Our upper and lower eyelids are both essential to our vision and play a significant part in defining our beauty. However, over time the aging process, environment, genetics, and life take their collective toll. This results in changes to the tone, texture, and elasticity of the skin and, in some cases, to the muscles of the eyelid.
What are the differences between the aging changes that happen to upper vs lower eyelids? Are there medical differences in what can happen to upper and lower eyelids?
Eyelid surgery is one of the most common cosmetic surgical procedures performed in the United States today. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the eyelids.
Corrective surgery can be performed on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both.
In some cases, the upper eyelids may impair your vision or peripheral vision. In these cases, the surgery may be covered by your medical insurance. (Do lower eyelids impair vision, or is it mostly cosmetic? If you’re receiving surgery on upper and lower eyelids during the same procedure, is it possible that some of it will be covered by insurance, but not all of it?
The procedure typically takes 45 minutes to 1 hour for upper blepharoplasty and 90 minutes for lower blepharoplasty. Up to 2.5 hours for a combined procedure.
These procedures may be combined with other functional or cosmetic procedures which may extend the surgical duration.
During your recovery from eyelid surgery, antibiotic ointment and cool compresses may be applied to help limit potential swelling and bruising. You will be provided with specific instructions to care for your eyelids, medications to apply or take orally, and potential limitations on physical activity. Initial healing may include swelling, bruising, foreign body sensation, dry eyes, itchiness and little to no pain. Symptoms are often managed with oral/topical medications and cool compresses. Bruising tends to resolve in 7 to 10 days and swelling continues to improve. Most patients are able to return to full activity in 2 to 3 weeks. However, it may take several months to achieve a final result.