Austin, TX




Blepharoplasty Before and After Photos

Blepharoplasty Before and After Photos

*Each patient is unique and individual results may vary.

Austin Surgeons

Doctors Edward Buckingham and Erin Smith offer Blepharoplasty solutions for patients in Austin & Sunset Valley, TX. Commonly referred to as eyelid lift surgery, upper and lower blepharoplasty are performed by a facial plastic surgeon to address extraneous tissue around the eyes that detracts from a person’s appearance. The surgery can reshape the eye area through the manipulation of underlying muscles and fat and the removal of extra skin. Blepharoplasty successfully addresses hooded eyelids, under eye bags, and local wrinkles to restore vitality to a patient’s appearance. Dr. Edward D. Buckingham of Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Austin, Texas, specializes in the blepharoplasty procedure.

Types of Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)

Upper Blepharoplasty

While both upper and lower lids can be treated with blepharoplasty, some patients are merely concerned with the appearance and function of the upper eyelids. In such cases, Dr. Buckingham may opt to perform upper blepharoplasty to treat prolapsed fat pockets and redundant skin of the lid. When excess loose, hanging skin results in eyelid ptosis, the muscle that controls eyelid movement can be tightened for best results.

Typically, an incision is hidden in the natural eyelid crease so the doctor can access the tissues below the skin’s surface. He can view the tissues that create the look of a puffy or creped upper eyelid to make the necessary adjustments with a thermal scalpel. Upper blepharoplasty has evolved, and Dr. Buckingham judiciously approaches fatty pockets to prevent over-reduction, which can lead to a hollowed appearance of the upper eye area. Finally, the doctor can trim away extra skin, tighten remaining tissues, and suture the surgical incisions.

Lower Blepharoplasty

As the title of the surgery implies, lower blepharoplasty is performed to address cosmetic concerns underneath the eyes. Before surgery there are things you need to know about blepharoplasty so you have the correct information. As people age, the fatty tissue of the lower lid shifts forward and interacts with fat of the upper cheek area, which forms shadows that appear as dark circles. This accumulation of fat can also cause under eye bags.

During lower blepharoplasty, under eye bagginess and extra skin are surgically altered to rejuvenate the eye area. An incision is created, typically under the lower lash line or inside the lower eyelid, which is referred to as the transconjunctival method. The doctor can then redistribute, trim, or remove the fat pads that cause puffiness and modify muscle and skin of the area.

In patients who have always noticed the appearance of a full under eye, the fat pad will likely be removed altogether for the best results. In other individuals, the protruding affect is caused by gravitational descent of the cheek fat pad, which then covers the lower eyelid bone. It often forms a curved groove under the eyelid referred to as a tear trough. In these cases, the tear trough also must be addressed through transconjunctival incisions. Oftentimes, an autologous fat transfer (transferring fat harvested from the lower body) is utilized to maximize the result of lower eyelid blepharoplasty. Please see our fat transfer section for more information.

Blepharoplasty Aftercare

Adhering to the doctor’s postoperative plan minimizes potential post blepharoplasty complications and creates a more comfortable healing process.

Dr. Buckingham may prescribe an antibiotic cream to apply topically to the affected area, anti-inflammatory medications, and the use of a cold compress for 2-3 days. Both pain and swelling are expected to subside within a few days following blepharoplasty surgery, but it can take a month or longer for the final results to present. Patients can return to their regular schedules within a week following blepharoplasty.

Ideal Candidates for Eyelid Surgery

It is often aging individuals wishing to rejuvenate their appearance who have experienced changes to the eyelids caused by sun damage, gravity, and other natural elements of aging who request the procedure.

They may also find that blinking has become uncomfortable due to the extra or misplaced tissues. Extra upper eyelid skin can also obstruct a person’s vision, in which case blepharoplasty may be a medical necessity.

It is common for blepharoplasty patients of all ages to explain that their eyes emote a sad or tired look, which does not express their true emotions. While eyelid lift surgery is more commonly performed on patients in the middle to later years of their life, genetics in younger individuals may create similar issues. Bulky tissues around the eyes can contribute to premature aging concerns.

Candidates for the surgery must be healthy enough to undergo the procedure as it does require anesthesia and in most cases light sedation. Prospective blepharoplasty patients should be informed of the extent of changes the procedure can create, possible risks, and the aftercare process. Because blepharoplasty will directly impact tissues of the eye area, certain skin or eye diseases may preclude someone from this form of cosmetic treatment.

Additional Plastic Surgeries

Blepharoplasty is generally performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia in one to two hours, and patients can return home when the surgery has been completed. The doctor may require additional anesthetics and time if combinations of facial treatments are performed. In many individuals, the eyes may not be the only facial feature to display unwanted signs of aging.

Blepharoplasty can be combined with an endoscopic forehead lift or midface lift to achieve lasting changes in the underlying structures of the forehead or midface area. Dermal injections and skin resurfacing treatments can also restore vitality to various areas of the face without surgery.

The goal of lower eyelid surgery is to produce a natural youthful contour between the lower eyelid and cheek. Overly aggressive surgery is to be avoided as it leads to an unnatural appearance. Dr. Buckingham often combines lower blepharoplasty with autologous fat transfer and a chemical peel for the lower eyelid skin to maximize the aesthetic results and address crow’s feet (smile lines) around the eyes.

During a consultation with Dr. Buckingham, patients can learn about the various facial cosmetic procedures available for a tailored treatment plan.

Common Blepharoplasty Questions & Answers

What can I expect during a consultation for blepharoplasty?

During your consultation for blepharoplasty, Dr. Buckingham will meet with you and perform a complete facial analysis to determine the best procedure to achieve your desired results. He will also be sure to answer any and all questions that you may have. The doctor may utilize digital imaging or provide photographic results of previous patients to enhance the experience.

Where is the blepharoplasty procedure performed?

Dr. Buckingham performs isolated upper eyelid blepharoplasty in the office with local anesthesia and mild oral sedation. Procedures involving the lower eyelid, forehead, brow or fat transfer are performed in an outpatient facility.

Are there scars after blepharoplasty?

The incisions made for blepharoplasty and their resulting scars are typically hidden or well concealed, either within the natural creases of the upper eyelids or inside of the lower eyelids. As with all of his surgeries, Dr. Buckingham uses the smallest incisions necessary to perform the surgery and places them in discrete, well-camouflaged locations.

Is the blepharoplasty procedure painful?

There is little to no discomfort during the blepharoplasty surgery as modern anesthesia techniques are used. While blepharoplasty may result in a temporary tight or sore feeling of the eyelids, Dr. Buckingham uses special surgical techniques to help minimize post-operative discomfort. Discomfort can be alleviated with medication if necessary.

When are the stitches removed after the blepharoplasty procedure?

Surface sutures are removed around 7 days after your blepharoplasty surgery.

Am I a candidate for eyelid surgery?

Not all surgeons are comfortable performing double eyelid surgery in Asian patients. While we perform that surgery because of our patient population we do not perform it often. The surgery is very similar in many ways to conventional blepharoplasty however other techniques are necessary to create the eyelid crease.

What type of anesthesia is used for blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty is often performed with local anesthesia and other sedation or even general anesthesia if needed. The anesthesia used is based on the procedure chosen and other patient factors which will be determined during the consultation.

How is the actual blepharoplasty procedure performed?

For upper eyelid blepharoplasty, Dr. Buckingham makes a very fine incision within the natural eyelid crease. He then removes excess skin and possibly fatty pockets of the upper eyelid, using a special thermal scalpel to treat the puffy regions. For the lower eyelids, Dr. Buckingham may remove excess lower eyelid fatty tissue through a hidden incision inside of the eyelid. For other patients, it may be necessary to address the tear trough beneath the eyelid puffiness which can be achieved through several different techniques.

How long does the actual blepharoplasty procedure last?

The surgical time for blepharoplasty generally takes anywhere from one to two hours. Longer times may be required if including fat transfer or endoscopic browlit.

Where are the incisions made for blepharoplasty?

For upper eyelid blepharoplasty, a fine incision is made within the natural eyelid crease. For transconjunctival lower eyelid blepharoplasty, a hidden incision is made inside the lower eyelid. When addressing the tear troughs below the lower eyelids, other incisions may be necessary and this will be discussed during consultation.

What is the recovery like after blepharoplasty?

The recovery after blepharoplasty can last anywhere from three or four days, to ten to fourteen days. Patients who receive additional skin resurfacing will have a more lengthy recovery. Bruising and swelling may occur and will fade after one to two weeks. The eyes may feel slightly dry at first, a condition that is relieved with artificial tear use. Usually the patient may wear glasses immediately and may read, however vision is at times slightly blurry. Contact use may be limited depending on the procedure.

How much time will I need to take off from work after blepharoplasty surgery?

Recovery after blepharoplasty can last anywhere from three or four days to as much as ten to fourteen days. Patients may be able to return to work within three to ten days and to their full social activities within one to two weeks. On average, patients are able to return to work within seven to ten days after their blepharoplasty surgery.

How soon after my blepharoplasty surgery can I exercise?

Light walking-type exercise can typically be resumed within one week after blepharoplasty. More strenuous activities may need to be postponed for about two to three weeks as vigorous activities can increase swelling, prolong healing, and risk bleeding.

Would eyelid surgery help the full appearance under my eyes?

A lower eyelid blepharoplasty is the usual procedure to remove eyelid bags. Often there is a teartrough or orbital hollow inferior to the orbital bag. This is usually filled with autologous fat or filler to improve the results.

Is it possible to have an eyelid lift for just one eye to make them more even?

Yes. A droopy eyelid appearance is caused from just excess skin or the eyelid itself may be low. The later is referred to as ptosis (silent “p”). In either case using different techniques the eyelid can be lifted to bring them into symmetry.

Will an eyelid surgery get rid of crow’s feet?

No. Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is intended to improve the contours of the upper or lower eyelid. In upper eyelid surgery, redundant skin and potentially deeper tissue is removed to relieve the overhanging skin. In the lower eyelid surgery is used to remove eyelid bags and if needed the trough of the lower eyelid is filled in with autologous fat or fillers. Crow’s feet are a result of repetitive muscle contraction and skin aging. Therefore that is the treatment. The muscle activity is treated with Botox or Dysport and the skin is treated with a laser or chemical peel.

Will blepharoplasty change the shape of my eye?

In general, our goal is to not change the shape of the eye from what it looked like in youth. If, however, the eye was closed due to significant redundant skin or the lower lid is pulled down due to involutional changes of the skin, then one would expect to see a positive improvement in the shape of the eye with intervention.

Schedule your Consultation Today

Edward D. Buckingham, M.D. is double board certified by The American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and The American Board of Otolaryngology, and he is an expertly qualified facial plastic surgeon. Dr. Erin Smith is a Beverly Hills trained Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon who specializes in both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. The philosophy is that a successful facial plastic surgery begins with a good rapport between the patient and the surgeon and his staff during the consultation and additional appointments. The consultation will include a complete facial analysis to determine the best procedure or combination of treatments to achieve the desired transformation. Patients’ questions and concerns will also be addressed.

Prospective patients are encouraged to call the office to schedule an appointment at their earliest convenience. Call (512) 401-2500 to request a consultation with Dr. Buckingham or Dr. Smith.

Those with busy schedules who prefer email communications can complete Dr. Buckingham’s Patient Contact Form.

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Austin Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) Specialists at Buckingham Center

A blepharoplasty (aka eyelid surgery, an eyelid lift) is a surgical procedure that facial plastic surgeons perform to address the signs of aging around the eyes (e.g., drooping upper eyelids, bags beneath the eyes). A blepharoplasty procedure can also be used to reconstruct or repair an individual’s eyelid. At The Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery, Dr. Edward D. Buckingham and Dr. Erin Smith, who are two of the top facial plastic surgeons in the Austin, Texas, area, perform cosmetic, functional and Asian blepharoplasty procedures. After surgery, their patients look younger and appear well rested.

What Signs of Aging Can Eyelid Surgery in Austin, Texas, Address?

The eyes themselves can reveal whether an individual is happy, sad, exhausted or full of energy. Since the delicate tissues surrounding the eyes usually succumb to the natural-aging process before the other facial features, men and women of all ages are choosing to rejuvenate their eyes with blepharoplasty procedures.

Issues that facial plastic surgeons can address with a cosmetic blepharoplasty include bags or a sunken-in look beneath the eyes, as well as droopy or hooded upper eyelids and local wrinkles. During an eyelid lift, Drs. Buckingham and Smith can reshape the patient’s eye area by tightening the eyelid muscle, manipulating underlying fat and muscle, as well as by removing excess skin.

Who Should Consider Having an Eyelid Lift?

Most of the time, the men and women who choose to have a blepharoplasty are those who would like their eyes to appear more youthful and energized. In addition, people who find blinking to be uncomfortable because of misplaced or an excessive amount of skin and tissue may be good candidates for a blepharoplasty. Individuals who are experiencing a decrease in their field of vision due to ptosis can benefit from a functional blepharoplasty.

As time passes, facial features change. The changes that occur around the eyes include wrinkling and drooping of the upper eyelids, as well as puffiness or a sunken-in appearance beneath the eyes. These eye characteristics can make an individual appear older and look more tired than he or she actually is.

Men and women who are experiencing a decrease in their field of vision due to a droopy upper eyelid (i.e., ptosis) may be good candidates for a functional blepharoplasty. Patients who have a functional blepharoplasty to address ptosis enjoy more youthful-looking upper eyelids, as well as a wider field of vision.

Men and women throughout the Austin, Texas, area who would like to address these issues should consider having an upper blepharoplasty, a functional blepharoplasty, a lower blepharoplasty or a combination upper and lower blepharoplasty.

A Blepharoplasty Can Increase an Individual’s Self-Confidence Level

After an eyelid lift, most of The Buckingham Center’s patients state that they feel more confident about their appearance.

Blepharoplasty Procedures Available at The Buckingham Center

An Upper Eyelid Lift

Although many patients choose to have a combination upper and lower blepharoplasty, some patients are only interested in addressing issues related to the function and appearance of their upper lids. In cases such as these, Drs. Smith or Buckingham may perform an upper eyelid lift to address redundant skin and prolapsed pockets of fat in this area. When a fallen upper eyelid compromises the patient’s field of vision, besides removing the excess skin, the surgeon can tighten the muscle responsible for moving the eyelid.

An overview of the upper eyelid lift:

Dr. Edward D. Buckingham and Dr. Erin Smith ensure that the upper eyelid incision remains well hidden within the patient’s natural eyelid crease. Through this incision, the surgeon views the tissues below the surface of the skin to determine which tissues are causing the patient’s upper eyelid to appear wrinkled or puffy. After locating the tissues responsible for creating the undesirable upper-eyelid features, Dr. Buckingham or Dr. Smith uses a thermal scalpel to make the adjustments that are necessary to reduce or eliminate these unwanted characteristics.

Once removal of the fat pockets is complete, the plastic surgeon carefully trims away excess skin.

Choosing an experienced facial plastic surgeon is crucial to attaining optimal eyelid lift results. As highly experienced facial plastic surgeons, Dr. Buckingham and Dr. Smith know that removing too much fat can cause an individual’s upper eye area to appear hollow. Therefore, to prevent over-reduction, the surgeons take a judicious approach when removing the fatty pockets that accumulate in the upper eyelid.

Just as with the removal of fat pockets, surgeons must be prudent when removing excess skin. Removing too much skin can negatively affect the patient’s ability to close his or her eyelids all the way.

Following skin removal, Dr. Smith or Dr. Buckingham tightens the remaining tissues (and, if necessary, the muscle), before closing the surgical incision with very fine sutures.

A Lower Blepharoplasty

During a lower blepharoplasty, Drs. Buckingham and Smith address cosmetic problems beneath the eyes. Before having a lower blepharoplasty, it is important to understand why these under-eye changes happen.

As part of the natural aging process, the fatty tissue in the lower eyelid moves forward, interacting with the fat located in the upper cheek area. This results in shadows that appear as dark circles. In addition, this fat accumulation can create under eye bags.

To address under eye bags, the facial plastic surgeon creates an incision just inside the lower eyelid (i.e., transconjunctival incision). Through this incision, Dr. Edward D. Buckingham or Dr. Erin Smith can redistribute, trim or remove fat pads, which reduces the fullness under the eye. In addition, the surgeon may modify the muscle beneath the eye.

When an Individual states that he or she has always had fullness beneath the eyes, to achieve optimal results, the surgeon may remove the entire fat pad.

Some individuals develop a protruding affect when the fat pad in the cheek descends, covering the lower eyelid bone. When this occurs, a curved groove typically forms beneath the eyelid. Patients who have this groove frequently choose to have dermal filler injections or an autologous fat transfer. During an autologous fat transfer, Dr. Edward Buckingham or Dr. Erin Smith place the patient’s own harvested fat into the area beneath the eyes. An autologous fat transfer involves the facial plastic surgeon harvesting fat via liposuction. Dr. Edward D. Buckingham or Dr. Erin Smith harvests this fat from an area on the patient’s body with excess fat (e.g., the abdomen or flanks). Following collection, the surgeon purifies the fat, and then uses it to add volume beneath the eyes.

A Functional Blepharoplasty

During a functional blepharoplasty, the surgeon lifts a drooping upper eyelid. Thus, restoring the patient’s field of view.

An Asian Blepharoplasty

An Asian blepharoplasty addresses the absence of an upper-eyelid crease. Dr. Edward D. Buckingham or Dr. Erin Smith can create a crease using very fine sutures or with a surgical procedure to reposition or remove the muscles, skin and fat of the upper eyelid. This surgery provides the patient with an upper-eyelid crease, as well as a larger, more symmetrical almond-shaped eye.

What is the Difference between a Cosmetic Blepharoplasty for the Upper Eyelid and a Functional Blepharoplasty?

When an individual has an upper eyelid lift solely to improve the way his or her upper eyelids look, this procedure is cosmetic. However, if an individual has an upper blepharoplasty to address a falling eyelid that is interrupting his or her field of vision, this procedure is functional (i.e., necessary to address a medical issue, not elective).

Recognizing the difference between these two surgical procedures is essential because insurance usually covers a portion of an individual’s functional blepharoplasty procedure.

Specific conditions that Dr. Smith and Dr. Buckingham address with eyelid surgery include:

  • A sagging upper eyelid may result from weakened eyelid muscles, as well as from a surplus of skin and tissue on the upper eyelid.
  • Impaired peripheral or central vision resulting from ptosis. To address ptosis, the surgeon can tighten the muscle and remove excess skin, and tissue to help raise the upper eyelid.
  • Bags beneath the eyes resulting from fat that has pushed forward (i.e., herniated fat).
  • Excess skin on the lower eyelids.
  • A sunken-in look beneath the eyes.
  • The signs of aging. Through the process of excess skin removal, muscle tightening and the repositioning or removing of excess fat, a facial plastic surgeon reverses the unwanted eye characteristics that develop with time.

At The Buckingham Center in Austin, Texas, Patients Receive Personalized Treatment Plans

Every patient is unique, which is why Drs. Buckingham and Smith tailor each surgical plan to meet the needs of a specific patient.

Issues that a Blepharoplasty Cannot Address

Just like all treatments and cosmetic surgeries, this procedure has its limitations. Nonetheless, Dr. Edward D. Buckingham and Dr. Erin Smith have other ways to address the issues that a blepharoplasty cannot.

Issues a blepharoplasty cannot address include:

  • Crow’s feet — the wrinkles that develop at the outer corner of the eye. A surgeon can address these wrinkles with Botox injections.
  • A heavy brow — Dr. Edward D. Buckingham or Dr. Erin Smith can lift a fallen eyebrow with injections of Botox.
  • Lost volume beneath the eye — with dermal filler injections or an autologous fat transfer, facial plastic surgeons can plump up the under-eye area.

Each of these procedures can be combined with a blepharoplasty to provide the patient with a rested, more youthful appearance.

Who is a Good Candidate for a Blepharoplasty?

The ideal candidate for eyelid surgery is someone with realistic expectations, who is in good health and does not use products that contain nicotine (e.g., traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, smoking-cessation products).

Most blepharoplasty patients are over the age of 35. Nonetheless, younger individuals who inherit the genes that cause bulky tissues to develop around the eyes may also be good candidates for a blepharoplasty.

Since the surgeon modifies the tissues of the eye, there are certain eye or skin diseases that could disqualify an individual from being a good candidate for this procedure.

Blepharoplasty candidates must be aware of the potential changes the procedure can provide, the possible risks of the procedure, as well as how to properly care for their eyes following surgery.

A Consultation for a Blepharoplasty in Austin, Texas

Dr. Edward D. Buckingham or Dr. Erin Smith needs to have detailed information about the patient’s medical history. This information should include previous surgeries, chronic medical conditions (e.g., hypertension, heart disease), medications, herbal supplements and vitamins that he or she takes on a regular basis. In addition, the surgeon needs to know if the patient is allergic to any medications or to latex.

For the patient’s safety, individuals who use products that contain nicotine or drink alcoholic beverages regularly need to inform their facial plastic surgeon. Furthermore, it is vital for patients who participate in recreational drug use to inform their surgeon of this activity.

After reviewing the patient’s health information, Dr. Edward Buckingham or Dr. Erin Smith asks the patient what he or she would like to accomplish with a blepharoplasty. Patients need to be candid with their facial plastic surgeon because the only way the surgeon can provide the patient with the results he or she desires is by clearly understanding what those desires are.

Dr. Edward D. Buckingham or Dr. Erin Smith physically examines the patient’s eyes. Following the examination, if the surgeon believes a blepharoplasty can provide the patient with the results he or she desires, the preparation phase can begin. However, if the patient is not a good candidate for a blepharoplasty, he or she may be ideal for another procedure.

If the patient agrees to move forward for a blepharoplasty, Dr. Buckingham or Dr. Smith takes photos of the patient’s eyes from different angles. In addition, the surgeon may take a variety of measurements. This information serves as a guide during the creation of the patient’s custom-designed surgical plan.

How Patients Can Prepare for Their Blepharoplasty Procedure

Patients must complete any testing that Dr. Edward D. Buckingham or Dr. Erin Smith requests no later than a week before surgery. This gives the surgeon enough time to review the test results before performing the patient’s procedure.

Patients who are having a functional blepharoplasty need to have an eye exam that includes an assessment of his or her peripheral vision. Attaining this documentation prior to surgery is important if the patient wants to file a claim with his or her insurance for this procedure.

The patient may need to discontinue taking some of his or her medications (e.g., NSAIDs, blood thinners), herbal supplements (e.g., Valerian, Ginseng) and vitamins (e.g., vitamin E, vitamin K) for 10 days before surgery and 10 days after.

Alcohol increases swelling; therefore, patients need to refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages 48 hours before surgery and 48 hours after.

Since nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, patients need to stop using products that contain nicotine for at least four weeks before and four weeks after their blepharoplasty. As a vasoconstrictor, nicotine causes the blood vessels to contract. As the vessels contract, blood flow slows, which means the nourishing blood that the surgical wound needs to heal takes longer to get there. By inhibiting the ability of the blood to flow freely, healing slows. Slower healing increases the likelihood that a patient will experience open wounds or develop an infection. In addition, this puts the patient at a higher risk of skin necrosis (i.e., tissue death).

Patients receive sedation medications during their procedure. In addition, following surgery, some patients’ vision is temporarily compromised. Therefore, on the day of surgery, patients need to bring a driver with them.

For-hire transportation is not permitted following procedures that require sedation of any kind. This policy keeps patients from being subjected to individuals who may want to cause them harm while they are in a somewhat vulnerable state.

Where Do Drs. Buckingham and Smith Perform Eyelid Surgery?

Patients have their upper blepharoplasty procedures in the office at The Buckingham Center. However, patients who are having procedures on their lower eyelids, forehead or brow, as well as those who are having a procedure using autologous fat, will meet their surgeon at a conveniently located outpatient facility.

How Painful is a Blepharoplasty Procedure?

During the procedure itself, there is very little discomfort, if any. After surgery, patients may experience a tight feeling or soreness in their eyelids. These symptoms are normal and should dissipate within a few days. Nonetheless, if a patient does experience discomfort, he or she can take acetaminophen to ease this symptom.

Will The Patient Have Visible Scarring After a Blepharoplasty?

As with every surgery, Dr. Edward D. Buckingham and Dr. Erin Smith take great care to use the smallest incisions and sutures possible. In addition, the surgeons at The Buckingham Center place the incisions for a blepharoplasty in areas where they will remain well hidden.

Drs. Buckingham and Smith place upper eyelid incisions within the natural crease of the lid. The surgeons may place lower eyelid incisions internally, just inside the lower lid, or externally along the lash line. These areas are discrete and camouflage the resulting scar well.

What to Expect During a Blepharoplasty with Dr. Edward Buckingham or Dr. Erin Smith

Since a blepharoplasty is an outpatient procedure, patients return home following surgery.

Patients who are only having an upper blepharoplasty need to arrive at The Buckingham Center with their driver about 15 minutes before their scheduled procedure. Patients who are having an upper eyelid lift should expect to be at The Buckingham Center for about an hour.

Patients who are having a lower blepharoplasty, combination blepharoplasty or a blepharoplasty with other plastic surgery procedures (e.g., facelift), need to arrive at the outpatient surgery center with their driver approximately 15 minutes before their scheduled time. Those who are having a combination upper and lower blepharoplasty will remain at the outpatient surgery center for about two hours. Patients who are having other combination procedures (e.g., an upper blepharoplasty with a facelift) will receive information about how long their procedures should take prior to surgery.

Blepharoplasty Procedures in Austin, Texas

Before a blepharoplasty:

  • The patient receives a sedative, which is usually in the form of a pill. In addition, using local anesthesia, Dr. Edward D. Buckingham or Dr. Erin Smith numbs the patient’s eyelids. Taking these presurgical steps ensures the patient remains comfortable and pain free during surgery.
  • When the patient is having a combination blepharoplasty, the surgeon usually begins with the upper eyelids.

An Upper Blepharoplasty and Functional Blepharoplasty

The surgeon creates an incision along the eyelid crease or the fold of the eyelid. Through this crease, Dr. Buckingham or Dr. Smith uses a thermal scalpel to adjust the tissues. In addition, the plastic surgeon trims away excess skin and, if necessary, tightens the tissues.

When performing a functional blepharoplasty, Dr. Edward D. Buckingham or Dr. Erin Smith can also tighten the muscle that is responsible for lifting the eyelid.

After contouring the patient’s upper eyelid, the surgeon uses very fine, removable sutures to close the incisions.

A Lower Blepharoplasty

Dr. Edward D. Buckingham or Dr. Erin Smith makes an incision within the natural crease just beneath the eyelashes on the outside of the lower eyelid. Through this incision, the surgeon contours the area by redistributing and removing tissues.

Sometimes, the facial plastic surgeon makes an incision inside the lower eyelid (i.e., a transconjunctival incision). This incision allows for the distribution, trimming or removal of the fat pads. In addition, modification of the skin and muscle through this incision is possible.

Sutures may or may not be necessary following a lower blepharoplasty.

Caring for the Eyes Following Surgery

To minimize the potential for complications following surgery, following the postoperative plan that Dr. Edward D. Buckingham or Dr. Erin Smith provides is crucial. Furthermore, patients who follow these instructions enjoy a more comfortable recovery.

Patients may receive a prescription for an antibiotic cream following surgery. The patient gently applies this cream to the eyelid. Acetaminophen and cold compresses are useful for reducing inflammation for the first few days following surgery.

Patients need to sleep with their head elevated for several days after their blepharoplasty procedure. Doing so helps keep inflammation down.

Any pain and inflammation the patient experiences usually subsides within three days. Nonetheless, it may take a month or so for the patient to see the final results of his or her blepharoplasty.

Patients return to their regular activities about a week after surgery.

Temporary Side Effects Following a Blepharoplasty

Most patients do experience temporary side effects following surgery; nonetheless, these subside rather quickly.

Common side effects include:

  • Eyelids that feel numb.
  • Puffy-looking eyelids.
  • General discomfort.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Double vision.
  • Bruising and inflammation resembling that of a typical black eye.
  • Light sensitivity.

Suture Removal Following a Blepharoplasty in Austin, Texas

Approximately seven days after surgery, patients return to The Buckingham Center to have Dr. Buckingham or Dr. Smith remove their sutures.

Are the Results Achieved During Eyelid Surgery Permanent?

The results achieved during an upper blepharoplasty typically last about 10 years, at which point the patient may want to consider having a follow-up procedure. The results of a lower blepharoplasty are usually permanent.

Possible Risks and Potential Complications Associated with the Blepharoplasty Procedure

While complications and adverse outcomes following an eyelid lift are rare, as with all surgeries, the risks and potential complications must be considered.

Potential risks and complications include:

  • Blurred vision.
  • Visible scarring.
  • Dry eye.
  • Bruising.
  • Bleeding.
  • Infection.
  • Irregular eyelid color.
  • Abnormally folding eyelid skin.
  • Muscle damage.
  • Itching around the eye.
  • Temporary drooping of the lower eyelid.
  • Having trouble closing the eye.
  • Blood clot formation (rare).
  • Loss of vision (rare).

Although serious complications are rare, choosing an experienced facial plastic surgeon to perform a blepharoplasty procedure is the best way to reduce the likelihood of experiencing postsurgical complications.

How Much Will Eyelid Surgery Cost?

To determine how much a blepharoplasty will cost, Dr. Edward D. Buckingham or Dr. Erin Smith needs to evaluate the potential patient’s eye area. To accomplish this, men and women who are interested in having a blepharoplasty can schedule a consultation at The Buckingham Center.

Will Insurance Cover a Blepharoplasty Procedure?

If an individual is having a functional blepharoplasty to address a drooping eyelid that is negatively affecting his or her field of vision, insurance may cover a portion of the procedure.

To schedule an eyelid surgery consultation with one of the top surgeons at The Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery, contact the office today at 512-401-2500. Dr. Edward D. Buckingham is a double board certified plastic surgeon with expertise in facial plastic surgery. Dr. Erin Smith is a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon who specializes in cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. The Buckingham Center’s Austin, Texas, address is 6420 Bee Cave Road.


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