Eyelid reshaping (blepharoplasty) is No. 3 on the ASPS's top five surgical procedures. Almost 209,000 (208,764) procedures were performed in 2010, a slight increase (3 percent) over 2009. However, it's not the booming business it once was, falling off 36 percent from 2000 (327,514 procedures). And it's not cheap, either. The average fee was $2,828, according to the ASPS.
Still, eyelid lifts or reshaping is quite popular among a demographic that can usually afford it -- patients who are 55 and older. In 2010, blepharoplasty accounted for 100,378 of the 349,237 surgical procedures in this age group, the clear-cut No. 1 (facelifts were a distant second, at 74,382). That statistic might skew the overall popularity of eyelid reshaping across all age groups, but the fact remains that the over-50 age group is among the fastest growing segment of cosmetic surgery patients [source: WebMD].
The procedure addresses both the eyelids immediately above and below the eyes, and excess tissue underneath the eyes, too. For many patients, the problem is simply one of age -- as our skin loses its natural elasticity over time -- and gravity (the root cause of many cosmetic conditions). However, others may find that they have an early onset of eyelid issues, which can be traced to hereditary causes.
Blepharoplasty is commonly referred to as a cosmetic procedure, but in some instances an eyelid lift is required to help improve a patient's eyesight. This genuine safety concern may allow patients to have insurance cover the procedure.
Know what's next? Just follow your nose.