Boston Eyelid Surgeon
Many individuals from Boston, MetroWest, Wellesley and Sudbury visit Accurate Aesthetics with the same complaint: I perpetually look exhausted due to the dark circles, or “bags” under my eyes, even though I get a good night’s sleep each night and feel well-rested.* Others seek the expertise of board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Katherine Hein because their sagging eyelids make them look distressed, depressed, or perplexed, even though they are happy, optimistic individuals.
Learn About Eyelid Surgery
11 min 37 sec
Results may vary.
The eyes are one of our most expressive facial features. In fact, most people are familiar with the saying, “The eyes are the windows to the soul,” which effectively illustrates how much emotion is conveyed through the eyes. That is why it is so unfortunate when outside factors cause the eyelids to droop, making individuals look sad or older than their actual age, when they are actually happy and full of youthful vigor.
At Accurate Aesthetics, we offer patients in the Boston area, including MetroWest, Wellesley, and Sudbury, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) to correct the look of sagging upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. With blepharoplasty, Dr. Hein helps patients achieve a more refreshed look throughout the eyes, for a well-rested, optimistic, and rejuvenated appearance.
If you’re considering eyelid surgery, this information will give you a basic understanding of the procedure-when it can help, how it is performed, and what results you can expect. It can’t answer all of your questions, since a lot depends on the individual patient and the surgeon. Please ask Dr. Hein and her staff about anything you don’t understand.
WHAT IS EYELID (BLEPHAROPLASTY) SURGERY?
Eyelid surgery (technically called blepharoplasty) is a procedure to remove fat and excess skin from the upper and/or lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery can correct drooping upper lids and puffy bags below your eyes – features that make you look older and more tired than you feel. Excess, loose upper eyelid skin may even interfere with your vision.
However, blepharoplasty won’t remove crow’s feet or other wrinkles, remove dark circles under your eyes, or lift sagging eyebrows. While it can add an upper eyelid crease to Asian eyes, it will not erase evidence of your ethnic or racial heritage. Blepharoplasty can be done alone, or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a facelift or brow lift.
WHO IS A GOOD CANDIDATE FOR EYELID SURGERY?
Blepharoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match your ideal or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations, and discuss them with Dr. Katherine Hein, board-certified plastic surgeon.
Optimal candidates for eyelid surgery are people who are physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in their expectations. Most are 35 or older, but if droopy, baggy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have eyelid surgery at a younger age.
As people age, the eyelid skin stretches, muscles weaken, and fat accumulates around the eyes, causing “bags” above and below.
A few medical conditions make blepharoplasty somewhat riskier. They include thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism and Graves’ disease, dry eye or lack of sufficient tears, high blood pressure or other circulatory disorders, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. A detached retina or glaucoma is also reason for caution; check with your ophthalmologist before you have surgery.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS TO PLAN FOR YOUR EYELID SURGERY?
Your initial consultation with Dr. Hein is especially important. She will need your complete medical history, so check your own records ahead of time and be ready to provide this information. Be sure to inform Dr. Hein if you have any allergies; if you’re taking any vitamins, medications (prescription or over the counter), or other drugs; and if you smoke.
You should also provide any relevant information from your ophthalmologist or the record of your most recent eye exam. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, be sure to bring them along.
You and Dr. Hein should carefully discuss your goals and expectations for this surgery. You’ll need to discuss whether to do all four eyelids or just the upper or lower ones, whether skin as well as fat will be removed, and whether any additional procedures are appropriate. Dr. Hein closes the incisions with fine sutures, which will leave nearly invisible scars.*
Dr. Hein will explain the techniques and anesthesia she will use, the type of facility where the surgery will be performed, and the risks and costs involved. (Note: Most insurance policies don’t cover eyelid surgery, unless you can prove that drooping upper lids interfere with your vision. Check with your insurer.)
ALL SURGERY CARRIES SOME UNCERTAINTY AND RISK
When eyelid surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility of complications, including infection or a reaction to the anesthesia. You can reduce your risks by closely following your surgeon’s instructions both before and after surgery.
The minor complications that occasionally follow blepharoplasty include double or blurred vision for a few days; temporary swelling at the corner of the eyelids; and a slight asymmetry in healing or scarring. Tiny whiteheads may appear after your stitches are taken out; your surgeon can remove them easily with a fine needle.*
Following surgery, some patients may have difficulty closing their eyes when they sleep; in rare cases this condition may be lasting. Another very rare complication is ectropion, a pulling down of the lower lids. In this case, further surgery may be required.*
Don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results.
EYELID SURGERY CONSIDERATIONS
Dr. Hein and her professional staff will provide you with specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery go more smoothly.
While you’re preparing for your eyelid surgery, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a few days if needed.
WHERE WILL YOUR SURGERY BE PERFORMED?
Eyelid surgery may be performed in Dr. Hein’s office under local anesthesia, IV sedation, or at a local hospital with IV sedation or general anesthesia. It is usually done on an outpatient basis; rarely does it require an inpatient stay. Dr. Hein performs all of her major surgery at a fully accredited hospital with physician led anesthesia. She operates at Newton Wellesley Hospital, MetroWest Medical Center, , and Milford Regional Hospital.
TYPES OF ANESTHESIA
Eyelid surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia – which numbs the area around your eyes – along with oral or intravenous sedatives. You’ll be awake during the surgery, but relaxed and insensitive to pain. (However, you may feel some tugging or occasional discomfort.)* Some patients prefer to have general anesthesia; in that case, you’ll sleep through the operation.
WHAT IS THE SURGICAL PROCESS FOR EYELID SURGERY?
Eyelid surgery ranges from one to three hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. If you’re having all four eyelids done, Dr. Hein will work on the upper lids first, then the lower ones.
In a typical procedure, Dr. Hein makes incisions following the natural lines of your eyelids, in the creases of your upper lids, and just below the lashes in the lower lids. The incisions may extend into the crow’s feet or laugh lines at the outer corners of your eyes. Working through these incisions, Dr. Hein separates the skin from underlying fatty tissue and muscle, removes excess fat, and often trims sagging skin and muscle. The incisions are then closed with fine sutures.
If you have a pocket of fat beneath your lower eyelids but don’t need to have any skin removed, your surgeon may perform a transconjunctival blepharoplasty. In this procedure the incision is made inside your lower eyelid, leaving little or no visible scar.* It is usually performed on younger patients with thicker, more elastic skin.
Before surgery, the surgeon marks the incision sites, following the natural lines and creases of the upper and lower eyelids.
Underlying fat, along with excess skin and muscle, can be removed during the operation.
In a transconjunctival blepharoplasty, a tiny incision is made inside the lower eyelid and fat is removed with fine forceps. No skin is removed, and the incision is closed with dissolving sutures.
WHAT IS THE RECOVERY PROCESS AFTER EYELID SURGERY?
After surgery, Dr. Hein will probably lubricate your eyes with ointment and may apply a bandage. Your eyelids may feel tight and sore as the anesthesia wears off, but you can control any discomfort with the pain medication prescribed by Dr. Hein.* If you feel any severe pain, call Dr. Hein immediately. We always tell our patients that the most important post-operative instruction is to call us if you have a question or concern.
Dr. Hein will instruct you to keep your head elevated for several days, and to use cold compresses to reduce swelling and bruising. Bruising varies from person to person: it reaches its peak during the first week, and generally lasts anywhere from two weeks to a month. If you need it, special camouflage makeup (we recommend Jane Iredale) can mask most bruising that remains. You’ll need to gently clean your eyes, which may be gummy for a week or so. You may need saline eye drops since your eyelids may feel dry at first and your eyes may burn or itch. For the first few weeks you may also experience excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, and temporary changes in your eyesight, such as blurring or double vision.*
Dr. Hein will follow your progress very closely for the first week or two. The stitches will be removed two days to a week after surgery. Once they’re out, the swelling and discoloration around your eyes will gradually subside, and you’ll start to look and feel much better.*
GETTING BACK TO NORMAL
You should be able to read or watch television after two or three days. However, you won’t be able to wear contact lenses for about two weeks, and even then, they may feel uncomfortable for a while. Most people feel ready to go out in public (and back to work) in a week to 10 days. By then, depending on your rate of healing and our instructions, you’ll probably be able to wear makeup to hide the bruising that remains. You may be sensitive to sunlight, wind, and other irritants for several weeks, so you should wear sunglasses and a special sunblock made for eyelids when you go out.*
After surgery, the upper eyelids no longer droop and the skin under the eyes is smooth and firm. You should keep your activities to a minimum for three to five days, and to avoid more strenuous activities for about three weeks.* It’s especially important to avoid activities that raise your blood pressure, including bending, lifting, and rigorous activities. You may also be told to avoid alcohol, since it causes fluid retention.
YOUR NEW LOOK
Healing is a gradual process, and your scars may remain slightly pink for six months or more after surgery. Eventually, though, they’ll fade to a thin, nearly invisible white line. On the other hand, the positive results of your eyelid surgery-the more alert and youthful look-will last for years.*
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If you are sick of appearing tired due to sagging upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both, it is time to act and find out more about eyelid surgery. Blepharoplasty is a relatively simple procedure that can make you look rejuvenated and degrees happier.
To schedule a private consultation with Dr. Hein to find out more about how eyelid surgery can help you achieve a refreshed appearance, contact Accurate Aesthetics by calling (877) 603-7874 toll-free.
Why You Should Select Accurate Aesthetics for your EYELID SURGERY
Dr. Katherine Hein is among the top cosmetic surgeons in the Boston, Wellesley and Sudbury area. As a Harvard trained board-certified plastic surgeon and Medical Director of Accurate Aesthetics Plastic Surgery, Dr. Hein has helped thousands of satisfied patients achieve their cosmetic surgical face and body enhancements goals.
When you select Accurate Aesthetics Plastic Surgery for your blepharoplasty procedure you can be reassured of a close personal relationship with Dr. Hein and her professional staff.
Additional Reasons to Select Accurate Aesthetics
- One-on-one consultation with Dr. Hein, follow-up appointments after surgery, and availability by telephone for your questions.
- Availability of a fully certified operating room in-office for your comfort and privacy.
- The exclusive use of a certified Physician Assistant (PA-C) on each case to keep your surgery time shorter and safer.
- The use of a board-certified MD anesthesiologist or a certified nurse anesthetist(CRNA) on each sedation case where sedation or general anesthesia is used (most plastic surgeons generally use a nurse anesthetist).
- Consultation fee is deducted from cost of any major surgery.
- Free Arnica Montana (pharmaceutical grade) anti bruising and swelling regimen with appropriate surgical procedures.
- Free general skincare session with a medical esthetician after any major surgical procedure.
*Results may vary and are not guaranteed. Consult with the medical professionals at Accurate Aesthetics Plastic Surgery to see if you are a candidate.
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