As we age, gravity works against us and skin loses its elasticity, causing the upper eyelids to droop and allowing fatty tissue to accumulate below the eyes. When we look in the mirror, we may see someone who looks older and more tired than we feel because of droopy eyelids upper eyelids and crepe-paper skin under our eyes. Our friends may ask if we are tired or angry in spite of adequate rest and good health. Fortunately, it is possible to correct these issues and restore a more youthful, rested appearance.
Blepharoplasty Also Known as Eyelid Surgery
Blepharoplasty, more commonly referred to as eyelid surgery, is a cosmetic procedure that improves the overall appearance of the eyelids. It can be performed on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both, and it is intended to give the area surrounding the eyes a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance. Blepharoplasty is performed to correct numerous issues including excess skin and fatty deposits that cause puffiness in the upper eyelids, sagging skin that creates folds, under-eye bags and droopiness and wrinkles in the lower eyelids. In addition to creating a more youthful and rested appearance, blepharoplasty is also commonly performed to reduce or eliminate impaired vision caused by drooping or severely sagging skin particularly of the upper eyelids.
At 44, I was tired of looking tired. I opted to have Dr. Schlechter perform a lower blepharoplasty and am thrilled beyond belief at the results! – JC
How Is Blepharoplasty Performed?
Eyelid surgery is most often performed on an outpatient basis using IV sedation, however in some cases the procedure cab performed under local anesthesia. Typically, the patient is given intravenous medication to relax, and a numbing medication is injected into the skin of the eyelids.
The exact nature of the procedure depends upon the specific issues you are having corrected. If both eyelids are being operated on, the surgeon typically starts with the upper lids. An incision is made along the eyelid’s natural fold, and excess skin and fat and are carefully removed. Once this excess tissue has been removed, the incision is closed using stitches under the skin or using stitches that dissolve.
When addressing the lower eyelid, an incision is made either inside the lower eyelid or just below the lower eyelashes. Sagging skin and fat are removed and the fat can be relocated, and then the incision is closed with tiny stitches that dissolve. The incisions created during the blepharoplasty procedure typically heal with minimal to no scarring.
Am I a Candidate for Blepharoplasty?
The blepharoplasty procedure can be performed on both men and women of varying ages. Heaving healthy tissue and muscles surrounding the eyes is essential. Ideal candidates for eyelid surgery are in overall good health and do not have any medical conditions that slow or impair healing. It is also important to be free of serious eye conditions.
Good candidates for blepharoplasty should have realistic expectations. It is important to have specific but reasonable goals in mind prior to undergoing the procedure. During your initial consultation, your surgeon will discuss your goals with you and determine whether or not you are a good candidate for the procedure.
Eyelid Surgery Recovery
Immediately following eyelid surgery, you will spend some time in a recovery room where you are monitored and cared for one on one with our nurse prior to being sent home. Ice is applied to the eye areas to help minimize bruising and swelling.
Pain is typically minimal after blepharoplasty and is usually manageable with Tylenol or another mild pain reliever. Bruising and swelling are common during the first week. During the first week of healing, it is necessary to take certain precautions and follow your doctor’s orders closely. Avoid straining and demanding physical activities. Wear sunglasses when outdoors to protect the skin around your eyes from sun and wind. Keep the area clean, and use any drops or ointments as directed. If stitches were used, they generally are removed by 5 to 7 days. With proper care and attention to your doctor’s orders, healing is generally easy, and patients are very happy with the results.