Eyelid Surgery Procedure

Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, improves the look of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both. It results in visibly rejuvenating the eyelid(s) and surrounding area with a less tired and more youthful appearance.

Enhancing Your Appearance With Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid Surgery Can Improve:

  • Sagging or loose skin that causes folds or interrupts the natural shape of the upper eyelid, which may impair vision
  • Appearance of puffiness in the upper eyelids created by excess fat
  • Bags under the eyes
  • Drooping of the lower eyelids, which makes the white of the eye show below the iris (colored area)
  • Visible wrinkles and excess skin in the lower eyelid

Should I Consider Eyelid Surgery?

If you are an adult woman or man with facial muscles and tissue that are healthy, and you have realistic ideas for what you want improved with your upper and/or lower eyelids and the surrounding area, than you may want to consider eyelid surgery. 

The decision to have this procedure should be yours alone and not to please someone else, or to try to fit into an unrealistic image of yourself.

Ideally, For Eyelid Surgery You Should:

  • Be in overall, good health and without medical conditions or a life-threatening illness that might impede the healing process
  • Be a non-smoker
  • Have a good outlook and realistic results in mind
  • Not have any serious eye conditions

Be Sure to Tell Dr. Van Natta If You Have:

  • Any eye diseases like dry eye, a detached retina, or glaucoma
  • An overactive or underactive thyroid, or a thyroid disorder like Graves’ disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Any circulatory disorders

What To Expect During Your Consultation With Dr. Bruce Van Natta

A safe and successful eyelid surgery depends very much on being completely candid during your consultation. Be sure to address any problems, concerns and questions with Dr. Van Natta. He will ask you a number of questions about your health, desires and lifestyle.

Be Prepared To Discuss:

  • Why you want eyelid surgery, your expectations and desired outcome
  • Medical conditions, drug allergies and previous medical treatments
  • Use of current medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs
  • Previous surgeries you have had

 Dr. Van Natta May Also:

  • Evaluate your general health status and any pre-existing health conditions or risk factors
  • Take photographs for your medical record
  • Discuss likely outcomes of eyelid surgery and any risks or potential complications
  • Discuss the type of anesthesia that will be used

Preparing For Eyelid Surgery

Prior To Surgery, You May Be Asked To:

  • Get lab testing or a medical evaluation
  • Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
  • Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
  • Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they can increase bleeding

Special Instructions You Receive Will Cover:

  • What to do the night before and the morning of surgery
  • The use of anesthesia during your procedure
  • Post-operative care and follow-up

Your procedure will be performed at Meridian Plastic Surgery Center, an accredited office-based surgical center, utilizing seasoned, board certified anesthesiologists from St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana.

You’ll Need Help

Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and to stay with you for at least the first night following surgery.

What Happens During Eyelid Surgery?

Step 1 – Anesthesia

You will have general anesthesia administered by a board-certified anesthesiologist.

Step 2 – Incisions

The incisions for blepharoplasty are designed for scars to be well hidden within the natural shape of your eyelid area. 

Any droopiness of your upper eyelid will be corrected through an incision in the natural crease of your upper eyelid. Depending on what needs to be corrected, deposits of fat will be repositioned, tissues and muscles will be tightened, and/or excess skin will be removed.

  Bleph I

 Bleph II

 Bleph III

An incision concealed in the inside of the lower eyelid (transconjunctival) is Dr. Van Natta’s preferred approach to improve the lower eyelid area and either remove or reposition any excess fat.

Bleph IV

Bleph V

(Illustrations courtesy of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons)

Step 3 – Incision Closing

Upper eyelid incisions are usually closed with removable sutures. For lower lid surgery with the incision on the inside of the eyelid, Dr. Van Natta uses no sutures. He also often recommends performing a laser peel procedure during blepharoplasty to help smooth fine wrinkles and improve skin texture of the lower eyelids.

Step 4 – Seeing Results

Your desired results from eyelid surgery will gradually appear as the bruising and swelling from the procedure diminish. You will enjoy a smoother, better-defined eyelid and surrounding area as well as a well-rested and more youthful appearance.

Eyelid Surgery Risks and Complications, Important Facts You Should Know

Your decision to have eyelid surgery is ultimately yours alone to make. You will need to decide if the benefits of achieving your desired results outweigh any of the potential risks and possible complications of having this procedure.

Dr. Van Natta and/or his staff will discuss all of the possible risks and complications of eyelid surgery with you during your consultation. Once you feel comfortable that all of your questions are answered, and you fully understand the risks and complications of this procedure, you will need to sign consent forms.

Eyelid Surgery Risks And Complications Are:

  • Scarring
  • Impaired or blurred vision (temporary)
  • Dry eyes
  • Difficulty in closing your eyes
  • The lower eyelid may be pulled down (lid lag) and is typically temporary
  • The eyelid may roll outwards (Ectropion)
  • Bleeding, hematoma
  • Treatment area that heals poorly
  • Wound area becomes Infected
  • Accumulation of fluid
  • Changes in skin sensation, or numbness
  • Risks associated with using anesthetics
  • Persistent pain
  • Swelling and/or discoloration of your skin
  • Extremely rare occurrences of cardiac and pulmonary complications and deep vein thrombosis
  • Possibility of additional surgery (for revisions)
  • Extremely rare occurrence of loss of eyesight

These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with Dr. Van Natta. It is normal to feel anxious, whether excitement for the anticipated outcomes or preoperative stress. Be sure to discuss your feelings with Dr. Van Natta during your consultation.

After You Are Home

As with any surgical procedure, if you experience any of the following symptoms when you get home: pains in your chest, labored or difficulty breathing, and/or unusual beating of your heart, please get medical attention right away. You may need to be hospitalized and receive additional treatment.

Although good results with your eyelid surgery should be expected, in some cases it may not be possible to achieve your desired results with one surgery. It may be possible that another surgery is necessary.

Your Recovery

Following Dr. Van Natta’s instructions is crucial to achieving your desired eyelid surgery results. Do not subject your incisions to the following: motion, abrasion, or excessive force as they are in the healing process. Dr. Van Natta will give you detailed instructions on how best to care for yourself after surgery.

After your surgery, cold compresses and lubricating ointment may need to be applied.

Specific Instructions Are:

  • Caring for your eyes
  • Applying topical medications to taking oral medications that help healing and reduce the risk of infection
  • Checking your incisions for concerns as well as noticing any changes in your general health
  • Following-up with Dr. Van Natta

Bruising, swelling, irritation or dry eyes and some discomfort may be initially noticeable as you start to heal. These symptoms can be minimized by the use of cold compresses, ointment and medication. It is also possible to notice irritation at your incision sites. Be sure to ask Dr. Van Natta specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.

It is imperative to wear darkly tinted sunglasses until your eyes are completely healed. 

Long-Lasting Results

Your eyelid surgery results will generally appear within the first several weeks following your procedure. It is important to note however, it could take up to one year for your incision lines to become fully refined.

Eyelid surgery will improve most conditions permanently, however, you will continue to age. In order to create long-lasting results it is important to continue with life-long protection from the sun.

Eyelid Surgery Costs

As an elective surgery, the cost of eyelid surgery should always be considered. Pricing for eyelid surgery can vary widely according to which procedures are done, how much time is required and whether or not the eyelid surgery is being done in conjunction with other procedures. We will give you a detailed list of the charges at the time of your consultation with Dr. Van Natta.

Ask us about our patient financing plans.

Eyelid Surgery Costs Are:

  • Fee for your surgeon
  • Cost of the surgical facility
  • Fees for using anesthetics
  • Prescription medications
  • Medical testing

Your Eyelid Surgery Satisfaction Includes More Than Cost

When you are in the process of deciding which plastic surgeon should perform your procedure, it is important to include the surgeon’s experience and your comfort level with him or her. These factors are just as important as the final cost of the surgery. And remember, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. Cosmetic surgery is not a place to try to cut corners.

Please check with your health insurance provider, most plans do not cover cosmetic surgery or its complications.

Eyelid Surgery Glossary

  • Blepharoplasty: Eyelid surgery to improve the appearance of upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both
  • Ectropion: When the lower eyelid is rolled outward after eyelid surgery; often a temporary condition.
  • General anesthesia: Drugs and/or gases used during an operation to relieve pain and alter consciousness.
  • Hematoma: Blood pooling beneath the skin.
  • Transconjunctival incision: Incision hidden inside the lower eyelid.
  • Skin resurfacing: Treatment to improve the texture, clarity and overall appearance of your skin.
  • Sutures: Stitches used by surgeons to hold skin and tissue together.

Things You Should Know About Dr. Van Natta:

  • He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
  • He was specifically trained in the field of plastic surgery
  • He has 5 years of general surgery training and 2 ½ years of plastic surgery training.
  • He has been in private practice for 25 years.
  • His surgical facility, Meridian Plastic Surgery Center, is accredited by a nationally recognized accrediting agency, and it is state-licensed and Medicare-certified.
  • He also has hospital privileges to perform this procedure at St. Vincent Hospital.

We encourage you to check out Dr. Van Natta’s eyelid surgery before and after pictures.