Is Cosmetic Eye Surgery Worth it?
One of the biggest age defining giveaways is in the eyes. However, with the many types of cosmetic eye surgery options, these facial feature tattle tails can be better silenced. Nonetheless, choosing a qualified, experienced and board-certified plastic surgeon is essential for promising and safe results.
As a person matures, there are some common ways the eyes begin to reveal their age, including droopy or heavy eyelids, dark and puffy under eye circles, and (the almost always despised) crow’s feet. Below is a list of some surgical eye procedures to help reduce these aesthetic annoyances.
Types of Cosmetic Eye Surgery Procedures Available:
Blepharoplasty (aka: Eyelid Surgery) – This aesthetic procedure is available for both upper and lower eyelids. An upper blepharoplasty is one of the most common types of cosmetic surgery for eye wrinkles. It helps to alter droopy or heavy eyelids by removing excess skin, muscle and fat from the upper lids. A lower blepharoplasty procedure is a cosmetic surgery for under eye bags. By improving sagging eyelids and puffy lower lids, eyes are significantly brightened creating a more youthful appearance.
Canthopexy – The canthopexy procedure is sometimes referred to as Cat Eye Cosmetic Surgery but is less invasive than the alternative Canthoplasty procedure. With this type of treatment, the lateral canthal tendon is tightened without cutting tissue. Patients opt for this type of treatment to correct certain eyelid deformities or to change the appearance of the eye shape. There are two different types of Canthopexy procedures, Lateral Canthopexy and Medial Canthopexy. Lateral Canthopexy is a procedure to tighten the lower eyelid addressing an outward turning of the eyelid. A Medial Canthopexy procedure addresses the corner of the eye and is not as commonly used as the Lateral.
- Canthoplasty – This procedure is also sometimes referred to as Cat Eye Cosmetic Surgery and involves reshaping the canthus, which is the corner part of the eye in the area where the lower and upper eyelids connect. Patients who are interested in cosmetic surgery for bigger eyes (or for altering the shape of their eyes) may consider this option. This procedure is also helpful for increasing peripheral vision, tightening drooping or sagging eyelids, balancing the appearance of both eyelids, and for providing treatments for other bothersome conditions. There are two types of Canthoplasty: Lateral Canthoplasty and Epi-Canthoplasty. Lateral Canthoplasty is the process of reconstructing the outer corner of the eye pointing towards the
Eyebrow Lift (aka: Brow Lift) – This is another type of cosmetic surgery for eye wrinkles. The Brow Lift is a permanent procedure that repositions the forehead to tighten the face and reduce wrinkles. This is an extremely popular procedure that creates a more youthful appearance to rid angry or tired looking eyes. It helps to remove creases, lines and wrinkles within the patient’s forehead, nose bridge, and between the eyebrows. Often times, brow lifts are performed in unison with other cosmetic procedures, such as facelifts, neck lifts, upper and lower eyelid surgery.
Fat Transfer for Under Eye Bags – A Fat transfer under the eyes is another type of cosmetic surgery for eye bags. This type of procedure also addresses other aesthetic concerns related to under the eyes, such as sunken or hollow eyes; as well as dealing with fine lines and wrinkles. With fat transfer under eyes treatments, the surgeon will use liposuction to harvest unwanted fat from the patient’s body. The most common areas of the body where fat is harvested from include the abdomen, buttocks, and thigh areas. The fat is taken from these areas and then processed to remove the impurities, damaged cells, and excess fluids. Afterwards, the fat is injected into the areas around the eyes. This procedure may also be performed with injectable fillers, but using fat is safer and a more permanent solution.
Does Cosmetic Eye Surgery Hurt?
As with any type of surgery, this question would be answered differently based on each individual patient who has undergone a cosmetic eye surgery procedure. Everyone has a different threshold for pain. But the surgeon’s own techniques will also play a role in the level of pain involved throughout the surgical procedure.
Most cosmetic eye surgeries are performed with local anesthesia with sedation. The eye area for surgery is numbed and a sedative is provided to help the patient to relax. There may be some pressure or discomfort experienced, but the procedure should not be painful.
Cosmetic Eye Surgery Recovery
Again, the recovery for cosmetic eye surgery will depend on each individual patient and the type of procedure performed. However, with all cosmetic eye surgeries, there are issues to be considered and important aspects to be aware of ahead of time.
What to Expect During Recovery:
- Bruising and Swelling – Bruising and swelling around the eyes may last anywhere from several days to a few weeks. The best methods to help relieve these symptoms is to keep your head elevated and to apply ice packs and cold compresses to the eyes.
- Eye Drops, Ointments and Sunglasses – Most surgeons will prescribe or recommend specific eye drops and ointments to help keep the eyes moist and hydrated sufficiently and safely protected. Sunglasses will also be required to guard your eyes from wind, light and harmful UV rays throughout your recovery period.
- Pain and Discomfort – The pain and discomfort following cosmetic eye surgery should be mild and manageable with over-the-counter medications. Your plastic surgeon will be helpful in deciphering which medications will provide the best results.
- Post-Operative Instructions – Your surgeon will provide a list of guidelines for your aftercare. It is imperative that you follow these instructions; and to be sure you are present for all required follow-up appointments.
- Plenty of Rest – As with any type of surgery, getting a lot of rest is crucial during the initial recovery period. The patient will want to avoid strenuous activities, including any type of lifting, bending or doing anything that will strain the eyes.
- Refrain from Wearing Eye Makeup – Avoiding any type of makeup around the eyes is highly recommended throughout your recovery period to prevent irritation and infection. Consult with your surgeon for a more specific time frame.
- Removal of Stitches – For cosmetic eye surgery procedures that involve stitches, these will typically be removed within one to two weeks following most types of eye surgeries.
Cosmetic Eye Surgery Recovery Time
It’s important for patients to understand that it may take several weeks for a complete recovery from cosmetic eye surgery. In order to keep maintain your health and to achieve the best results, it will be imperative for patients to follow the post-operative guidelines specific from their surgeon and to remain patient throughout their recovery.
Below is a List of Recovery Timelines Based on the Types of Cosmetic Eye Surgery Procedures Performed:
- Blepharoplasty: Patients can expect significant bruising and swelling for the first week following Blepharoplasty surgery but should improve within the next few following weeks. Stitches will most likely be removed within three to seven days. Any type of strenuous activities will need to be avoided for several weeks, but patients should be able to return to work within one to two weeks.
- Canthopexy: The recovery time for this procedure will depend on the extent of the surgery and specific factors. Therefore, it’s important for patients to speak with their surgeons about his or her specific recovery recommendations. Typically, bruising and swelling, as well as pain and discomfort, can be expected the first few days following Canthopexy surgery. The surgeon will prescribe pain medications. Strenuous activities will need to be avoided for about a month. Bruising and swelling will subside gradually but will likely be noticeable for several weeks. Scarring may be noticeable for up to six months but should eventually fade over time. Regular eye exams should be scheduled to maintain the best eye health.
- Canthoplasty: The recovery time for this procedure will depend on the extent of the surgery, healing factors, and the types of techniques used during surgery. Patients should ask their surgeon for his or her specific recovery recommendations. But on average, recovery times for a Canthoplasty procedure will involve more intensive bruising and swelling and mild to moderate discomfort for the first few days. Pain medication will be prescribed by the surgeon. Stitches are usually removed within the first week. The bruising and swelling will lessen as time progresses, but patients may still see some noticeable swelling for up to one to three months. After approximately two to four weeks, patients can return to work and resume normal activities.
- Eyebrow Lift: The Brow Lift procedure will cause bruising and swelling to be at its worst in the first few days following the surgery but should improve over the next few weeks. Stiches are typically removed within one to two weeks. Patients usually can return to work within one to two weeks. And regular activities can be resumed within a few weeks in most cases.
- Fat Transfer for Eye Bags: Again, recovery times for the Fat Transfer Eyes procedure will depend on the patient, each individual surgery, and its surgeon. And specified recovery recommendations from the surgeon should be sought after. However, bruising and swelling will be at its peak for a few days following the surgery. Patients will need to rest well and refrain from any type of vigorous activities. Within one to two weeks, many who received this treatment will be able to go back to work and resume regular activities. It may take several weeks for all bruising and swelling to dissipate. And it may take a few months for the patient to see the results.
How Common are Eye Cosmetic Surgery Complications?
Any type of cosmetic surgery will have its risks and downtime. The chances of complications and the number of incidences is highly dependent on several factors, including the patient’s existing overall health before, during and after the surgery. Other important aspects to consider are the skills, experience and certification of the plastic surgeon who is performing the procedure. And finally, the patient’s observance and commitment to following the post-operative instructions provided by the surgeon.
Below are some of the potential risks associated with cosmetic eye surgery:
- Allergic Reactions to anesthesia and medications are possible.
- Bacterial Infections may occur that are caused by different types of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Symptoms can include chills, fever, pain, redness, and swelling.
- Drooping Eyelids (aka: Ptosis) can be temporary but sometimes permanent.
- Dry Eyes are mostly temporary, but in some rare cases could be long term.
- Hematoma (blood outside blood vessels) may occur and may require drainage.
- Scarring can occur but mostly with procedures involving incisions.
- Subtle Differences in the Appearance of the Eyes could occur.
- Vision Problems which may include blurred or double vision are possible.
Because there are these risks involved with cosmetic surgery, it is extremely important that you do your homework and select a qualified, experienced, and board-certified plastic surgeon. Most complications for cosmetic eye surgery (and other types of cosmetic surgery) are due to inexperienced or unqualified surgeons. Problems could also be instigated by patients not following pre-op and post-operative instructions.
What Percentage of Patients are Happy with their Cosmetic Eye Surgery Results?
This question is better answered by plastic surgeons on an individual basis because more skilled surgeons will obviously provide better results. Also, each surgeon uses different techniques. However, more people are undergoing cosmetic surgery today than ever before. There are more advanced techniques and products available. And many men and women alike are enjoying their results.
Another key factor of whether patients will be satisfied with their plastic surgery results is the time a surgeon takes before procedures to discuss the patients’ aesthetic and health goals. In addition, knowing the patients’ pre-existing health status will also be important.
Men and women should consider the severity of their cosmetic concerns before making a final decision to undergo plastic surgery. And take the time to understand the experience, techniques and previous recommendations reported by previous patients of the plastic surgeon they seek out to perform their surgery.
Schedule a Consultation for Cosmetic Eye Surgery in Miami
Dr. Constantino Mendieta is one of the world’s leading plastic surgeons. He and his highly experienced team at his Miami center for plastic surgery are available to answer all your questions and concerns. Call today to find out more about cosmetic eye surgery at 305-860-0717. You may also contact us online. We offer a full menu of surgical and non-surgical cosmetic treatments.