At Macleod Trail Plastic Surgery, we perform eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) in Calgary to correct sagging, puffy eyelids and help patients appear more youthful and rested. This procedure is quite popular due to its ability to achieve remarkable results with reduced discomfort and downtime. Our Royal College-certified plastic surgeons often combine eyelid surgery with other cosmetic procedures to achieve more comprehensive facial rejuvenation.
If you would like to know if blepharoplasty can help you to look and feel better, request a consultation online to meet with one of our surgeons, or call us at (403) 452-7953 to schedule an appointment.
Eyelid surgery is performed to adjust fat, skin, and muscle to restore smooth eyelids and a more open and alert eye appearance. This procedure is effective if:
Eyelid surgery is typically considered a cosmetic procedure, but it may be considered medically necessary if sagging eyelids are affecting your vision. If heavy, sagging brows are also a concern, your surgeon may choose to combine this procedure with a brow lift.
Blepharoplasty can be performed on your upper or lower eyelids, or both. In most cases a local anesthetic is used to numb the area and a sedative is administered to keep you comfortable throughout the surgery.
Your surgeon will carefully evaluate your underlying musculature and bone structure and other physical factors before beginning the procedure. Incisions made along the natural creases and folds of your lids ensure that scars are undetectable. The surgeon removes excess skin and fat, makes any modifications to underlying muscles, then closes the incisions.
Lower eyelid surgery is an excellent solution if your primary concern is puffiness under the eyes that causes a fatigued look. Bags under the eyes are caused by the shifting of fat in this area, which can be addressed with lower blepharoplasty. An incision made just below the lower lashes is used to remove and reposition fat and skin. As with upper eyelid surgery, the incision is inconspicuous. For patients concerned about a hollowed appearance under the eyes, we may restore volume with fat from another part of the body or with a dermal filler.
Another option for lower eyelid surgery is called transconjunctival blepharoplasty, in which the incision is made inside the lower lid. This is an excellent approach when skin excision isn't required.
We also offer Asian eyelid surgery – also called double eyelid surgery – at our Calgary practice. Blepharoplasty for the Asian eye is a delicate procedure and requires an experienced specialist who understands the unique physical characteristics of Asian eyelids. The surgery reshapes the eyelid to create more definition in the crease and the portion of the lid just above the lash line. As with any procedure, if you are undergoing Asian eyelid surgery, it is important that you and your surgeon are very clear about the results you are hoping to attain. Our surgeons customize the approach based on your aesthetic goals.
Upper blepharoplasty is usually completed within an hour; lower lid procedures can be more involved and may take longer to complete. After the procedure, it is not uncommon for the eyes to be sensitive to light and wind; excessive tearing is common. Your surgeon will provide detailed post-op instructions for you to follow while you are recovering.
Discomfort is usually quite manageable with over-the-counter analgesics. Some swelling and bruising are to be expected, and can be soothed by applying ice packs and using eye drops. Contact lenses may not be worn for 2 weeks.
For lower eyelid surgery, this is a fairly simple decision. If bags or puffiness under the eyelid are present, lower eyelid surgery is the right choice.
For the upper eyelids, it's a bit more complex, because it depends on whether the cause is a droopy brow (brow lift), excess skin above the upper eyelid (upper blepharoplasty), or both. A simple test you can perform at home: Try gently lifting your forehead skin up toward the scalp. This simulates the effect of a brow lift, and can help you decide.
Of course, your surgeon will be happy to help you understand which procedure(s) will be right for you during a consultation.
Your surgeon makes the incision for both upper and lower eyelid surgery along the natural folds of the eyelids. The placement of the incision naturally conceals the scars that do develop. Scars from eyelid surgery will not be visible once they have healed.
Your health and the appearance of your face are much more important than age when judging your eligibility for eyelid surgery. If you have developed sagging skin in the upper eyelid and/or puffiness or bags beneath the lower eyelid, you are likely to be a good candidate for eyelid surgery — no matter your age.
For the majority of eyelid surgery patients, the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan (AHCIP) is not likely to cover the procedure. Cosmetic surgery is not covered unless it is deemed "medically necessary." For a blepharoplasty, this would require the patient to demonstrate significant vision impairment from sagging skin.
Your surgeon can recommend that the surgery be performed to improve your vision, but please understand that this is not a guarantee that AHCIP will cover the procedure.
While it's not ideal, we do allow patients to begin applying makeup 1 week after surgery. This gives the body enough time to seal the incision sites and avoid any painful irritation that either the makeup or makeup remover could cause. That said, if you can avoid wearing makeup for an additional week, that is preferable.