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Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to remove excess skin and reposition loose muscles from both the upper and lower eyelids. This is done to diminish an aged and/or tired expression, giving you a more youthful and rested look. The skin, muscle, and fat surrounding the eyes typically convey more emotion than the eyes themselves, which is why some patients with loose excess eyelid skin may appear older or more fatigued than they actually are. Consequently, the effects of age combined with factors such as sun exposure and genetics can further exacerbate the appearance of facial aging by causing wrinkles, puffiness, and fine lines.

When the eyes begin to lose their supportive structure, your facial appearance can belie your age and/or energy levels. In some cases, loose facial tissue can even cause visual impairment if sagging skin droops into your line of sight. For all these reasons, eyelid surgery—often known as an eyelid lift or blepharoplasty—is performed to refresh the face and restore a more youthful look to your eyes. Dr. John Ayala, our skilled plastic surgeon, can develop a personalized treatment plan to rejuvenate the eyelid region according to your goals. 

What Can Blepharoplasty Accomplish?

Upper and/or lower eyelid surgery can be performed together or as lone procedures to achieve a brighter, more energetic appearance. Underlying fatty tissue that produces bagginess can be selectively removed or repositioned. The procedure can also improve drooping skin and puffiness under the eyelids. For some older patients, eyelid surgery can improve vision for those who have “hooding” of their upper eyelids. Blepharoplasty will not remove “crow’s feet” or other wrinkles, eliminate dark circles under the eyes, or lift sagging eyebrows. To restore the eyebrows to a more central positioning, Dr. Ayala may recommend a brow lift in complement with, or in lieu of, eyelid surgery. 

The Procedure

Eyelid surgery is usually an outpatient procedure performed at our accredited surgical facility. Local anesthesia is delivered around the eyes to enhance patient comfort. An intravenous line is also started so that sedation may be given. During the procedure, you will be awake but comfortable and relaxed. General anesthesia is rarely used. The best technique to rejuvenate the eyelid region will depend on your anatomical needs, with different approaches including: 

  • Standard Blepharoplasty: Upper eyelid surgery involves making an incision along the crease of the lid toward the temples, allowing discreet scarring after the procedure. During lower eyelid surgery, the incision is completely concealed within the lower lash line.  
  • Transconjunctival Blepharoplasty: This approach can be suitable for patients who require removal of fat in the lower lids, but who do not need to address excess skin. A relatively newer technique when compared to traditional blepharoplasty, the transconjunctival procedure uses an incision on the inside of the lower lid, resulting in no external scarring. 
  • Laser resurfacing: As a non-surgical method of refreshing the eyelids, laser skin resurfacing can somewhat tighten the skin surrounding the eyes to achieve a minor improvement until a patient is ready for eyelid surgery. 

What Can I Expect During Recovery After Blepharoplasty?

The region surrounding the upper and/or lower eyelids will be swollen for the first few days after surgery, but swelling should quickly begin to subside. It is not uncommon for bruising and swelling to last as long as 10 days, but ice packs and oral pain medication can help to reduce discomfort. Stitches are typically removed after four to five days. While patients generally return to work and their normal routines within 7 to 10 days following the procedure, exercise should be avoided for at least four weeks. The outcome of your new look is generally apparent approximately two weeks after surgery. 

Please contact Ayala Plastic Surgery for more information about how you can rejuvenate your facial appearance with our many facial plastic surgery options.