Several factors such as normal aging, sun damage, smoking, mechanical stretching and obesity can cause the eyelids to droop and sag as the supporting tissues deteriorate. This area is often one of the first to deteriorate, as the skin of the eyelid is thinner than the rest of the face. Eyelids that droop or bulge can cause people to appear much older or fatigued than they actually are.
Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that improves the appearance of the upper and lower eyelids by removing excess fat and skin. This procedure can be performed on men and women alike and offers a younger, more refreshed look that reflects across the whole face. If you have loose, sagging skin or puffy bags around your eyes, this procedure can help reduce these unwanted effects and leave the eyes looking young and fresh.
Blepharoplasty is now the most popular facial plastic surgery procedure after rhinoplasty. The popularity of this procedure reflects the importance of the eyes in perfecting overall appearance. In fact, two-thirds of adults consider the eyes to be the defining feature of the face. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your eyes, you may want to consider blepharoplasty to improve your look and boost your confidence through a safe procedure with minimal downtime.
Blepharoplasty is performed under local anesthesia with sedation. General anesthesia is occasionally used for anxious or nervous patients. Patients may choose to have this procedure on their upper or lower eyelids, or both. Depending on these choices, the procedure can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours.
If the upper eyelid is being treated, an incision is made along the natural crease of the eyelid. Once the incision is made, your doctor may reposition fat deposits, tighten muscles and tissue or remove excess skin in order to leave the eye looking younger and refreshed. For the lower eyelid, an incision is made on the inside of the eyelid to minimize scarring; the puffy “bags” are accessed from this incision and are removed and/or repositioned to improve the contour of the lower lid. Occasionally, a very small incision just below the eyelashes can be made to remove skin if necessary.
After the blepharoplasty procedure, your doctor may recommend applying lubricating antibiotic ointment and cold compresses to aid the healing process and minimize side effects such as swelling, bruising, irritation or dry eyes.
Patients can usually return to work within two days, but should avoid exercise and strenuous activities for at least 7-10 days. Swelling and other side effects usually subside within two weeks after surgery. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for your eyes following surgery.
Results of a blepharoplasty procedure are visible as swelling and bruising subside and will continue to improve for up to a year after surgery. This procedure is designed to produce long-lasting results. While surgery cannot prevent your eyes from aging, most patients are satisfied with their results and do not seek repeat procedures.
The scars from the blepharoplasty procedure are usually well concealed and will fade with time until they are virtually unnoticeable. The incision is hidden in the crease of the eyelid in an upper blepharoplasty, and often there is no skin incision in lower blepharoplasty.
As with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks associated with this procedure. Although rare, these risks include bleeding, infection, dry eyes, and an inability to fully close the eyes. The benefit of choosing an Oculoplastic Surgeon for your eyelid surgery is that they are trained in Ophthalmology prior to Eye Plastic Surgery, and take special attention to care for your eyes. You can discuss these risks, along with any other concerns you may have, with your doctor to reduce anxiety and worries about your surgery during your in office consultation.