Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
It is the surrounding skin, rather than the eyes themselves, that conveys emotion. The tissue, muscle, fat, hair, and lashes all contribute to the wide array of facial expressions. Age, sun exposure, and hereditary factors all contribute to wrinkles, deep lines, and puffiness around the eyes.
The aging process can cause unwanted changes in expression, causing us to look permanently fatigued and older than we really are. These changes in appearance can cause emotional distress and sometimes even visual impairment. An eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, is designed to restore a more youthful look to your eyes.
Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and muscle from both the upper and lower eyelids. Underlying fatty tissue that produces bagginess can be selectively removed or repositioned. Blepharoplasty can improve drooping skin and bagginess. It can help improve vision in older patients who have hooding of their upper eyelids. Although it can add an upper eyelid crease to the Asian eyelid, it will not erase evidence or one’s racial or ethical heritage. Blepharoplasty will not remove “crow’s feet” or other wrinkles, eliminate dark circles under the eyes, or lift sagging eyebrows.
Local anesthesia is given around the eyes. An intravenous line is started so that sedation may also be given. During the procedure you will be awake but comfortable and relaxed. General anesthesia is rarely used.
- Traditional Blepharoplasty: An incision is made in the crease of the upper lid toward the temples. Once healed, it is not noticeable when the eye is open. On the lower lid, the incision is made along the lash line toward the temples, and is hidden by lashes when healed.
- The Transconjunctival Approach: This is a newer technique for lid blepharoplasty, involving an incision inside the lower lid. Fat can be removed through this incision, but excess skin cannot be eliminated.
- Laser resurfacing of the eyelids is a non-surgical alternative that may delay the need for a surgical blepharoplasty.
Recovery: What to Expect
The area surrounding the eyes will remain swollen in the days following the surgery. It should begin to subside after the first day.
The stitches will be removed in 4-5 days. Swelling and bruising will persist for about 10 days, but you can begin wearing makeup to help conceal these concerns. You may expect to resume normal activity within a week to 10 days, and start enjoying your new look within approximately 10-14 days.