An Eyelid Lift, also called an upper blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure to lift sagging eyelids and create a more youthful-looking eye, without changing the shape of the eye. Since there are a few different types of upper blepharoplasty, we use the term Eyelid Lift, because we feel it more accurately reflects this type of surgery.
- 1 Symptoms & Concerns Treated
- 2 Eyelid Lift Techniques & Treatment Options
- 3 Before & After Photos
- 4 Eyelid Lift without General Anesthesia
- 5 Who is a Candidate?
- 6 Consultation Process
- 7 Expected Results & Longevity of Results
- 8 Risks & Side Effects
- 9 Scars from an Upper Blepharoplasty
- 10 Meet Dr. Mark Karolak
- 11 How to Prepare for Your Eyelid Lift Procedure
- 12 Post-Operative Care & Recovery
- 13 Cost & Financing Options
Symptoms & Concerns Treated
Excess skin that hangs down over the eye or creates a wrinkled upper eyelid can create a visual impairment blocking part of the field of normal vision. However, even if the drooping of the eyelid is not impairing vision, it can alter the eye’s appearance by reducing the amount of light reflecting off the iris (the colored part) of the eye. This makes your eye color appear dull and darker in tone. If you feel like you’ve lost that sparkle to your eyes, this is likely the reason why. After having an Eyelid Lift, our patients regularly tell us their friends and family comment on the color of their eyes.
Women often complain that drooping eyelids make wearing eyeshadow or eyeliner nearly impossible, because the makeup tends to get rubbed together, ruining even the most perfect eyeshadow applications and smudging eyeliner. An eyelid lift will help create a tighter and smoother upper eyelid which will make applying makeup easier and less frustrating.
Eyelid Lift Techniques & Treatment Options
Laser Blepharoplasty – a scalpel-free eyelid lift
Surgical use of CO2 lasers for precise incisions has been developed over the past 20 years. Dr. Karolak has perfected his CO2 Laser techniques, and with over a decade of experience with this innovative tool, is proud to offer his patients this precise, scalpel-free option for their eyelid lift procedure. This procedure provides the same level of natural-appearing rejuvenation as a traditional upper blepharoplasty procedure, without a scalpel. You can expect a lifted, lighter eyelid, free of excessive wrinkling or drooping with a Laser Eyelid Lift procedure.
Upper Blepharoplasty Eyelid Lift
A traditional Upper Blepharoplasty removes the fat and excess skin of the upper eyelid, creating a natural-appearing, lifted eyelid.
The incision lines from this procedure are placed along the natural fold of the upper eyelid, allowing them to fade into a natural skin crease. An upper blepharoplasty precisely rejuvenates the eyelid, without altering the eye shape – so you’ll look like you, only younger!
Non-Invasive and Non-Surgical Eyelid Lifting Options
Reflections is proud to offer our patients a wide variety of surgical and non-surgical treatment options for upper eyelid lifting. Each option offers different pros and cons, and each option provides a different type of result. Your best options will be based upon your individual anatomy and goals. During your consultation, your cosmetic physician will discuss all of your best options, as well as what type of results you can expect with each option.
The following are alternative treatment options to an Upper Blepharoplasty:
- Thermage for Eyes
- ThermiSmooth RF for Eyes
- Ultherapy Uplift for Eyes
- CO2 Laser Skin Tightening
Before & After Photos
Eyelid Lift without General Anesthesia
Our patients love that they don’t have to sacrifice comfort or safety to experience the amazing rejuvenation of an Eyelid Lift at Reflections. Our Upper Blepharoplasty procedures are performed under Comfort Calm Local Anesthesia™, in our private surgical suite. This allows patients to recover quickly and easily from an eyelid lift, without the added risks of general anesthesia.
Who is a Candidate?
The ideal candidate for an Eyelid Lift is a patient who has noticed their eyelids are heavier, overly wrinkled, or drooping and sagging, and is ready to consider a procedure for lasting correction of these concerns. Despite the skincare industries’ claims, eye creams and serums cannot reverse the aging process. They are helpful in slowing down the aging process, but eyelids cannot be lifted with skin care products alone. Some lifting can be achieved by nonsurgical procedures, but for those with moderate to significant drooping, surgical procedures are the best option for significant rejuvenation.
Your Eyelid Lift journey starts with a consultation with Dr. Mark Karolak, a board certified facial plastic surgeon who has performed over 5,000 rejuvenating face and neck surgeries.
Your consultation will begin with a Facial microVector Analysis, to determine your natural aging patterns, and discussion of your medical history.
After Dr. Karolak has a comfortable understanding of your anatomy and medical needs, he will discuss your needs, concerns, and wants for lifting your eyelids. The two of you will discuss which treatment options will provide you with the best results, as well as the pros and cons of those treatment options.
After you decide which treatment option is right for you, our patient care coordinators will help you to schedule, plan, and prepare for your procedure. Certain medical conditions may require you to see your primary care physician or an ophthalmologist prior to surgery for an exam, to ensure you are healthy enough for surgery. It is very rare that a patient would not be healthy enough for an eyelid lift procedure, as it is an easy outpatient procedure performed in under an hour, without general anesthesia.
Expected Results & Longevity of Results
Your consultation will include a discussion of realistic expectations for results you could expect from each treatment option that is suitable for you. Each treatment performed at Reflections is tailored to the individual patient, to account for their needs, wants, and anatomy.
Many patients want to know how long they can expect results from an eyelid lift procedure to last. If you define the longevity of result by the length of time until a patient has another similar procedure, then an eyelid lift is as near to permanent a result as possible. It is very rare that an Eyelid Lift patient would ever undergo another surgical eyelid lift procedure. After the procedure, you should expect that, over time, your face will continue to age naturally.
Risks & Side Effects
Eyelid Lifts, in general, are a very safe procedure with few complications.
This is due in part to the eyelid’s wonderful blood supply, which reduces the risk for complications caused by poor circulation during the healing process, including scar deformities and skin necrosis. However, this blood supply also lends itself to increased swelling and the risk of bruising. All eyelid lift patients will experience swelling, and many will experience bruising. Generally bruising is light (often a yellow tone) and usually resolves within a week.
Upper Blepharoplasty does have risks, though they occur very rarely. Some of those risks include Hematoma, scar deformities, skin necrosis, infection, bleeding, and eye injury. Hematomas are generally quick and easy to resolve with the help of specialized aftercare with your surgeon. Scar deformities and skin necrosis can create serious, long-lasting complications. However, these are very rare complications, particularly in the eyelid, because the area has such good blood circulation and the surgery creates very little stress on the skin. Patients are given specific instructions prior to the procedure to minimize risks and speed their recovery. Dr. Karolak has never had a serious complication with an eyelid lift surgery. He has performed over 2,000 eyelid lift procedures in the last decade.
Scars from an Upper Blepharoplasty
During the consultation, patients are provided with a gallery of photos documenting normal time-lapsed healing of our patients, so they can best understand how the scars will heal and fade over time.
Scarring from a cosmetic procedure is a big concern for most patients. It’s natural to wonder what type of scarring to expect.
It’s important to note that hundreds of thousands of patients undergo eyelid lift surgery each year.
The ones we notice are usually not because they are a good result. We tell patients the best results are never noticeable as a surgical result, but rather look very natural Dr. Karolak prefers to conceal his incisions in the natural fold of the eyelid, as he finds this provides the most natural results, with the best-healed scars.
Meet Dr. Mark Karolak
Dr. Mark Karolak is a board certified facial plastic surgeon who has dedicated his career to mastering the art of facial rejuvenation surgeries. Unlike most plastic surgeons, he does not perform a wide variety of procedures for face and body, and unlike most facial plastic surgeons, he does not perform rhinoplasties. Instead, he has focused solely on perfecting his technique for creating a natural, youthful appearance with procedures which minimize downtime and maximize the patient’s experience of the procedure. Dr. Karolak has performed over 5,000 face and neck rejuvenating surgeries and has over 11 years’ experience working within this highly specialized niche of cosmetic surgery.
How to Prepare for Your Eyelid Lift Procedure
Each patient will be given specific and comprehensive pre-operative instructions before their surgery. However, the following are some of the instructions we give to every patient who undergoes an Eyelid Lift:
- Discontinue blood-thinning vitamins and supplements prior to surgery. These include Vitamin E, Fish Oil, Tylenol, and Aspirin. You will not resume these supplements until at least 1 week after surgery. Avoiding blood thinners is especially important for eyelid surgery, because the area is so prone to swelling and bruising.
- I recommend that patients start arnica tablets one week prior to surgery and continue to take arnica tablets until any bruising has resolved after surgery. Arnica is a powerful supplement that helps your body to heal bruises and inflammation, but can have some side effects. I make sure patients are checking in with me regularly while taking it.
Post-Operative Care & Recovery
Want to see exactly how our patients look day-by-day as they heal? We offer patients the option to few a private gallery of healing timeline photos during their consultation. This allows our patients to feel prepared and confident in their recovery process.
The following are generalized instructions for eyelid Lift Aftercare:
- Most patients do not take any pain medication after the procedure. Although a prescription for pain medication is given, patients are often surprised about how little discomfort there is after an upper eyelid surgery. For the patients who decide to take pain medication, they usually do so for the first day or two and very often find that extra-strength Tylenol is enough. Recovery is typically easy and quick.
- You will be given an antibiotic following surgery. It’s important to take the entire course of the antibiotic as prescribed, and to avoid any substance which might affect its efficacy.
- You will also be given a list of supplements, herbals (including drinks such as Kombucha), “metabolism boosters”, “fat burners”, and medications that must be stopped before and not taken after the procedure until it is permitted by your surgeon.
- Strenuous workouts should be avoided for the first 2 weeks following surgery to avoid complications and delays in healing. You will likely feel up to resuming normal activities much sooner, so sometimes patients have difficulty holding off on their workouts. It’s important not to strain the area around your eye while it is healing, and though you likely don’t realize it, these muscles are often tensed during difficult exercise. Keeping activity light during this time will ensure the fastest recovery with the best-healed incisions.
- Patients who wish to conceal their eyelid lift procedure from co-workers will want to take 7-10 days off from the time of surgery. After days 9-10, incision lines can typically be well-covered with makeup and swelling and bruising is minimal. If your work is physically strenuous, you will need to take 14 days off from work, as straining during this time can delay healing and possibly cause complications.
- Patients typically feel “restaurant ready” around 7 days after an Eyelid Lift surgery. This is generally when you will resume normal social activities. However, any big events, like a wedding, should be spaced at least 3 weeks after your procedure, to ensure you have plenty of time for any lingering swelling or bruising to resolve.
- Protecting your incisions from sunlight is very important while they are healing. You will want to keep sunglasses on while outdoors (including while driving) until your incisions are completely faded.
Cost & Financing Options
Pricing within the plastic surgery community tends to vary widely, based on the experience of the surgeon and the part of the country in which they practice. Dr. Mark Karolak belongs to a very elite group of surgeons as one of the most highly-specialized surgeons in the United States. As a board certified facial plastic surgeon, he has further limited his practice to the mastery of rejuvenating facial surgeries. With over 11 years of experience, and over 5,000 face and neck rejuvenation surgeries under his belt, Dr. Karolak is extremely skilled and experienced. That having been said, for where we practice in central and northern New Jersey, our pricing is very competitive. At our practice, an Eyelid Lift typically ranges from $3,500 – 4,500, depending upon the techniques used. This price reflects the full cost of the procedure, operating room costs, and follow-up care.
Your individualized quote will be provided during your consultation with Dr. Karolak.
Financing is available at our office, through Prosper Credit and Care Credit. Major credit cards are also accepted, if you prefer. You can learn more about your financing options for an eyelid lift here.