Traditional & Laser Eyelid Procedures in Bellevue and Seattle
When it comes to your eyes, seek a surgeon with experience you can trust. As an ophthalmic plastic surgeon, Dr. Stern has been a Northwest leader in state-of-the-art cosmetic eyelid and facial laser procedures since 1987 and is one of the most experienced eyelid surgeons in the Puget Sound area.
What is Blepharoplasty?
Droopy, sagging upper lids and puffy lower lids can make you look tired and older than you really are. A blepharoplasty, commonly known as an “eyelid lift,” is a surgical procedure in which the excess skin of the upper lids or the puffy bags of the lower lids is removed, resulting in a fresher, more youthful appearance.
Traditional Eyelid Surgery or Laser?
For a mild to moderate amount of excess skin, simple laser treatment of the upper eyelids without any incisions or stitches may be all that is required. For those with heavy or droopy upper eyelids, eyelid surgery utilizing an incision may be necessary to remove the excess skin and fat, giving your eyes a more open, brighter appearance.
With the heaviness gone, not only should you look less tired, but many of our patients feel as though they see more of their field of vision as well.
For puffy lower eyelids, depending upon your specific condition, Dr. Stern often utilizes the laser using an innovative “sutureless” technique.
No Telltale Scars
Dr. Stern uses the laser to make an incision from the inside of the eyelid, removing the fat pockets that form the bags of the lower lids. Loose skin and wrinkles of the lower lids and crows feet may be treated with the laser as well, to smooth and tighten the skin.
The lids generally heal much more quickly than the traditional method without any telltale scars, and with less bruising and swelling.
This may enable you to return to work and normal activities much more quickly. Most important, the aging, puffy, tired appearance disappears and your eyes appear refreshed with youth and vitality!
In general, most eyelid surgeries take about one to two hours and are performed on an outpatient basis, in our state-of-the-art, JCAHO-certified procedure room, ensuring your safety, comfort, and convenience.
What are the benefits of laser eyelid surgery?
Because the laser used for eyelid surgery acts as a cutting tool instead of a scalpel, the laser energy has the added advantage of instantly cauterizing blood vessels along the incision. This closes the incision as it is made, which means only very small amounts of blood are lost with each incision.
Why is this important? Two reasons. First, the lack of excess blood allows Dr. Stern to have better visuals of the area, allowing more precision. Without pooling blood, he can better assess the amount of tissue to remove and plan his incisions with more precision.
Second, since less blood is lost from the tissues, there is far less bruising and swelling. As a rule, the more bleeding that occurs during surgery, the more subsequent bruising will occur. This also reduces swelling. Both facets allow our patients to see and enjoy their eyelid surgery results more quickly.
Recovery from eyelid surgery is never overly difficult but performing it with a laser makes recovery even easier.
What is the eyelid surgery procedure like at the stern center?
Dr. Stern has been a Northwest leader in state-of-the-art cosmetic eyelid and facial laser procedures since 1987 and is one of the most experienced eyelid surgeons in the Puget Sound area. Dr. Stern specializes in both upper eyelid surgery and sutureless lower eyelid surgery using the laser, performed in our office surgery center. The procedure takes about an hour and most patients recover well enough to return to work and normal activities in about 10 days.
Who is an ideal candidate for eyelid surgery?
Droopy upper eyelids and puffy lower eyelids can occur at any age during adulthood but commonly worsen with age. Many of our patients mention their friends, family or co-workers constantly tell them they “look tired.” Most make the decision to have eyelid surgery when their eyes look or feel tired or heavy enough that they notice the problem when they look in the mirror or in photographs and simply want to look more rested and youthful.
Is there anything I need to do to prepare for laser eyelid surgery?
These procedures involve the same preparations you make for any surgery: stopping the use of blood-thinning medications, anti-inflammatory drugs, and most supplements. If you smoke, you’ll need to stop at least two weeks prior to and after your surgery.
Your preparation should actually focus on your recovery. While this is not a difficult recovery, you’ll still need to lay low for a few days. So, prepare your recovery space with lots of entertainment and make it as comfortable as possible.
Is laser eyelid surgery painful?
Thanks to anesthesia, the patient doesn’t feel a thing during this procedure. By using a laser rather than the scalpel used in traditional surgery, laser blepharoplasty is proven to make recovery much easier, less painful, and quicker than with traditional blepharoplasty.
What Can I Expect After Laser Blepharoplasty?
The laser lower eyelid blepharoplasty procedure that Dr. Stern performs is more innovative than traditional blepharoplasty because the laser cauterizes blood vessels while cutting tissue. In addition, since there is no skin incision, sutures are not required and there is no scar. Still, you might experience some of the same effects you would with traditional blepharoplasty such as mild bruising and swelling. Do not be alarmed if you notice slightly blurred vision, light sensitivity, watery eyes, and mild discomfort.
What Must I Do During My Laser Blepharoplasty Recovery?
It's essential to pay attention to how you're feeling after your laser eyelid procedure. Even though you may have relatively mild bruising and swelling, there may still be some strategies that can help you recover more quickly. Applying cold packs at frequent intervals during the first 72 hours is essential to minimize bruising and swelling. In addition you may want to sleep with your head slightly elevated for a few days. If your eyes feel dry or sensitive, limit how much screen time you engage in. Even reading may need to be limited to a few minutes at a time for the first few days after your treatment. Your aftercare instructions may also advise against using your regular facial cleanser, serums, and moisturizer while your eyelids are healing. It's wise to plan ahead for a few days of not driving, until your vision returns to normal. If you have questions about any part of your instructions, please don't hesitate to contact our office.
Will I Need Prescription Painkillers after My Laser Blepharoplasty Procedure?
During your consultation with Dr. Stern, you'll receive information regarding your procedure and what to expect afterward in terms of discomfort. The use of laser technology lessens certain side effects and risks but there may still be some mild discomfort to manage as you heal from your treatment. If you're prescribed pain medication, take it as needed to ensure that your comfort remains consistent and you don't experience unnecessary pain. Taking pain medication at regular intervals, even if you find that you only need over-the-counter medication, is key to the smoothest possible recovery from your laser blepharoplasty procedure.
When Can I Wear Makeup After Having Laser Blepharoplasty?
Laser blepharoplasty is appealing for its relatively short recovery period and the avoidance of incisions and sutures. That said, you may be advised to avoid wearing eye makeup for up to two weeks after your treatment. Waiting to start wearing makeup again has multiple benefits. One is that you avoid introducing bacteria to your eyelids during a time when they may be more prone to infection or irritation. Your eye makeup and your makeup brushes, including the mascara brush, contain bacteria that, normally, don't harm your body. After your laser procedure, your eyelids may be more susceptible to infection. Another reason to postpone wearing makeup is that the application itself, and the removal of makeup, puts pressure on the eyelids and may tug at the skin. Even without incisions, this could cause irritation and discomfort.
How long after laser eyelid surgery can I drive?
This depends on you. Most patients are able to drive after 24 hours, but some need more time. As long as you feel up to it, your vision won’t be impacted after that first day.
Are my results from laser blepharoplasty permanent?
It’s thought that eyelid surgery takes about a decade off of your facial age. These changes made by Dr. Stern are permanent. The skin removed is gone for good. The fat he has repositioned won’t migrate back to where it was. Levator muscles he tightened will remain firm.
But, while these surgeries deliver dramatic, yet subtle, results they don’t stop the march of time. You will have some slackening of your eyelids again with the natural processes of aging. But the sagging will never be to the same degree again, and it will occur from a younger starting place.
Bottom line, even with some future aging, you’ll love your younger eyes for the rest of your life.
Are there risks with laser blepharoplasty?
There are potential risks and complications of any surgery: infection, bleeding, and poor wound healing. Because of the reduction in bleeding that occurs thanks to using the laser, these possible risks are actually lower when a laser is used versus a traditional scalpel. There can be some eyelid specific complications such as dry eye, entropion or ectropion, and problems closing an eyelid, but these are very rare. Laser blepharoplasty with an experienced surgeon such as Dr. Stern is a safe, satisfying procedure.
With Dr. Fredric Stern
Whatever the procedure, those aging, puffy, tired eyes disappear and you emerge refreshed with natural-looking youthful vitality! As a board-certified ophthalmologist, Dr. Fredric Stern has specialized in cosmetic and reconstructive eyelid surgery since 1987, and is one of the Puget Sound areas most experienced eyelid surgeons.
“Dr. Stern, Karen and the team were terrific for my eyelid reduction. Everything went as I was told in advance and I am very happy with the results. I highly recommend Dr. Stern and team.” ~Andy