Back to Reconstructive Surgery
(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.
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.
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.
Most surgical procedures that are performed in an operating room will cause swelling and bruising and will have sutures that require care for the first week or two. During this period, you’ll be able to see, move about, and accomplish a lot, but you will probably have at least one “black” eye. You will be asked to avoid strenuous activities for the first week or two, and if necessary, you will be given more specific instructions on travel, bathing, and post-op care. Your healing will be dependent on which procedure you are having done, your compliance to pre and post-operative instructions, and your overall health. We will do our very best to make sure that you have all the information you and your caregivers will need to provide the best care possible. We are always here to help and available if any questions or concerns arise.
At your consultation, once we know the particulars of your surgery and insurance, we will strive to give you an estimate of the costs of your out of pocket costs. Please understand that if you are planning to file your surgery with insurance, it is entirely your responsibility to ensure that we are in network for your plan and that if referrals are required for your plan from your PCP, it is up to you to get them to our office. Your procedure will be billed under your medical insurance (not your vision insurance). As far as your financial responsibility is concerned, this is dependent upon your specific plan, whether or not you have met your deductible, and your co-insurance (if any). We will take care of getting prior-authorization and pre-determination completed before your operation whenever possible.
Yes, Dr. Fante does use a laser in many but not all of his operations.
Dr. Fante operates at many of the surgery centers and hospitals in the Denver metro area. He also operates in Goodland, Kansas and Cheyenne, Wyoming.
We are contracted with dozens of insurance plans, but you would be wise to call your insurance company to verify.
You may be subject to a deductible depending on your plan. If you have already met your deductible, you will be subject to co-insurance which varies from plan to plan. Please call your insurance company to make sure you understand what will be expected of you.
If you have insurance, you will be responsible for your specialty co-pay. If you do not have insurance, you will be responsible for a $100 fee plus a small fee for any special tests or photographs taken. If Dr. Fante deems it necessary to do a procedure at that time, there will be an additional fee involved.
Yes, Dr. Fante is board certified.
Dr. Fante has tremendous experience in all facets of oculofacial plastic surgery and been in practice for over 20 years He is involved in the educational community and is well aware of the latest technologies. He is open, honest and always willing to answer any specific questions in your consultation.
You will not need a driver for most office appointments. However, virtually all surgeries performed in the office, surgery center, or hospital will be accomplished under sedation, and you will not be able to operate a vehicle afterwards. Please plan to have a driver for those occasions.
Most people, depending on their surgery, will return to work in 7 – 14 days. Some more, some less. This is very dependent upon the type of surgery you need, your occupation, and your compliance to post operative instructions. For some smaller repairs, you might be able to return to work in 2-3 days, particularly if you can work with bruises on your face.
All incisions leave scars. We’re all different when it comes to scarring, and it’s partly determined by our heredity. Some of us form small, faded scars rather easily. Others form larger, more pigmented scars. This is not always easily predictable. However, any prominent scars can be treated by minor follow-up surgery. Dr. Fante makes the incisions as small as possible, and uses natural lines whenever possible so that scars are generally discreet and hidden for the best overall outcome for you.