Blepharoplasty (Eyelid) Surgery

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Blepharoplasty—also known as eyelid surgery—is a procedure that is performed to reduce excess skin and fat in the upper and/or lower eyelids, typically resulting in a more youthful facial appearance and—in some cases—improved vision.

Due to a variety of factors, the skin of the upper eyelids can become loose and create folds that make one appear older or more tired than they really are. For some individuals, this excess skin may droop over the eyes and have an impact on vision. In medical cases such as those, a percentage of costs for the procedure may be covered by health insurance. In other cases, the lower eyelids can droop and ‘bags’ can develop under the eyes, causing cosmetic discomfort for many patients. Our plastic surgeon—Dr Vlad Milovic—has extensive training and experience with correcting both the functional and aesthetic concerns associated with sagging skin around the eyelids.

 

What is Blepharoplasty Surgery?

Blepharoplasty surgery, or eyelid surgery, is a procedure designed to reverse the effects of facial aging or vision impairment brought on by excess eyelid skin. Over time, the tissue structures of your eyelids can begin to weaken and eventually appear to droop or sag. Areas surrounding the eyes can also exhibit wrinkles, puffiness, and bulging and protruding skin. You may feel well rested and be in a great mood, but signs of sagging eyelids may tell a different story. Sagging eyelids can give you the appearance of seeming restless, angry, and fatigued, regardless of your actual physical and mental state. In some cases, drooping eyelids can even restrict your field of vision. Eyelid surgery can correct these concerns and match your appearance to how you actually feel. Blepharoplasty can also be included as part of a facelift or brow lift for more comprehensive facial rejuvenation.

Who is a Good Candidate for Blepharoplasty?

Generally, most patients who seek eyelid surgery are men and women between the ages of 30 and 80 years old who have become uncomfortable with certain cosmetic and functional changes to their eyelids, many of which occur as a result of the aging process. However, there are some younger patients who have developed eyelid features they want to change as well. Oftentimes our patients want to correct or eliminate excess skin that has become loose near the upper or lower eyelids, puffiness around the lower eyelids, and visibly discolored or darkened under-eye circles. In addition to wanting cosmetic changes to their eyelids, some patients also seek vision improvements, as excess skin may impair their field of view. 

Ideal candidates should typically be in good health and either not smoke or be willing to stop smoking several weeks before and after their surgery. There are, however, some limitations to the blepharoplasty procedure for some patients. For example, eyelid surgery will not lift eyebrows, eliminate crow’s feet or reduce any discolored circles near and around the eyelids. Dr Milovic will discuss the limitations of blepharoplasty with you prior to any procedure being performed. In some cases, Dr Milovic may recommend additional treatments to address concerns that blepharoplasty alone cannot, such as anti-wrinkle injections or dermal fillers. In combination with eyelid surgery, these procedures can help provide more comprehensive facial rejuvenation.

What is the Blepharoplasty Procedure Like?

Dr Milovic performs a variety of different blepharoplasty techniques, including:

Dr Milovic assesses every patient as an individual case, keeping in mind their natural facial anatomy. A technique will be tailored to suit the patient’s needs. In some cases, there are functional reasons for having blepharoplasty surgery, and Medicare item numbers may apply. In these cases, vision may be obscured by ptotic or droopy eyelid(s).

What are the Types of Blepharoplasty?

As noted in the section above, Dr Milovic is able to employ several different eyelid surgery techniques: composite upper blepharoplasty, tarsal fixation, and ptosis correction. 

Utilizing composite upper blepharoplasty allows Dr Milovic to recontour fat deposits in the upper eyelid to give a more refreshed and youthful look. With tarsal fixation, the supporting structures for the eyelids can be returned to their natural position, counteracting the changes brought on by age. The ptosis correction technique involves elevation of the eyelid in order to reduce drooping and/or sagging. 

During your initial consultation, Dr Milovic will evaluate your concerns and talk with you about your ultimate goals. Once he has determined the ideal technique for your needs, Dr Milovic will develop a customised blepharoplasty treatment plan designed to achieve your expectations with exceptional results. 

How Long Does Blepharoplasty Recovery Take?

Recovery time will vary from patient to patient and will also depend on the extent of the surgery. That said, the recovery period is usually reasonably fast, with upper blepharoplasty typically requiring less time to heal than lower blepharoplasty. You can expect to have bruising and swelling for a few weeks post-surgery. You will be given more personalised post-surgery instructions to follow during your consultation appointments. If you have any questions, please speak to Dr Milovic and/or his Practice Nurse.

What is the Cost of Blepharoplasty?

Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery, but it should not be the only consideration. You have the right to be informed about the foreseeable costs before you have your surgery – this is called ‘informed financial consent’.

Costs associated with the procedure may include:

After your initial consultation with Dr Milovic, you will receive a written estimate of fees and an information pack to read before your second pre-surgery appointment. The second appointment is free of charge. Once you book your surgery, you will also have pre-operative photos taken.

In some cases, the final costs may vary from the original estimate because of complications, longer operative time, or changes requested by the patient. Additional procedures may also be necessary.

Where you might have an item number for this procedure, you should check with your private health insurer to see if any part of the procedure is covered. This could save you hospital accommodation costs and provide you with a rebate on the surgery cost.

For cosmetic procedures, you will be charged the goods and services tax (GST).

As Dr Milovic personalises each procedure for each patient, we are unable to provide you with a price estimate or “ball park” price range without first conducting an initial consultation and having Dr Milovic determine whether he considers you to be a good surgical candidate.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT EYELID SURGERY

WILL I NEED ANAESTHESIA DURING EYELID SURGERY?

Lasting between 1 to 3 hours, blepharoplasty surgery is generally done as a day procedure under general anaesthesia or twilight sedation. Dr Milovic will discuss these two options with you in advance. 

Modern anaesthesia is safe and effective, but it does have some risks. Ask Dr Milovic and your Anaesthetist for more information. You can rest assured that Dr Milovic will engage the services of a qualified Anaesthetist who is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and NZ College of Anaesthetists (ANZCA) to perform your sedation or general anaesthesia.

Dr Milovic and/or your Anaesthetist will ask you about all the medications you are taking or have taken, and any allergies you may have. Please make sure you have an up-to-date list before the surgery.

WHAT DO BLEPHAROPLASTY SCARS LOOK LIKE?

As with all surgery, some scarring is inevitable, but blepharoplasty scarring will usually heal and camouflage extremely well. Most eyelid surgery scars become barely noticeable with time. Dr Milovic is a highly experienced surgeon, having performed numerous eyelid lift surgeries, and he is able to make incisions in discreet locations in order to reduce the visibility of any potential scarring. 

WHERE WILL MY BLEPHAROPLASTY SURGERY TAKE PLACE?

Depending upon your general health and the extent of the procedure, blepharoplasty surgery is typically performed as a day procedure, though some cases may require an overnight hospital stay. The procedure can take between one to three hours to complete, depending on your personalized treatment plan. Dr Milovic will only perform your blepharoplasty surgery in safe, accredited operating facilities.

CAN I CLAIM A MEDICARE REBATE FOR BLEPHAROPLASTY?

Oftentimes eyelid lift surgery can be covered by Medicare when it is deemed reconstructive. If eyelid drooping or sagging is causing visual impairment, individuals may be covered under Medicare’s policy. Dr Milovic will assess your eligibility for Medicare item numbers at your initial consultation. You should seek a GP or Specialist referral to Dr Milovic should you wish to claim a rebate.

h3>WILL EYELID SURGERY IMPROVE MY VISION?

If your vision is being impaired by eyelid drooping, blepharoplasty may be able to provide improvement. However, if your vision is being impaired for other reasons, eyelid surgery will likely not have an effect. Dr Milovic will help determine whether eyelid sagging is impacting your vision during your consultation. 

WHEN CAN I START WEARING CONTACTS AFTER EYELID SURGERY?

In order to reduce the risk of infection, patients who require corrective lenses generally need to wear eyeglasses for about one to two weeks following their eyelid surgery. Avoiding the use of contact lenses eliminates unnecessary touching of your eyes and eyelids. Depending on the extent of your surgery, you may be required to go without contacts for a longer period of time.

WHEN CAN I WEAR EYE MAKEUP AFTER BLEPHAROPLASTY?

Similar to avoiding the use of contacts to refrain from touching your eyelids as the areas heal, it is recommended that you do not use eye makeup for about two to three weeks following blepharoplasty. Your eyelids will be sensitive to any physical contact and the use of makeup may cause irritation. Any unnecessary or excess contact with your eyelids before they have had the chance to fully heal increases the risk of infection, which can negatively impact the results of the procedure and cause discomfort. 

Discuss your circumstances with Dr Milovic today and find out how the staff at our Melbourne office can support you. Make an enquiry through our contact page or call us to learn more.