Be honest–Have you ever stood in front of a mirror, fingertips pushing back at your temples, looking for your old self? You might not even mind getting older. It’s more about how tired, stressed out and even grumpy you look, even when that’s not how you feel inside.

More than any other part of our face, our eyes communicate how we are feeling. We want what comes across to be an accurate reflection. Most of us are no match against time, gravity and sun exposure that lead to signs of aging. We could use some help fighting them off. Sometimes a little. Sometimes a lot.

If you are reading this, you are probably already considering going to a plastic surgeon for that help. Making a cosmetic change to any part of your body, your eyes in particular, is a very personal decision. Just as no two people are the same, no single eye procedure is a fit for everyone. In fact, many people opt for a combination of treatments and procedures.

Your choices depend on several factors including your health, your desired outcome and cost. Notice we mentioned health first. This is because your overall health and lifestyle (including whether you smoke or not) will determine whether some (or any) surgical options are available to you. Read more about how smoking can affect your surgery here.

When making your choice, it is also important to have realistic expectations. Your eyes can be made to look more youthful and vibrant but, in the end, they are still your eyes. It is best to think of plastic surgery as a way to enhance what you have, not to completely change it.

And of course, you must consider the cost of any given procedure. In general, surgical procedures cost more than non-invasive procedures, and the cost of surgery goes up depending on the complexity.

Below are descriptions of the most common procedures available, singly or in combination, to regain a fresher more youthful appearance for your eyes. They are listed from least to most complex.

Botox® injections

Botox® injections are one of the most affordable cosmetic procedures and can often be done in less than ten minutes in the office. Botox® was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013 “to improve the appearance of crow’s feet lines.” It is also used to smooth wrinkles on the forehead and between the eyes. The results last about three months. Read more here.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers like Juvederm® and Radiesse® are often used in conjunction with Botox®. Fillers can be injected under the skin to fill in the hollows beneath the eyes. They can also plump up deeper grooves and lines, particularly those between the brows and on the forehead (you know, the ones that make you look angry even when you’re not). These treatments can be done in under 20 minutes and last up to nine months for Juvederm® and two years for Radiesse®. Read more here and here.

Eyelid Surgery

When it comes to plastic surgery, an eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) is one of the quickest and least complicated surgical procedures–but it is still surgery. This means the results are permanent, the cost increases and your health plays a more significant role. Always choose a plastic surgeon who is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) to be sure he or she is Board Certified, has proper training and hospital privileges.

Eyelid surgery can address puffiness and extra sagging skin of the upper eyelids, as well as loose sagging skin, puffiness and dark circles under the eyes.

Upper eyelid–the incision is hidden in the natural fold of the eyelid. Extra fat and skin are removed for a smoother more youthful appearance.

Lower eyelid–The incision is hidden under the lower lashes. Excess fat and skin are removed for a tighter and smoother under eye. If only fat is being removed, the incision can be made inside the lower eyelid.

Eyelid surgery can be done with botox injections, dermal fillers or a brow lift. Learn more about eyelid surgery here.

Brow Lift

A brow lift not only elevates the eyebrows, but can smooth out wrinkles on the forehead and between the brows. Done even without eyelid surgery, it can decrease sagging of the eyelids, for a more vibrant look.

Whether done in a hospital or outpatient facility, a brow lift usually takes just a few hours and doesn’t require an overnight stay. Brow lifts are performed using conventional incisions along the hairline or endoscopically. The second approach uses significantly smaller incisions and recovery is generally quicker. Read more here.

No matter what you choose, for optimal results it is important to follow your surgeon’s instructions before and after surgery. To find out what is the best approach for you and your eyes, make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Slack today.