dark circles under your eyes are common issues. They are often hereditary and part of the aging process. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is designed to turn back the clock. The procedure tightens or removes sagging skin around the eyes, resulting in a younger, well-rested look.
Although the procedure is often done under local anesthesia, it is not simple. Here are a few things RealSelf members experienced during and after their eyelid surgeries that might help during your research process.
1. It takes a lot of time to find the right doctor.
Your priority should be finding a board-certified plastic surgeon or oculoplastic surgeon with extensive experience in eyelid surgery. A great way to start is by reading reviews and researching surgeons in your area. Finding the right surgeon requires going beyond their credentials, which takes time.
“They should make you feel comfortable and confident,” Dr. Jed Horowitz, a plastic surgeon in Newport Beach, Calif., said in a RealSelf Q&A. “The office and staff members should also inspire confidence and trust.”
2. You may get what you pay for.
There are times when saving money on major purchases makes sense. Surgery is not one of those times. The average eyelid surgery costs $4,525 based on reviews from RealSelf members. Some well-qualified doctors may offer surgery for less, but some discount surgeries might also come with discount results.
“I went to a highly regarded surgeon, and I got my money's worth,” Randall651 wrote in a review. “A woman I know wanted to save money although she's pretty affluent. She went to a doctor who charged only $3,500, and he made a mess of her eyes.”
3. Eyelid surgery is not meant to be a transformation.
Eyelid surgery can make your eyes look more open, and it can tighten loose skin around your eyes. But eyelid surgery does not change the structure of your eyes. The results of eyelid surgery are much more subtle, resulting in more of a refreshed look than a major change.
“Cosmetic eyelid procedures are performed to freshen and rejuvenate the eyelids,” Dr. Kenneth Bermudez, a San Francisco plastic surgeon, said in a RealSelf Q&A. “The results can be dramatic, but should not alter the patient's appearance, rather enhance.”
4. It's normal to be nervous.
Eyelid surgery tends to produce results with a RealSelf Worth It Rating in the 90s. Chances are you will be happy with your final results. That doesn’t mean it’s abnormal to be nervous before the procedure. Talking with your surgeon in the days and weeks leading up to the surgery can help ease fears.
"I was afraid at times,” Liznatl wrote in a review. “I even cancelled my appointment but called back the same day and asked, "Was it still open?" As time gets closer you will become a little more nervous, but everything will be just great!"
5. Devote time to homework.
It’s important to be completely confident going into your surgery. Doing extensive research can make for a seamless procedure.
Dr. Guy Massry, a Beverly Hills oculoplastic surgeon, suggests asking specific problems about the problem area and looking at several recent before and after pictures to make sure the surgeon has proven results to suit your needs.
6. Swelling will go down faster if you don't use eye makeup or wear contacts.
Following surgery your doctor will advise you to avoid makeup and from wearing contacts for at least a week. Most recommend you wait two. Your eyelids will need time to recover. Waiting two weeks from surgery will help guarantee the incision area is healed, and you aren’t risking infection by applying makeup. Avoiding contact with your recovering eyelids will also help reduce swelling.
“I went to the eye doctor, and he told me my contacts were causing swelling underneath the lids,” SL55 wrote in a review. “I stopped wearing them immediately and didn't wear any eye makeup for about a month. I did this and my swelling went down right away!
7. Wait a year for full results.
It’s natural to focus on nothing but the results after surgery, but patience is a virtue. Post-op swelling will prevent the true results from showing for months. The initial recovery can even make it seem like your results are asymmetrical. Give it time.
Dr. Amiya Prasad, a New York oculoplastic surgeon, said there is an initial impression after surgery to see if it is a success, but full results take at least six months to a year.
8. Give yourself a break, emotionally and physically.
Let the recovery process take its course. It helps to get some time away from work following surgery. Give yourself a few days to recover in private. That also gives you plenty of time to follow the recovery guidelines your surgeon provides and help keep the recovery process on track.
9. Swelling, redness, and dry eyes can occur post-op.
Post-operation swelling is common. Applying cold compresses in the days after surgery will help. You could also experience redness and dry eyes. Some doctors will prescribe eye drops to help. If you have dry eyes prior to the procedure, you should discuss that with your surgeon. Having a pair of big sunglasses handy to hid your post-op recovery also helps.
Have more questions? Check out the RealSelf eyelid surgery FAQ.
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