Observing Surgery: Blepharoplasty

24 Feb

Case Study:

Today I watched Dr. Russo perform a blepharoplasty on both the upper and lower lids of a man in his late 50’s. Interesting right? This stuff is not just for women. And before you have any thoughts about it being a gay man you are completely mistaken. This man was a blue-collar, married man.

This patient’s wife, mother, and other relatives had undergone the same procedure. His upper lid was so saggy it impeded his vision tremendously. Genetics plays a large role in how we age, and considering this man had a number of family members who had undergone the procedure, saggy lids clearly ran in his family tree. The women in his family had such great results; the patient was ready to go under the knife. In 3 hours time, he looked about 20 years younger than when he walked in the door, but the most important part for this patient: his vision was improved! He couldn’t believe what a difference it made!


Time:

10:00 am : Patient is given oral sedation and pain medicine. The procedure is done under conscious sedation (patient is awake but comfortable).

11:30 am : Patient has reached adequate level of sedation. Patient is marked on the lids, where Dr. Russo will be cutting, and local anesthesia is injected into the area.

12:30 pm : The right eye is finished. Top and Bottom lids have been cut and stitched. The patient already states his vision is improved! AND he looks 20 years younger!

1:30 pm : The left eye is finished. Top and Bottom lids have been cut and stitched. The patient is shown his results. The eye is then taped at the sides to kept tension off the sutures.

Stats:

Total time of procedure start to finish: 3 ½ hours

Total time taken off patients face: 20 years

Total cost to patient: $5,250 (Upper only is $3,250 and Lower only is $3,250)

Follow up: The patient will return in 1 week to have the “tension tape” taken off and the non-dissolvable stitches removed (both dissolvable and non-dissolvable are used).

Downtime: About a week of being black and blue, and having the tape on your face. Tape is in though… Tape is the new black! (Just kidding).


(From the ASPS website)

Also known as a “Bleph.” The technical term for eyelid surgery. It improves the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both by giving a rejuvenated appearance to the surrounding area of the eyes by removing skin and fat. The result gives a more rested and alert appearance.

Almost 200,000 Bleph procedures were performed in 2011, and it remains in the top 5 most popular cosmetic surgery procedures.


Treatable conditions:

  • Upper eyelid surgery can remove excess fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the upper eyelids.
  • Loose or sagging skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid, sometimes impairing vision (like in the case study!), can be treated by eyelid lift surgery.
  • Lower eyelid blepharoplasty can remove excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid.
  • Bags under the eyes can be corrected by blepharoplasty.
  • Lower eyelid surgery can correct droopiness of the lower eyelids, showing white below the iris (colored portion of the eye).

Is it right for me?

A blepharoplasty procedure is usually performed on adult men and women who have healthy facial tissue and muscles and have realistic goals for improvement of the upper and/or lower eyelids and surrounding area.

You should undergo blepharoplasty surgery for yourself, not to fulfill someone else’s desires or to try to fit any sort of ideal image.

Good candidates for cosmetic eyelid surgery are:

  • Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
  • Non-smokers
  • Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for blepharoplasty
  • Individuals without serious eye conditions

You must tell your doctor if you have any of these medical conditions:

  • Eye disease such as glaucoma, dry eye or a detached retina
  • Thyroid disorders such as Graves’ disease and under or overactive thyroid
  • Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure or other circulatory disorders or diabetes

Prevention

If sagging lids run in your family, there are things you can do to prevent going under the knife. Botox is used to lift the lid (but it can only lift so much). Ulthera is also being used as an alternative to surgery. But remember, non-invasive and minimally invasive treatments won’t give you the extent of the result surgery will. If you start doing this alternative procedures at a younger age (say mid 30’s) you are more likely to prevent the need for surgery.

Dr. Russo believes these procedures (Botox and Ultherapy) are also great to use in conjunction with surgery. Botox treatment prior to surgery will help keep tension off the sutures. Ultherapy post treatment will help tighten the skin and stimulate collagen production to give the best result.

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6 Responses to “Observing Surgery: Blepharoplasty”

  1. Lynda May 16, 2012 at 3:31 pm #

    My cousin had this procedure done due to limited vision as well. She was so thrilled by the improvement in her eyesight, and of course her appearance and helping her to not look so tired! This is a common genetic problem in my family as well and I’d LOVE to have it done. If the vision is impaired too much, there is also the possibility that it is covered by your health insurance! Cool beans! 🙂

  2. botox March 11, 2013 at 6:53 pm #

    Its like you read my mind! You seem to know a lot about this, like you wrote the book in it
    or something. I think that you could do with some pics to
    drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that,
    this is excellent blog. A great read. I will certainly be back.

    • bostonbeautyblog April 20, 2013 at 7:07 am #

      Thanks Botox! Sounds like we would be friends!!! Unfortunately, most people don’t want me taking pictures of them during surgery! Also it’s a confidentiality issue. Also, I am assisting a surgeon during this time… and my hands are full of hooks and needles and such… But trust me… otherwise I’d be all up in there with my droid taking pictures.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Why I Chose To Have an Eyelid Lift « bostonbeautyblog - August 28, 2012

    […] Whether one is looking to treat their upper lid, lower lid, or both, this procedure is generally the same.  Blepharoplasty is usually performed under local anesthesia in an office or hospital setting.  I’ve assisted Dr. Russo in many bleph’s at his office (Observing Surgery: Blepharoplasty). […]

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