Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
The eyes are often the feature people notice first when they meet us. They are an expressive part of our face that often reflect our moods and convey emotions such as happiness, and show laughter. But if you experience sagging upper lids or dark, puffy “bags”, your eyes may be causing you to look more tired or older than you are. For many, this is where the signs of aging are most prominent. In some instances, it may even interfere with your vision. Eyelid surgery can be performed on the upper eyelids, the lower lids, or both, to help take years off of your face.
Eyelid surgery, technically called blepharoplasty, is a procedure to remove fat, usually along with excess skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. Although eyelid surgery can correct drooping upper lids and puffy bags below your eyes, it won’t remove crow’s feet or other wrinkles, eliminate dark circles under your eyes, or lift sagging eyebrows.*
For upper eyelid surgery, generally an incision is hidden within the natural fold of the upper eyelid and extends slightly beyond the outside corner into the laugh lines or other existing creases. Working through these incisions, the skin is separated from underlying fatty tissue and muscle, excess fat is removed, and sagging skin and muscle can be trimmed. These incisions are then closed with very fine sutures. Because the incision follows the natural contour of the upper eyelid, it will be well camouflaged when healed.
For lower eyelid surgery, the incision is hidden just below the lower lashes. Through this incision, excess skin, muscle and fat are removed, or fat may be redistributed to eliminate puffiness or bulges. Other adjustments to correct special problems such as muscle laxity may be performed. As in upper eyelid surgery, the incision is well camouflaged by natural creases.
If you have a pocket of fat beneath your lower eyelids but don’t need to have any skin removed, your surgeon may perform a transconjunctival blepharoplasty. In this procedure the incision is made inside your lower eyelid, leaving no visible scar. Removal of fat from your eyelids is permanent, and these conditions generally will not recur. However, the skin continues to age, and skin laxity along the fine wrinkling of the eyelid area may, at some point, return.
Following eyelid surgery, activities are limited to a minimum for three to five days, and strenuous activities are not advised for about three weeks. Most people feel ready to go out in public and back to work in a week to 10 days. Since the healing process is gradual, you should expect to wait at least several weeks to get an accurate picture of the results of your eyelid surgery. Incisions will fade over a number of months until they become barely visible.
Even though the aging process continues, patients are usually happy with their appearance for many years to come following eyelid surgery. The effects of this surgery will make you look more rested, refreshed and alert, and you will enjoy the compliments from others when they notice this too!
* Because eyelid surgery does not address aesthetic concerns such as sagging eyebrows, dark circles, or wrinkling of the “crow’s feet”, other procedures such as a forehead lift, a chemical peel, Laser Resurfacing or Botox® may be recommended to compliment a blepharoplasty surgery.