The eyes are one of the first areas to show the signs of aging. Over time, individuals may develop wrinkles, sagging skin and puffiness which can make them appear older, tired and worn out. Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is a plastic surgery procedure which can rejuvenate the eyes for a more youthful, rejuvenated and refreshed appearance. Surgery may be performed on the upper and/or lower eyelids to address fullness, discoloration and wrinkles. It can also nicely compliment a facelift surgery which patients sometimes elect to have in tandem with a blepharoplasty.
Candidates for eyelid surgery are generally looking to improve drooping upper eyelids and/or puffy under-eye bags. As with any surgery, patients should be in good general health and have realistic expectations for improving the appearance of the eyes. Dr. Smith will take many factors into account during consultation to determine whether or not eyelid surgery is the best procedure to help you meet your aesthetic goals.
Eyelid surgery is often performed with either general anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia and sedation. Surgical times average thirty minutes to two hours. The incisions are concealed within the natural lines of the eyelids, either in the creases of the upper eyelids or just below the lash line on the lower eyelids. In some cases, the incisions may be made on the inside of the lower eyelids, leaving no visible scarring.
Once the incisions are made, Dr. Smith separates the skin from the underlying muscle and fatty tissue. He then removes excess fat and skin and addresses the muscles before using very fine sutures to close the incision. For individuals with a pocket of fat beneath the lower eyelids and no excess skin, the incision may be made inside the lower eyelid and the excess fat is removed. This is known as transconjunctival blepharoplasty.
It’s normal for the eyelids to feel tight and sore after eyelid surgery but this can be managed with pain medication. Swelling and bruising are common. Keeping the head elevated and using cold compresses during the first few days of recovery can help to reduce swelling. Bruising may take up to two to four weeks to resolve. Patients may also experience blurred or double vision, light sensitivity, tearing, and a dry, itchy or burning sensation in the eyes. Most patients feel well enough to return to work and other normal activities within seven to ten days following eyelid surgery.