in Houston TX
What is Eyelid Surgery?
Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a procedure for improving the appearance of the eyelids. Surgery can be performed on either the upper or lower lids, or both. Whether you want to improve your appearance or are experiencing functional problems with your eyelids, eyelid surgery with Dr. David Altamira can rejuvenate the area surrounding your eyes.
Any individual who wants to feel more confident with their facial appearance may be a candidate for the blepharoplasty procedure. In general, good candidates for eyelid surgery are:
- Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions
- Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for eyelid surgery
- Individuals without serious eye conditions
“Dr. Altamira has been our ‘go to’ doctor for close to 20 years. He gives attention to detail and is a perfectionist. My husband recently had eye surgery, and I was very nervous that it could be obvious to others. It was so perfect, we are both amazed. I highly recommend this doctor to anyone who might be “shopping around.” -Lee
To read more patient testimonials, click here!
Eyelid Surgery Benefits
Having eyelid surgery done can improve your life for both functional and cosmetic purposes. These benefits include the following:
- Loose or sagging skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid
- Excess fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the eyelids
- Drooping lower eyelids that reveal white below the iris
- Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid
- Bags under the eyes
Blepharoplasty is typically performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia and sedation. It is usually performed as an office procedure, but general anesthesia may be used for anxious patients if desired. Patients can choose to have this procedure on their upper or lower eyelids or both. The procedure can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on whether both the upper and lower eyelids are operated on.
If the upper eyelid is being operated on, an incision is typically made along its natural crease. Once the incision is made, fat deposits are removed if necessary, muscles and tissue are tightened, and excess skin is removed. For the lower eyelid, an incision is usually made just below the lash line so that excess skin can be removed. The excess fat causing the bags or puffiness under the eyes is removed, and the incision is then closed with absorbable sutures.
Is there anything I need to do to prepare for my blepharoplasty?
Dr. Altamira will walk you through the early preparations, such as the need to stop taking certain medications, including anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, and herbal supplements. These can increase bleeding and subsequent bruising. You’ll need to stop smoking for a few weeks before and after, as this affects wound healing. Limit alcohol consumption a few days prior to and after your surgery.
The morning of your surgery, you’ll need to shower and shampoo your hair. Be sure to wash your eyebrows. Do not put on any makeup, jewelry, contact lenses, or other accessories. Arrange for someone to take you to surgery and pick you up afterward.
That’s about it; there isn’t much preparation required for blepharoplasty.
How Long Is The Blepharoplasty Procedure?
The eyelid surgery procedure usually takes about two hours depending on the patient and their desired look.
Eyelid Surgery Before And After
To view more blepharoplasty before and after photos, click here!
Types of Eyelid surgery
- Lower eyelid blepharoplasty: This surgery is done under the eyelid and is mostly used to moderate eye bags and wrinkles around the eyes.
- Double eyelid surgery: With this type of surgery a crease is created in the upper eyelid, resulting in a double-lidded appearance.
- Upper eyelid blepharoplasty: This surgery is mainly used to address functionality. This is most popular among the elderly, the upper eyelid may lose its normal elasticity, leading to dropping and inversion, which can lead to loss of vision and daily activities such as reading, writing, or driving.
What Is Functional Blepharoplasty?
If the eyelids begin sagging into the field of vision, a functional blepharoplasty may be beneficial. This procedure removes excess sagging skin from the upper eyelids that is blocking the patient’s peripheral vision. The procedure may be covered by medical insurance if it is deemed medically necessary. A determination of how much vision is affected must be done first by checking the peripheral visual fields with a special test prior to insurance approval.
Eyelid Surgery Recovery
After surgery, you may be advised to apply lubricating drops, ointment, and cold compress to aid in healing and minimize bruising and swelling. Most patients return to work within a few days to a week, but should avoid exercise and strenuous activities for at least 2 weeks. Most swelling and other side effects typically subside within 2 weeks. You may wear contact lenses and eye makeup 1 to 2 weeks after surgery.
Remember that the eyelids are part of the face. The appearance of a drooping upper lid may also be due to relaxation of the forehead skin and eyebrow and thus a facelift or brow lift may also be beneficial to improving the appearance of the eyelid area.
How long will my results from eyelid surgery last?
It’s commonly thought that eyelid surgery takes about one decade off of your facial age. At that point, you’ll have some slight sagging again (no one stops the march of time), but it will never be to the degree that merited you seeking out this surgery.
Eyelid Surgery Potential Risks
Eyelid surgery can include but not limited to:
- Eyes may be irritated and dry
- Uneven healing
- permanent scarring
How long before I can drive after eyelid surgery?
If you’re taking your prescription pain medication, obviously you cannot drive. Most of our patients don’t use their pain medication, however, opting instead for simple over-the-counter pain medication. Otherwise, as long as you’re able to make the movements necessary for proper driving and safety, you’ll be able to drive. Many patients wait until their pain basically resolves, which is just a couple of days, for the most part, to start driving again. If you’re concerned about swelling and going out in public, give it a week.
How long before I can wear contact lenses after eyelid surgery?
Dr. Altamira recommends patients wait one week before wearing their contact lenses after this surgery.
Is eyelid surgery permanent?
The changes and rejuvenation made by Dr. Altamira with eyelid surgery are permanent. The excess skin he removes is gone for good. Fat that is repositioned won’t move back to its former location. If he tightens loose muscles that have allowed your eyelids to droop, those changes are forever.
These are once-in-a-lifetime procedures, and our patients at our Houston practice are universally thrilled with the outcome. A nice thing about eyelid surgery is that it delivers dramatic results, but it does so in a subtle way. People who don’t know you’ve had this surgery will notice that your face somehow looks younger, your eyes more alert, and you’ll have the overall appearance of being more refreshed. They just won’t have any idea of how this happened. How great is that!
You may have some new sagging as you continue to age, but your eyelids will do so from a much younger starting position. You’ll enjoy your new eyes for the rest of your life.
Will My Scar Fade After Surgery?
The scars from blepharoplasty are well-concealed and usually fade with time until they are virtually undetectable. Although the eyelids are still subject to aging, blepharoplasty produces long-lasting results.
Is eyelid surgery covered by insurance?
If the sagging in your upper eyelid has progressed to the point where it is actually beginning to interfere with your field of vision, insurance will cover it. If the procedure is deemed strictly cosmetic, it will not be covered by your health insurance.
What should I expect from my eyelid surgery consultation?
Dr. Altamira views every consultation as a complete give-and-take of information between the two of you. Throughout your meeting, he encourages any and all questions you may have about your eyelid surgery. You’ll typically begin these meetings. You’ll describe what you see happening with your eyelids and the skin surrounding them, and you’ll describe what you don’t like about what you’re seeing. You’ll discuss what you think you can achieve with your eyelid surgery.
Then it’s Dr. Altamira’s turn. He’ll examine your eyelids and the surrounding areas. He’ll pay special attention to the muscles controlling your upper eyelids. He’ll look at your degree of sagging skin. Is it entering your field of vision? This examination will guide how Dr. Altamira then plans your surgery.
Next, he’ll discuss the procedure in detail. He’ll talk about your incision options and what each entails. He’ll likely show you some before and after photos of others with aging similar to yours. He’ll walk you through your recovery. Finally, he’ll discuss what sorts of results you can expect with blepharoplasty.
At the end of your consultation, whether you choose to move forward with surgery or not, you should be well-versed in blepharoplasty.
Schedule A Consultation
If you are interested in eyelid surgery and would like to see if you are a good candidate, call (713) 271-9000 to schedule a consultation. Dr. Altamira has plastic surgery offices located in Houston and Sugar Land, Texas.