Type of Surgery

Excess Baggage – Eye Bag Removal

Doctor Certified

Last updated: 10/31/2009

It is hard to argue that bags under the eyes are attractive. Those fatty, wrinkly, sometimes dark areas under the eyes are unappealing and are the most commonly occurring aesthetic problem of the eyelids. Bags under the eyes are not necessarily caused by excess fatigue or obesity, in fact, well rested, athletic and thin people can develop eye bags and festoons, as they are called. Bags under the eyes make people look old beyond their years and appear chronically tired (whether or not they really are!). If we could easily get rid of eye bags, most of us would. Fortunately there is a cosmetic surgery that makes eye bag removal a reality.
Bags under the eyes form when the fat deposits around the eye protrude (herniate) past the tough membrane that normally holds the fat pad more deeply on the face. Eye bag removal surgery, also known as blepharoplasty to remove lower lid festoons, involves treating both the cosmetic deficiency and the causative problem. The procedure begins with an incision in the lower eyelid, right as the line created by the lower eyelids. First, the cosmetic deficiency is treated by removing the fat pad that is causing the lower eyelid bulge in the first place (the real eye bag removal). The second part of the surgery involves tightening in the muscles that run under the eye so that they are better equipped to “hold back” the fatty pockets while at the same time giving the face a “lift” over the area of the cheeks. In fact, many patients undergoing eye bag removal surgery opt to have a face lift performed at the same time.
One relatively recent innovation in the field of blepharoplasty is laser eye bag removal. Not to be confused with laser skin resurfacing, laser eye bag removal uses laser energy to cut the skin and dissect out the fatty bags. One benefit to the laser eye bag removal technique is that it immediately cauterizes the surgical wound. Moreover, the sagging muscle that is responsible for the baggy lid appearance can be tightened by treating it with the laser directly. Laser eye bag removal, while new, may prove superior to traditional blepharoplasty techniques.
Eye bag removal is one of the most commonly performed plastic surgeries on the eyelids. When performed by a skilled cosmetic plastic surgeon, the procedure can have a dramatic effect on the look of the face as a whole. Since the surgery is more technically challenging than most, it is important to carefully select a surgeon that routinely performs blepharoplasty of this type.
Given the technical skill required to perform successful eye bag removal cost can be rather high. The average eye bag removal cost for surgeon fees in 2008 was approximately $3,000 according to an American Society of Plastic Surgeons report. This cost is for traditional rather than laser eye bag removal. Facilities fees and cost of anesthesia can add $500 to $1,500 to the total bill. As with all cosmetic surgeries, including eye bag removal surgery, the cost of the procedure is not covered by health insurance. Therefore it is important to fully discuss eye bag removal cost with your plastic surgeon prior to the procedure.

Last Updated: 10/31/2009

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