It may not be surprising that New York plastic surgeon Roman Rayham, MD has seen an uptick in eyelift surgeries in the mask-wearing era—but one, somewhat steady, “a-ha moment” associated with the surgery: When patients find out how attainable the aesthetic option really is.
“Since COVID started and with the work-related downtime that came with it, there’s a little bit more of an opportunity for people to do procedures, such as eyelid surgery,” Dr. Rayham explains. “This time at home has given people an opportunity to go ahead with the operation.”
While the healing process isn’t instantaneous, the actual surgery is pretty straightforward: “It is usually done with local anesthesia, with a little bit of oral sedation, so it puts the patient at peace,” explains Dr. Rayham, who likens it to going to the dentist, where one may feel the initial injection slightly, but not much else. “After that, it takes about an hour to do the upper eyelids, and about another hour to do the lower eyelids.”
When it comes to the downtime involved, Dr. Rayham says it takes “about a week or two,” and he tells patients they may want to plan not to be in public during that time, mainly because of the swelling involved.
“After about a week, we take the stitches out. There’s still some swelling but, for the most part, patients can get back to work and they can see clearly.”
Still not sure if you’re the right candidate? Dr. Rayham offers this advice: “Usually, the upper blepharoplasty procedure is best for patients who come in with hanging skin where the complaint is, ‘I can’t really put my mascara or my eyeshadow on.’ That typically happens because they have skin overlaying the eyelids, and that usually also comes along with the complaint of, ‘I have those puffy bags over my eyes,’ or ‘My eyes kind of feel heavy.’”
In other cases, he says it can come down to not being able to see properly. “I have patients who come in who say, ‘It’s very hard for me to see even traffic signs or signs on top of the billboards. That’s because the skin of the eyelids prevents you from opening the eyes.”
For the bottom eyelids, Dr. Rayham explains that the issue usually shows up as puffy bags, coupled with excess skin and fullness under the eyes. “In the right candidate, once you remove any bags, it can create a more-youthful look. It’s a surgery that gives you very good, very long-lasting results that keep you looking youthful, vibrant and young.”
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