The lower blepharoplasty experience – everything you need to know
Undereye bags are completely natural and often caused by more than just a bad night’s sleep – ageing, allergies and our diets can all contribute to them, or genetics mean you can simply be ‘born’ with them. And while they aren’t necessarily a health problem, they can affect the way you feel about yourself.
Once you’ve exhausted the eye creams and the ‘miracle working’ concealers on the market, surgery may be a permanent option worth considering.
With the promise of well-rested looking skin, it’s no wonder so many people are turning to lower blepharoplasty surgery to tackle their bags. But is it worth it in the long run and is it your best option?
In this article:
Getting lower eyelid surgery – the basics
The term blepharoplasty has been around for more than two centuries, and it was the fourth most popular type of cosmetic surgery in 2020.
Blepharoplasty is a relatively straightforward in practice. A surgeon removes excess skin and fat from under your eyes to smooth the area and reduce puffiness. It’s a long-term solution too, giving you results for up to twenty years after your surgery.
Just like fingerprints, our eye shape is unique to each one of us, which means your blepharoplasty journey should be tailored to your needs. Some people might want to have the surgery in their 20s and 30s if they have noticeable bags, whereas other people might not consider the surgery until later in life when bags are more pronounced.
Waving goodbye to your eyebags
Even though blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure, it’s minimally invasive and can be done in under two hours.
Your clinician will advise on how you can best prepare, but if you’ve had surgery before, it tends to be a similar story – no smoking, drinking or blood thinners a week before.
As for the price, lower blepharoplasty can cost around SR10,000 to SR15,000. But, compared with a lifetime of eye creams and serum, it may be worth it.
Are there risks, and is it worth it?
All cosmetic surgery comes with a degree of risk. It’s up to you to be aware of it before deciding if it is right for you.
You may sometimes experience…
One of the main side-effects is swelling and bruising. Your eyes may feel sore and swollen for the first 48 hours afterwards. At this stage it’s a good idea to try applying a cold compress to ease any pain you have. During surgery, your clinician will make a small incision underneath your eye – as this area is so delicate, it’s often very tender afterwards. Over-the-counter medication can help soften the resulting pain.
There’s also a high chance that you’ll struggle to shut your eyes properly after surgery. Your surgeon will usually prescribe eye drops to help lubricate them which should help.
Some people also can experience double or blurry vision. This is usually just a temporary stage, but it’s a good idea to have everything ready for when you get home, such as your meals and medication.
In rare instances, there is a small chance of…
Very rarely, there may be complications with the surgery, or you may react badly to the procedure afterwards.
- Infection – you may experience an allergic reaction to the anaesthetic, or the skin may become infected afterwards.
- Drooping lower eyelids – blepharoplasty is designed to fix drooping lids, but it can sometimes make it worse. This can cause your lower lids to turn outwards or pull down.
- Permanent vision loss – this is extremely rare, and usually happens when an inexperienced surgeon damages the deeper structures of your eye, such as the nerves, muscles, and blood vessels.
- Bleeding – excessive bleeding is possible with any surgery. If you notice any bleeding in the eye socket, seek medical help immediately.
- Numbness – your eyelids will naturally feel numb as they heal, especially straight after surgery. However, in rare cases, this loss of sensation can be permanent.
When it comes to results…
Straight after surgery, your eyes will be too swollen and sore to discern any results right away. Instead, it can take around two weeks for the swelling to subside, and a few months for the full results to show – it’s not one to do just before an important test or event.
However, patience pays off. The results of your lower blepharoplasty lasts and you’ll typically only need one surgery in your lifetime, depending on your skin’s elasticity and how well you protect your lids from things like sun exposure.
As for the overall look, blepharoplasty can take years off your appearance. Patients have commented that the procedure revitalised their entire face and made them look more alert and youthful.
Blepharoplasty can also reduce eyebags, dark circles and puffiness, which can all create a tired appearance. Many people experience a jump-start in their self-confidence following surgery, as – much like your eyebags – comments about looking exhausted disappear.
Lower lid blepharoplasty vs other options
Surgery can be an unnerving and costly procedure. Before booking your treatment, it can be worthwhile exploring other options, especially if your eyebags or dark circles are mild.
Pros: Painless, affordable, and convenient.
Cons: Minimal results, ingredients can cause irritation.
Costs: SR150 to SR900.
Eye creams can be an easy way to brighten your eyes and reduce the appearance of dark circles or eyebags, particularly those that contain caffeine. However, they’re offer minimal and temporary results.
Non-surgical blepharoplasty or plexma plasma eye lift
Pros: No cutting, stitching or injections are required.
Cons: Requires some downtime, more effective on the upper eyelids.
A relatively new but highly effective treatment which works by placing a plasma current on the eyelids, stimulating the removal of excess skin through a process called ‘sublimation’, turning a substance from a solid straight into a gas. It causes the skin to retract and tighten in the target area, as well as stimulating collagen production from the healing response.
Pros: Reduces wrinkles and puffiness, minimal downtime.
Costs: SR56 per unit (on average).
Botox for under the eyes is still a relatively new area, so it’s unclear whether it’s effective for reducing dark circles or puffiness. That said, those who have had Botox around the eyes have noticed a difference in sagging and wrinkles.
Pros: At-home and in-clinic options, safe for all skin types and ages, non-invasive.
Costs: SR2,000 for at-home devices.
Microcurrent devices are a kind of electrical wand that ‘wake up’ your face and get your skin working harder to repair itself. You can buy a home device, but the best results will always be delivered by a professional. Be prepared for a few sessions before you see any results.
Pros: Can be light, medium, or deep, quick to apply and non-invasive.
Cons: Requires some downtime, multiple treatments and can cause dry and itchy skin.
Costs: SR510 on average.
Chemical peels exfoliate your skin to remove dead cells and promote the growth of new ones. When used under the eyes, they can help the skin thicken, which makes it less likely to sag and form bags. However, if you have sensitive skin, a deep peel can cause your skin to flare up and break out.
Upper and lower blepharoplasty – a quick comparison
Upper and lower blepharoplasty are separate procedures. However, most patients tend to undergo both to maximise the potential results.
Apart from where the surgery takes place, there are a few key differences between the two, such as:
Upper blepharoplasty is…
- Designed to open up your eyes.
- Tends to last five to seven years.
- Can be done in under an hour.
- Targets undereye bags.
- Can last up to 20 years.
- Usually takes around 60 to 90 minutes.
- During your consultation, ask your clinician for some before and after photos of their clients who have undergone lower blepharoplasty. You can assess their expertise and the results you may expect.
- On the day of the surgery, arrange for someone to drop you off and pick you up – you’ll be groggy from the anaesthetic and your vision may be blurry.
- When recovering, avoid bending over for the first few weeks – this can send a rush of blood to your head, which may cause bleeding and bruising.
Did you know?
- The skin around our eyes is five times thinner than the rest of our face and contains less collagen and fibres – so it is naturally more prone to sagging.
- The first ever eyelid surgery can be traced back to 1800BC, when surgeons performed an excision for tumours and infected sores. However, general anaesthetic wasn’t invented until the 18th century.
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