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Blepharoplasty

(Blef-ah-row-plas-tee) is the common procedure surgeons recommend to remove eyelid skin and fat, to improve vision and/or appearance. Individuals with excessive skin, puffiness, and/or wrinkling are ideal candidates for this procedure. It is covered by insurance when the excess, drooping eyelid skin blocks vision causing symptomatic reduction in activities of daily living.  It can also be performed for cosmetic reasons (see our section on Cosmetic Services for more information).

Preparing for your eyelid surgery

As with all facial plastic surgery, good health and realistic expectations are desirable.

  • A complete medical history will be taken. Be sure to tell Dr. Fante if you have any allergies.
  • Your vision will be tested and tear production assessed.
  • Insurance pre certification and/or Medicare eligibility will be performed to see if the upper eyelid blepharoplasty can be covered by your health insurance.
  • With Dr. Fante, you’ll decide whether all four eyelids should be done, or just the upper lids.  The lower lids are not covered by insurance but patients often decide to have them done anyway at their own expense.  It is always  your choice.  You’ll have a chance to discuss other options as appropriate for your face and your goals.
  • Dr. Fante will explain the techniques he’ll use, and the anesthesia, and the risks involved.
  • Dr. Fante and his staff will give you guidelines on eating and drinking, as well as smoking, and any vitamins, herbs, and medications you should take or avoid.

Your procedure

In general, procedures will take from about 30 minutes to 90 minutes, using local anesthetic combined with some form of sedative. Depending on your exact insurance situation, surgery may be appropriately performed in an ambulatory surgery center or a hospital.

There are many procedures to choose from, and yours will be customized by Dr. Fante for your unique situation. Some of the possibilities are:

  • Removing excess skin and puffiness from upper eyelids (that droop, sometimes interfering with vision)
  • Cosmetically removing puffiness from the lower eyelids (prolapsed fat that accumulates with age)
  • Correcting weakness of eyelid muscles and tendons
  • Smoothing the area below the eyes (with laser resurfacing, Botox, or surgical removal of skin)
Dr. Fante uses a laser for many procedures. When incision must be made, they’re always very tiny, and strategically placed so that they heal to near invisibility.

Recovery period

Afterwards, you can go home, though you’ll need someone to drive you.

  • There’ll be antibiotic ointment temporarily blurring your vision
  • You’ll have a prescription for an oral pain reliever
  • Dr. Fante will give you written instructions for self-care
  • There’ll be some swelling and bruising which you can minimize with an ice pack. Herbal and homeopathic medicines can sometimes also help with bruising and you will be given information on which ones to consider.
  • Sutures will be removed after about a week
After a week or so you’ll be able to return to work, exercise, and normal routines. Some bruising may persist into the second week after surgery.  Since we live in the Rocky Mountain climate, you will probably want to use artificial tears for a little while to offset the dry air.  Adjustments in eyelid position will sometimes cause a temporary shift in your glasses prescription, and you can discuss the possibility of a temporary pair of eyeglasses with your optometrist or ophthalmologist.

FAQ

What is the recovery time?
How much will this cost me?
Does Dr. Fante use a laser?
Where does Dr. Fante operate?
Is Dr. Fante in-network with my insurance?
Will my insurance cover the cost of the procedure?
Is there a charge for the initial visit?
Is Dr. Fante board certified?
How long has Dr. Fante been performing this type of procedure?
Will I need a driver?
Will I have to take time off of work?
Will there be scars?