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Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a procedure done to improve the appearance of the eyes by removing skin and fat from the eyelids to create a more youthful and rested look.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons there were 206,509 eyelid surgeries performed in 2014.
- Reasons for Eyelid Surgery
- Make eyes appear more youthful
- Remove excess or sagging skin that may interfere with vision
- Reduce puffiness of eyes
- Reverse effects of ptosis (drooping upper eyelid)
- Improve drooping eyelids
- Restore eyelid after diseases like cancer or after trauma injuries
Some people of Asian descent choose to have a double-eyelid surgery, also called an Asian blepharoplasty, to create an upper and lower eyelid with a crease (a double eyelid) instead of the single eyelid some people have. This procedure is more popular outside the United States in places like South Korea.
Eyelid surgery will not affect wrinkles around the eyes (crows feet), the position of the eyebrows, or the position of the upper cheek connected to the lower eyelid.
Eyelid Surgery Procedure
Before surgery patients will discuss their expected outcome with their doctor, and decide on an upper eyelid procedure, lower eyelid procedure, or both. Eyelid surgery is an outpatient procedure that is usually done under local anesthetics, though general anesthesia may sometimes be used. The procedure can take up to three hours.
During the procedure the surgeon will make an incision either in the fold of the upper eyelid, or right below the eyelashes of the lower eyelid or just inside the lower eyelid. The process will change depending on the procedure chosen. After making an incision, the doctor will remove fat, tissue, muscle, and skin, and close the incision. Alternative methods, like lasers to tighten and smooth skin, may be used. The procedure should leave almost no scar.
Patients usually need less than two weeks of recovery time after eyelid surgery. The procedure is typically permanent, though the effects of aging may change the results.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports the average cost of eyelid surgery in 2014 as $2,874. Most health insurance companies will not cover the surgery because it is an elective cosmetic procedure.
Risks of Eyelid Surgery
- Temporary or permanent changes in vision like blurriness
- Complications with anesthesia
- Hematoma or blood pooling under skin
- Difficulty closing eyes
- Changes in the sensation of surrounding skin
- Dissatisfaction with results
- Damage to eyes
Doctors need to discuss all possible risks with patients before patients agree to the procedure.
Malpractice in Eyelid Surgery
Not all complications during eyelid surgery are the result of malpractice. Doctors are required to provide a specific standard of care to their patients. Only when doctors breach this standard is malpractice a possibility.
Eyelid surgery can dramatically alter the look of the face and have major effects on a patient’s confidence levels. It is important for patients to discuss their expected outcomes with their doctors and have a realistic understanding of what the procedure will accomplish.
If you or a loved one has suffered negligence during eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty, call Gilman & Bedigian today. Knowing what to do after a serious medical injury can be overwhelming. The experienced attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian have the track record of success you need.