A cosmetic eyelift procedure, technically called a “blepharoplasty,” reduces bagginess under the eyes and eliminates excess skin that develops on the upper eyelids. If you are considering eyelid surgery, it must be performed by a certified Boston cosmetic surgeon.

While many patients who have an eyelift do it strictly for cosmetic purposes, other patients ask if an eyelift can actually improve their vision. If you’ll keep reading, you’ll learn more about eyelifts and how, for some patients, this procedure helps to enhance their ability to see.

“Droopy” eyelids may cause vision problems and make you look older than you are. If you are having problems with your eyelids or your vision, or if you’d simply like to rejuvenate your appearance, eyelid surgery may be right for you.

An eyelift does not eliminate “crow’s feet,” dark circles under your eyes, or facial wrinkles. However, and particularly if you are an older patient, sagging upper eyelids can get in the way of your eyes and impair your ability to see. Sometimes, an eyelift is needed to improve your vision.

Why Do Eyelids Get Bulges and Wrinkles?

As we grow older, our skin loses elasticity. Combined with the pull of gravity, the loss of elasticity can cause excess skin to develop and collect on your eyelids. On the lower eyelids, this excess skin may result in unsightly bulges and wrinkles.

And on your upper eyelids, extra skin may droop over your eyelashes and block your vision. Additionally, there’s a layer of fat holding the eyeball away from the skull, and this fat may also cause eyelid bulging and wrinkling. As we age, this layer of fat slides forward into the eyelids.

Is Eyelid Surgery Right for You?

Candidates for eyelid surgery should have good health as well as realistic expectations. Most eyelift patients are age 35 and up, but if droopy or baggy eyelids are common in your family, the procedure can be done earlier.

There’s no debate about the cosmetic effect of an eyelift procedure. It will boost your self-confidence and improve your overall appearance, but it might not provide you with your ideal appearance, and it will not change the structure of your face.

Before you choose to undergo an eyelift procedure, thoughtfully consider your goals and schedule a consultation with the right Massachusetts cosmetic surgeon. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and raise concerns during your consultation.

Are Eyelift Results Lasting?

The results of surgery on the upper eyelids typically last from five to seven years and sometimes longer. Surgery on the lower eyelids is lasting and seldom has to be done again. Understand, however, that after an eyelift procedure, you and your skin don’t stop aging.

After an eyelift procedure, if the eyelids sag again in a few years, a forehead lift may provide the results you are seeking.

Preparing for Eyelift Surgery

You’ll need to have someone take you home and stay with you for at least one night after your eyelift procedure. You’ll need to take at least several days off from your job and limit your other activities as the eyelids heal. It won’t take long in most cases.

Some patients report having dry eyes for a week or two after the procedure, but if that dryness lasts longer than fourteen days, contact your surgeon to obtain some advice and instructions.

What Will You Need During Your Recovery?

Have these items at home to use as needed during the recovery period:

1. ice cubes
2. two small ice packs (or ice-filled plastic baggies)
3. gauze pads
4. artificial tears or eyedrops (your surgeon can offer a specific recommendation)
5. clean towels and washcloths
6. over-the-counter painkillers (your surgeon can offer the best recommendation)

Don’t use aspirin, Motrin, Naproxen, Advil, or Aleve, because these painkillers heighten the possibility of bleeding.

What Does an Eyelift Procedure Entail?

If all four eyelids are done, an eyelift procedure can take approximately two hours. Local anesthesia and oral sedation are typically used. However, if the surgery is conducted at a surgical center or a hospital, intravenous sedation will probably be used.

When surgery is done on all four eyelids, a surgeon usually works first on the upper eyelids, making incisions along your natural eyelid lines. Through the incisions, your surgeon separates skin from the tissue underneath and then removes your excess skin and fat.

Your surgeon then closes those incisions with small stitches. Stitches in your upper eyelids may remain for up to a week. Your lower eyelids might or might not need stitches, depending on which technique your surgeon uses.

Lower eyelid surgery can be done with several techniques. One method involves making a small incision – that will not be visible – in the lower eyelid to remove the fat tissue. Another surgical method involves an incision on the margin of the eyelash, and that incision line fades quickly.

Laser resurfacing may be used to smooth the skin after your eyelift procedure.

What Else Should You Know About Eyelift Procedures?

After your surgery, the stitches in your eyelids will remain up to a week. Swelling is common, and some patients experience slight bruising, but you should look fine after just ten to fourteen days.

Unwanted results and complications after an eyelift procedure are extremely rare, but if you should experience bleeding, infection, an inability to close your eyes completely, or any other complication or unexpected result, contact your cosmetic surgeon immediately:

Health insurance generally does not cover cosmetic procedures, but if the primary reason for your eyelift procedure is medical – your eyelid is drooping in a way that impairs your vision, for example – your policy may cover the surgery. Check with your health insurance provider.

What Should You Ask Your Surgeon?

Every prospective cosmetic surgery patient should ask some important questions at a first consultation with a Boston plastic surgeon. Get the answers you need before scheduling a surgery date.

Make sure that your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery. Find out how many eyelift surgeries your surgeon has successfully performed. Ask what anesthesia is provided and by whom. Find out what your surgery will cost, and get that figure in writing.

American Board of Cosmetic Surgery-certified cosmetic surgeons work only with licensed anesthesia professionals and only in accredited surgical facilities.

If you are considering eyelid surgery, you can schedule a consultation with a Boston cosmetic surgeon – and take the first step to a more confident, youthful appearance – right now.