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  • Chris Thiagarajah MD

Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery: How to Manage your Expectations



Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery is one of the most common procedures I perform in Denver. It goes by many names: eyelid lifting, eyejob and blepharoplasty. In short, the surgery is designed to refresh the look of any patient by removing skin and/or repositioning fat around the eyelids.

For patients who are interested in cosmetic eyelid surgery one of the most important things is to have realistic expectations involving their surgery. Realistic expectations for surgery involve not only expectations for the final outcome, but also realistic expectations for the healing process and final outcome.

Realistic Expectations for Healing

Often patients are told for cosmetic eyelid surgery that healing takes two weeks. What that really means is that patients are usually able to return to work using makeup but the eyelids are actually not completely healed for 6 months. That means the final results can take 6 months to be achieved. During the healing process it is important to know that the healing process is an average. Most patients are ok in two weeks but some are not. Depending on the underlying age of the patient, other procedures being done, medical conditions that the patient has can all affect the healing process. Here are a couple tips for the healing process:

  1. Just because it takes two weeks on average for patients to be able to return to work that is an average and may not be you.

  2. If you don’t like the way you look at one day, one week or two weeks after surgery, you cannot make any final assumptions about your final results

  3. Vision can be blurry in the healing process

  4. Patience is critical and helpful

  5. Being overly self-critical is not helpful

  6. You can have trouble closing your eyes early in the healing process

Realistic Expecations for Final outcome

Every patient is capable of a fair, good and great outcome. The truth is that before performing the surgery you cannot predict what result a patient will have. My partner Jerry Popham and I have second opinions after blepharoplasty by other doctors every week. Often the surgery was completed perfectly but the skin doesn’t heal as well in this patient as others, scar tissue develops or the tissue doesn’t respond as expected. There are usually things we can do to improve things but that being said, the original surgeon did nothing wrong.

Here are some tips for realistic expectations for the final outcome after surgery:

  1. The goal of cosmetic eyelid surgery is improvement…not perfection

  2. If your eyelids were uneven before, the surgeon is going to try to even them out but it may not be perfectly even

  3. Cosmetic Eyelid surgery will not change you but will make you look like a more refreshed you. It doesn’t “reverse age” you 20 years.

  4. You will notice things about your skin you had before that you didn’t notice before surgery.

  5. At the end of the day, the surgeon is manipulating skin,muscle and fat. That is the full extent of the surgery. It is an amazing surgery but it has its limitations.

I give my patients a book that I wrote on preparing for cosmetic eyelid surgery and want them to read it before surgery. It is called “So you want to get your eyelids done” and is available on Amazon. If you are interested in cosmetic eyelid surgery, I encourage you to read it. Hopefully if you are a patient who is getting cosmetic eyelid surgery, this article helps you to have realistic expectations. If you are interested in a consultation, call our office 303 468 8844.


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