The Lunchtime Eye Procedure This Plastic Surgeon Says Makes You Look More Awake

The Lunchtime Eye Procedure This Plastic Surgeon Says Makes You Look More Awake featured image
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Pasadena, CA plastic surgeon Lily Lee, MD considers the eyelift one of the “great procedures” in plastic surgery. “I think it’s great because the eyes are typically the first thing people see. It’s interesting because when I do rhinoplasties, sometimes patients will say that nobody really noticed anything was different! A rhinoplasty is very dramatic from the profile, but when someone looks at you dead-on, which is how most people look at you, they mainly notice your eyes. This is a procedure that, when done right, doesn’t look done—but people will say you look a little more awake, that you look a little happier, that you look a little brighter.”

Subtle Changes

“It’s not like you’re really changing a whole lot. I have a lot of patients that come in and say, ‘I do not want to look like a deer in headlights,’ and I tell them, ‘Don’t worry, because we’re not doing your brows.’ Usually, that deer in headlights look is from a brow lift being too aggressive. With an eyelift, that ‘pulled’ kind of result is almost impossible. Just the pure eyelift in and of itself—it’s impossible to make you look like a deer in headlights.”

Once in a Lifetime

“The best candidate will definitely have something to remove in terms of excess skin on the lid. A lot of times people also ask, ‘How long is this going to last?’ If it’s done well, you really should not have anything to worry about that—the skin does not grow back. If it’s done well, you only need to do it once, maybe a second time, years, years, later, decades later. It really is not one of those things that we want to plan to do many times.”

Insurance Card

“If we can prove that the excess skin is blocking your field division to a point where it’s dangerous, it is absolutely true that it can be paid for by insurance. I did my dad’s eyes several years ago. When he was driving back up to see me for a post-op appointment, he told my mom, who was sitting in the car, that he could see the streetlights better. It was two o’clock in the afternoon!”

Lunch Break

“I don’t want to say it’s an easy surgery, but the recovery is not tough, and we have some tricks that we can do to make it even easier. Really, the thing that takes the longest is the bruising—that really can take the longest to resolve. As far as healing though, the eyes are a really privileged area where the incision heals very quickly. There’s really not a lot of pain that comes along with it either. I’ve stopped even prescribing narcotic pain medications with this surgery. I would say it’s just the swelling and the bruising that’s bothersome. We have lots of little tips and tricks that we incorporate to try and minimize that as much as we can. The actual surgery itself is probably maybe 20 minutes per eye. It’s not a terribly long surgery. My husband’s an eye doctor, so he does cataract surgery. Compared to that, this is, I guess, longish, but compared to a lot of plastic surgery, it’s fairly straightforward and it’s always outpatient, unless we’re combining it with a lot of other surgeries.”

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