Eyelid Surgery

Sagging or drooping eyelids make you look older and more tired than you feel, and may even interfere with your vision. Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) can correct these problems and also remove any bags you may have under the eyes. Dr. Hayes is experienced in all techniques of eyelid surgery and has performed thousands of these eyelid procedures.

Eyelid surgery is often used to reshape the contour of the upper or lower eyelid by removing any excess skin, giving you a more youthful, well rested appearance. Eyelid surgery also makes it easier to apply makeup to enhance your eyes. Blepharoplasty can be done alone, or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a facelift or browlift.

Common procedures offered by Dr. Hayes include:

Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty. Dr. Hayes uses this procedure to reshape the contours of the upper eyelid. Removal of redundant skin allows makeup to be used more effectively and brings out the natural beauty of the eye.

Lower Eyelid Surgery. Dr. Hayes usually performs this procedure using a hidden incision on the inside of the eyelid. Fullness in the lower eyelid can be sculpted and repositioned to give a more youthful, rested appearance.

If you're considering eyelid surgery, this information will give you a basic understanding of the procedure; when it can help, how it's performed, and what results you can expect.

The Best Candidates for an Eyelid Surgery

The best candidates for eyelid surgery are men and women who are physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in their expectations. Most are 35 or older, but if droopy, baggy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have eyelid surgery at a younger age.

A few medical conditions make blepharoplasty riskier. They include thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism and Graves' disease, dry eye or lack of sufficient tears, high blood pressure or other circulatory disorders, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. A detached retina or glaucoma is also reason for caution; check with your ophthalmologist before you have surgery.

When eyelid surgery is performed by a qualified facial plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. The minor complications that occasionally follow blepharoplasty include; temporary swelling at the corner of the eyelids and/or a slight asymmetry in healing or scarring. Tiny whiteheads may appear after your stitches are taken out; your surgeon can remove them easily with a very fine needle.

Planning Your Surgery

The initial consultation with Dr. Hayes is very important. He will need your complete medical history, so check your own records ahead of time and be ready to provide this information. Be sure to inform us if you have any allergies, if you're taking any vitamins, medications (prescription or over-the-counter), or other drugs, and if you smoke.

We will carefully discuss your goals and expectations for this surgery. You'll need to discuss whether to do all four eyelids or just the upper or lower ones, whether skin as well as fat will be removed, and whether any additional procedures are appropriate.

Dr. Hayes will explain the techniques and anesthesia to be used, and the risks and costs involved. Note: Most health insurance policies don't cover eyelid surgery, unless drooping upper lids interfere with your vision. This can be tested by an eyecare professional with what is called a visual field exam.

Don't hesitate to ask us any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results.

Preparing For Your Surgery

We will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery go more smoothly.

While you're making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a few days if needed.

Where Your Surgery Will Be Performed

All of our eyelid procedures are performed in our state of the art operating suite.

Anesthesia Used for The Procedure

Eyelid surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia--which numbs the area around your eyes--along with oral or intravenous sedatives. You'll be sleepy during surgery and insensitive to pain.

The Surgery

Blepharoplasty usually takes one to two hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. If you're having all four eyelids done, the surgeon will probably work on the upper lids first, then the lower ones.

The incisions in the upper eyelids follow the natural crease of your eyelids, the lower eyelid incisions are either inside the eye with no visible incision on the outer lid or in some cases a small incision just below the lashes in the lower lids. Working through these incisions, The doctor will separate the skin from underlying fatty tissue and muscle, in some cases remove excess fat, and often trim sagging skin. The incisions are then closed with very fine sutures.

After Your Surgery

After surgery, your eyes will be lubricated with ointment which may make your vision blurry for a few hours. Your eyelids may feel tight and sore as the anesthesia wears off, but you can control any discomfort with the pain medication prescribed. If you feel any severe pain, call us immediately.

You will be instructed to keep your head elevated for several days, and to use cold compresses to reduce swelling and bruising. You'll be shown how to clean your incision lines and you will use eyedrops for a week. Your sutures will be removed at one week.

Getting Back to Normal

You should be able to read or watch television after the first day, however, you won't be able to wear contact lenses for about two weeks.

Most people feel ready to go out in public (and back to work) in a week . By then, depending on your rate of healing you'll probably be able to wear makeup to hide any bruising that remains. You may be sensitive to sunlight, wind, and other irritants for several weeks, so you should wear sunglasses.

You will need to keep your activities to a minimum for three to five days, and to avoid more strenuous activities for about three weeks. It's especially important to avoid activities that raise your blood pressure, including bending, lifting, and rigorous sports.

Your New Look

Healing is a gradual process, and your scars may remain slightly pink for six months or more after surgery, but are only visible with your eyes closed. Eventually, though, they'll fade to a thin, nearly invisible white line.

On the other hand, the positive results of your eyelid surgery-the more alert and youthful look-will last for years. For many people, these results are permanent.

Montana Center for Facial Plastic Surgery - Dr. Hayes - Facial Cosmetic Surgeon in Missoula, MT

Visit our before & after gallery to view some of our beautiful transformations.



“Dear Dr. Hayes, Thanks to you and your staff for the great care and kindness during all pre- and post-op appointments for my surgery. To you specifically, thanks for another surgery that went very well and I felt I was taken care of by THE BEST!”  
D.G. – Rhinoplasty (nose surgery ) patient