Eyelids: The “Gateway” Procedure

A woman pleased with her eyelid surgery.

“People ask me if I am feeling OK or if I am tired” is the way the consultation usually starts for eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) at my Columbus, Ohio-area practice. It’s understandable; how many times have you looked in the mirror in the morning and thought, “I look tired,” even though you just woke up? If this describes you, it might be time to think about eyelid surgery.

The other thing patients say all the time is “I feel this heavy weight on top of my eye,” which is really the excess eyelid skin hanging down and sometimes even laying on top of the lashes! All of these complaints are correctable with upper eyelid surgery.

And then on to the “baggage” below. The lower eyelids are one of the first areas to show aging. The signs range from just a mild tear trough concavity to bagginess with the tear trough and dark circles. If these are your issues, don’t go grabbing the tissues just yet. There is hope! 

What to Expect With Eyelid Surgery

Upper eyelid surgery is what I call the “gateway procedure,” because you do it and are happy and hooked, ready to do more! This is because it is not hard for you to undergo, and afterward, it doesn’t hurt. It will require about a week of hiding out, or if possible—working from home—but this is totally doable. Since it doesn’t hurt, you will not require pain medication, and you are able to sit at your desk and work—just keep the ZOOM video turned off!

In some cases, you may also want to pair eyelid surgery with other facial rejuvenation procedures. We’ll discuss your facelift, dermal filler, and other options during your consultation and make a plan to help you achieve the youthful look you want. In the meantime, check out my related blog post, Facelift—Is It Time? to learn more about the signs you may be ready for a facelift.

Does Insurance Cover Hooded Eyelid Surgery?

There is a subset of patients who have such a large amount of skin weighing dowon the upper eyelid, that it actually obstructs vision. If this looks like it might be the case with you, we will work together with our optometrist (conveniently located next door to our office) to get your visual field studied. If your eyelid is truly impacting your vision—insurance will cover the surgery! Naturally, the lower eyelids are not obstructing vision and are not covered by insurance. 

After we get the visual field test done, we will schedule your surgery. If your insurance is covering the upper lids, we will have you do the lower at the same time. It makes sense to address both at once so you have only one recuperation and so the whole eye area is rejuvenated as a facial unit; this is important for harmony in the outcome. 

How Long Is Recovery From Upper Eyelid Surgery?

The recovery from eyelid surgery is one of the easiest for many reasons, including the lack of pain, and the ability to carry on with daily activities while you are healing. Sutures will be under surgical tape strips, and these stay on for the whole week to promote perfect healing. The scar is almost invisible. After a few months, in fact, sometimes even when I am wearing my “readers” that are the highest magnification, I cannot see the scar on my patients. 

For ladies who usually wear eyeshadow or eyeliner, you will be able to see both! You can see some of my patients’ eyelid surgery results in our before-and-after photo gallery.

“You look good. What are you doing?”

But the best compliment I can get after this procedure is when my patients say that someone said to them You look good. What are you doing?” or “What are you doing to look so good?” The fact is, no one really knows you had done it. You look like yourself, just better. And rested. And more alert. And this will make you happier. These are just a few reasons eyelid surgery is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries in the country, according to The Aesthetic Society.

If you are considering this procedure, the best thing to do is schedule a virtual no charge consultation. We can go over the details and determine if we might have this covered by your insurance. You can request a consultation using our online form or call us at (614) 569-2649.

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