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Eyelid Surgery FAQ

One of the most effective and popular procedures for rejuvenating the upper face is blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery. In Chicago, Dr. Mustoe frequently recommends this procedure because it is a simple way to refresh a person's face and restore a look of alertness and vitality. In his decades in practice, his patients have asked a lot of questions. On this page are answers to some of the questions he hears most frequently about this procedure.

Dr. Mustoe specializes in eyelid surgery for both cosmetic and functional correction. If you are in the Chicago area and are interested in plastic surgery such as blepharoplasty, request a consultation online. Or, you can call us at (312) 788-2560 and one of our helpful staff members will schedule your appointment.

What causes the eyelids to sag?

This area of the face is often one of the first to show signs of aging because the eyelid skin and underlying supporting fascia are very thin. There are a number of different factors that can cause a person's upper or lower eyelid skin to droop. These usually include genetic factors such as skin thickness, as well as environmental influences such as sun exposure and whether or not the person is a smoker. Drooping eyelid skin is such a common concern that eyelid surgery is perennially among the top facial cosmetic surgeries in the U.S.

What is the difference between cosmetic and functional blepharoplasty?

Cosmetic eyelid surgery removes and adjusts drooping skin to make someone look more youthful. Functional eyelid surgery is necessary when that drooping skin becomes so pronounced that it begins to interfere with vision. Functional blepharoplasty also generally produces good cosmetic results. Dr. Mustoe is very experienced with both forms of the surgery and will discuss whether you have any functional issues during your consultation.

Who is a candidate for eyelid surgery?

Any patients who are in good general health and who have signs of aging around their eyelids can be good candidates. These signs include wrinkling and sagging skin, as well as puffiness or under-eye bags. People who have vision problems because of sagging skin make excellent candidates. Most patients are in their 40s or older, but there is no set age range for this procedure as long as the patient is healthy. Some patients have excess fat surrounding the eye that present as bags or circles underneath the eyes that can be troublesome even in their 20s.

How should I prepare for surgery?

Dr. Mustoe and his team will give you detailed instructions to follow before your eyelid surgery. These will include avoiding certain medications that encourage bleeding and bruising, stopping smoking weeks before surgery, and preparing your home for your recovery. It's usually good to make sure you take care of any errands in the days before your procedure and pick up prescriptions. We will provide you with specific details about what to wear on the day of your procedure and when to stop eating and drinking the day before.

Will my results look natural?

Yes. Dr. Mustoe is among the most experienced and renowned plastic surgeons in the Chicago area, and his eyelid surgery results are remarkable. He takes a subtle and conservative approach to facial rejuvenation to ensure that your results look natural, rather than "overdone." The eyelid shape will not change, and the results make a patient look rested rather than different, even in men without the aid of makeup. Many of his blepharoplasty patients have reported that they get compliments on looking rested, but others can't tell they've had anything done. To see some of Dr. Mustoe's natural-looking results for yourself, please visit our photo gallery.

Why Choose Dr. Mustoe

Eyelid surgery with Dr. Mustoe - a leading plastic surgeon and plastic surgery educator - offers several advantages over traditional blepharoplasty. These include:

  • Beautiful results that preserve natural eye shape
  • Shorter, more comfortable recovery
  • A customized procedure
  • Minimal bruising
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Will my scars be obvious?

No. For lower eyelid surgery, Dr. Mustoe can hide your incisions within your lower eyelid, so there is absolutely no visible scar. For upper eyelid procedures, he hides the incisions in the natural folds of the eyelid skin, making them practically invisible. Additionally, Dr. Mustoe has extensively researched wound healing and scar prevention, and he uses careful surgical techniques to keep your incisions fine and help them heal rapidly.

Are there any alternatives?

There are some procedures that can improve the look of wrinkles and skin tone around the eyes, but for removal of drooping, excess skin, eyelid surgery is the best option. Dr. Mustoe sometimes recommends injections of BOTOX® Cosmetic, fat grafting, or, dermal fillers to smooth away wrinkles in the eye area and laser resurfacing for improving tone. He may also recommend combining your eyelid surgery with a brow lift for a complete rejuvenation of the upper face. He has developed his own technique for brow lift surgery, which can be done under local anesthesia with light sedation in the office, with incisions limited to the temple area and no need for hair removal. He will discuss all these options and any other treatments he may recommend during your consultation.

What will the recovery be like?

Recovery from eyelid surgery is very comfortable for most patients thanks to Dr. Mustoe's delicate tissue handling, which causes less trauma and helps patients heal faster. Most find over-the-counter medications are adequate for managing any discomfort in the first few days following surgery. Although your procedure is performed using local anesthesia, you need someone to drive you home due to the effects of the sedation. Icing the eyes in the first 12 hours after the procedure is helpful in minimizing bruising. Dr. Mustoe will encourage you to sleep with your head elevated on extra pillows for a few days to help with swelling and bruising, and most patients are back to work in a week. You receive detailed aftercare instructions from our team, and we encourage you to contact us by email or phone with any questions you have throughout your recovery. We are always glad to make ourselves available.

How long will my results last?

Although no cosmetic surgery can completely stop the aging process, blepharoplasty can restore a more youthful look that lasts many many years. You can help to maintain your results by practicing good sun protection habits and adopting a skincare regimen. You can also use minimally invasive procedures such as laser treatments, fat grafting, and injectables in the years following your eyelid surgery to make your rejuvenation last as long as possible.

How much does eyelid surgery cost?

This varies depending on the particulars of your procedure, such as whether you get upper or lower eyelid surgery or both. In the Chicago area, the cost of eyelid surgery is usually between $3,000 and $6,000. We will discuss your particular costs during your consultation.

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