Eyelid Lift Part 5-What To Expect After Surgery
Author: Jonathan Pontell, MD
After surgery there is usually minimal pain, and it is easily controlled with a mild pain reliever such as Tylenol with codeine. For the first day and a half after the surgery, I ask that patients place gauze pads soaked with ice water on the eyes, and replace them every twenty minutes while awake. This keeps discoloration and bruising in the eye region to a minimum, and is soothing to the patient. I also have patients keep their eyes moist with saline eye drops and antibiotic ointment for at least one week after surgery.
The black and blue usually resolves by the end of the first week. Removing stitches from the eye region usually takes place five to seven days after the surgery. The incisions heal very quickly in the thin eyelid skin and are usually very difficult to see after the first month. Any redness around the incisions can be camouflaged with makeup immediately after the stitches are removed.
It is important for patients to avoid strenuous activities for the first two weeks after surgery in order to limit the possibility of postoperative bleeding. It is also important for patients to sleep with their head elevated on a few pillows for the first week, to allow gravity to aid in reducing swelling.
All surgery is associated with risks. For patients who do not have significant medical problems, the risks are minimal. Any surgery can result in an infection, a bleeding problem or an allergic reaction to anesthesia medications, but these problems are extremely rare.
Overaggressive excision of skin can lead to difficulty with eyelid closure and dry eyes, and post-operative bleeding can cause pressure on the eyes and decreased vision. These complications are extremely rare in experienced hands.
The surgical fee for blepharoplasty varies from doctor to doctor and cost will depend on the extent of the surgery. A range of $3000 to $5000 is typical for upper and lower blepharoplasty.
Occasionally, when the upper eyelid skin excess is significant enough that it obstructs vision, insurance will cover the cost. If the procedure is done for purely cosmetic reasons, it will not be covered by health insurance.