Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure to remove excess fat and skin from the eyelid to make the appearance more youthful. Many of these operations are completed at Bay Area Plastic Surgery each year by board-certified cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Leonard Gray. In the upper eyelid area, either a scalpel or a laser can be used as a cutting instrument. It is important to place the incisions precisely and symmetrically so that they lie in the crease and make any scarring difficult to detect. Dr. Gray always uses magnification telescopes and calipers to ensure accuracy during this cosmetic procedure.
Lower eyelid surgery is by nature a conservative cosmetic operation. Over the past 5 years, Dr. Gray has made an effort to remove less fat or no fat from the lower lid unless there is significant excess. Fat repositioning can be performed. Quite often Dr. Gray uses a filler, such as Belotero®, to fill the depression under the lower lid, and to restore the original contour to the lower lid area. Fat can be used as well in this area but it is less precise and predictable, and has a significantly longer recovery time.
"Second Time Around - Dr Gray performed my surgery 18 years ago and back then I knew he was the best . My results were incredible and his office was so welcoming and kind. I have moved out of the country to Europe but knew I would only trust him once again . Almost 20 years later the office staff still remains the best Cherisse his nurse is one of a kind and makes the whole process seamless even from out of town. I felt like I knew her for years. I did all my communication through emails until the surgery. So anyone who is considering from out of town it can be done. And Dr Gray is the best out there im sure of it, on a scale of 1-10 I give him a 11! I would very confidentially say he's probably the Picasso of plastic surgery and a real perfectionist."- K. / RealSelf / Aug 27, 2017
"This review is for my consultation only. The women who worked the front desk were so kind and welcoming. Made me feel really comfortable. Reading through the other reviews, it makes it very hard for me to believe that these people had a bad experience. Dr. Gray walked through his office like it was his home and treating everyone in it like they were part of his family. My consultation with him went above and beyond my expectations. He was very thorough and had very kind bedside manner. Sometimes when I read bad reviews, I will look at those people's profile to see what else they have reviewed and more times than not I will see that that person just can't be happy no matter what...anyways, this was for a consultation only, and mine was amazing."- L.N. / Yelp / Jun 29, 2017
"Amazing perfectionist plastic surgeon - I am so happy I found Dr. Gray! He is amazing and so is everyone at his office. One of my implants broke (it was 10 year old). I had a consultation and decided to remove them and then go back after I am done having kids for new implants and more work if need it. I am very happy with my results. Dr. Gray is a perfectionist. You can barely see the scar - it's been 3 weeks! The prices were..."- C. / RealSelf / May 27, 2017
"Amazing! - Ive had a few surgeries with Dr. Gray for breast implants. Going smaller then larger and small again. Dr. Gray and his nurse Cherrisse are wonderful. He is a talented surgeon and I have several friends who have had surgery with Dr. Gray all with perfect results. I trust him because I know I will be safe and have a beautiful outcome. He is also my go to for botox."- B. / RealSelf / May 21, 2017
"Dr Gray did my surgery in 2010 and I am still extremely happy with the results, he was patient and available for several follow up appointments and his skills are incomparable, no scars and a very natural feeling. I definitely recommend him!"- V.B. / Google / May 21, 2017
The procedure may either be performed on the upper eyelid only or the lower lid, or both. There will be a difference in approaches when it comes to the upper and lower eyelids but the method is similar; removing any loose skin or tissue, and extracting or repositioning the fat deposit. There will also be separate incisions spots. It is important to understand that this will not help with other cosmetic issues such as crow’s feet, wrinkles or dark circles. The results of an eyelid surgery are fairly isolated within the upper and lower lid section only. There are other procedures that can be combined, for example the use of BOTOX®, to create a maximized outcome.
Upper Eyelid Surgery
The most common problem with the upper eyelid is excess skin that droops and hangs over the eyes. Not only does this look unappealing, but it can also obstruct vision for a patient. The doctor will create an incision along the natural fold of the eyelid and extract any excess fat and tissue to remove any bulges. Dr. Gray will remove a conservative amount of fat to improve the appearance but not so much to make the eye appear sunken. He buries his stitches along the suture line to avoid any stitch marks.
Lower Eyelid Surgery
There are two options for incisions when it comes to lower eyelid surgery. This treatment will improve any appearance of bulging and sagging below the eye. Incisions may be made just slightly below the lash line and excess fat, tissue or skin will be excised. Skin excision from this area also has to be conservative. Often times, Dr. Gray will use the Fractional CO2 Resurfacing laser to tighten the skin, remove fine wrinkles, and eliminate a crepe-like skin appearance. This resurfacing procedure, done in stages, can tighten the skin 3mm and is commonly known as the Madonna Eyelid Lift. If the skin has retained good elasticity, a transconjunctival incision may be a better option as the cut is made inside the lower eyelid, which effectively makes any resulting scar concealed.
Eyelid surgery is performed with general anesthesia. If the procedure involves both upper and lower eyelids, the plastic surgeon will typically manage the upper eyelid first. On average, it takes 1 – 2 hours to complete the operation. The patient will be sent home for recovery. For the first few days, there will be swelling and discoloration around the area. It is advised that the head is elevated for the first few days. Pain medications and antibiotics will be prescribed to manage the initial discomfort. Strenuous activities must also be restricted.
Plan Your Procedure
- Average Cost
- $4,000 - $6,000
- Recovery Time
- 4 Weeks
- Average Procedure Time
- 2-3 Hours
- Post-op Follow-up
- 4 Months
- Procedure Recovery Location
Eyelid Surgery FAQs
Eyelid surgery, whether upper or lower, generally does not cause visible scarring. This is because the surgeon takes great care to ensure that the incisions are made within the natural lines and folds of the eyes. Once the surgical healing has passed, the incisions will not be noticeable even to the naked eye.
Wrinkles and Crow's Feet?
Crow’s feet and forehead wrinkles are better treated with procedures such as a facelift, browlift or a cheek lift as the results of the eyelid surgery are confined to the eyelids only. Eyelid surgery can also be combined with a nonsurgical procedure such as BOTOX, which combats wrinkles on the forehead and around the eyes. An injectable filler can also be effective because it adds volume to hollow areas for a softer, smoother appearance.
Complications and irritations after surgery are rare. Patients must strictly adhere to care instructions prescribed by the surgeon to minimize any risks of infection as the eyes can be sensitive after surgery. Patients must always take precaution of protecting the eyes from the sun and wind during the first few weeks of recovery.
Blepharoplasty not only corrects a cosmetic issue, but a functional one as well. Many patients with excess hanging skin on their upper eyelid are able to regain normal vision after surgery. For many, simply applying makeup without maneuvering around the excess skin is refreshing in and of itself.