“Everyone wants to look attractive. Since I am a Bharatnatyam dancer, I wanted my eyes to be expressive. Facial expressions are very important in dance forms and it comes from eye movements. So, I opted for a cosmetic eye surgery to reduce excessive skin on the eyelids,” says Indora Soibam, 28, a resident of Imphal, Manipur.
Like Soibam, thousands of people go in for cosmetic eye surgeries not just to make their eyes look expressive but also to get rid of prescription glasses and contact lenses. Soibam went in for blepharoplasty, (a plastic surgery to remove excessive skin on the eyelids). The cost of the procedure ranges between Rs. 30,000 and Rs. 40,000 for both eyes.
“The common indication for this surgery is cosmetic because when skin hangs down to the lid margin, this gives a tired look. In elderly people, it can cause problems for their field of vision.
Then the surgery becomes functional to correct their vision.
It requires a lot of expertise for this surgery because if the scars are not hidden properly, then bad scars may show up,” said Dr Vikas Menon, consultant, ophthalmic plastic and aesthetic surgery, orbit and ocular oncology, Centre for Sight.
“After the surgery, swelling and bruising are common and it takes 1-2 weeks to recover,” he added.
For many, glasses are too cumbersome and lenses irritating for the eye.
Hence, they go for removal of spectacles by reshaping the cornea using lasers that compensate for the power of the glasses.
“I went in for ReLEx SMILE surgery for cosmetic purposes. I was not comfortable with glasses and lenses.
"I was a little apprehensive before the surgery, but I did a bit of research. When I got to learn that the surgery was safe, I went in for it,” said Smriti Rana, 27, who is from Dehradun.
“LASIK and ReLEx SMILE surgeries are done for the removal of spectacles by reshaping the cornea. These surgeries cost between Rs. 25,000 and Rs. 1,00,000. The person can get back to work the next day or day after with certain precautions and medication. He/she is required to put eye drops for at least one month after the surgery,” said Dr Ritika Sachdev, additional director medical services, Centre for Sight.
Few other cosmetic surgeries for eyes include implantation of phakic intraocular lenses, which is done to remove high power glasses. Ptosis helps in repairing drooping eyelids and Botox is done to remove wrinkles around the eyes and forehead.
With people becoming more conscious about their looks and cosmetic surgeries getting affordable, the demand for such surgeries is growing by leaps and bounds. Surgeries are mostly done to correct birth-related defects, drooping of eyelids, deformities that develop due to traumatic injuries and age-related problems.