Tired of Looking Tired? — Eyelid Surgery
In part one, we’ll review some more information about eyelid surgery (“blepharoplasty”) as one of the best options for improving the look around your eyes.
Why consider Blepharoplasty?
Upper eyelid surgery can:
- Correct drooping upper eyelids
- Remove puffy tissue above the eyes
- Smooth some lines and wrinkles around the eyes
Lower eyelid surgery can:
- Eliminate puffy bags under the eyes
- Correct a drooping lower eyelid and loose skin
What is Involved?
Before making any decisions the first step is a careful examination of your eyelids and brow and a discussion of your goals.
For the upper eyelids the main issue is loose skin with extra folds. In some people there is some extra fat that causes added fullness of the upper eyelid — especially more toward the middle where people sometimes have a small fatty deposit that bulges just above the inside corner of the eye. However, loose skin is definitely the main problem for the upper lids.
Upper eyelid procedures involve a very carefully planned removal of the loose skin. You can get an idea of what this might look like by pinching the excess skin when you look in the mirror.
During the procedure any extra fat or muscle bulge can be corrected as well. Very fine sutures are placed to close the incision that is hidden within a natural skin crease.
For the lower eyelids we have two issues to examine. The main complaint from patients is that of puffy lower eyelid bags, but we also see loose wrinkled skin in this area. The goals are similar to those with the upper eyelids, but the technique involved for fixing the lower eyelids is much different.
Dr. Rodwell uses a transconjunctival approach to treat the fatty deposits by using an incision hidden on the inner surface of the eyelid to allow access to remove the fat bulges. The transconjunctival technique decreases the chance of distorting the lower eyelid and avoids having a pulled down look that is a problem with some other methods used to correct the lower lids.
Eyelid surgery should NEVER distort the natural contours of your eyelids and lash line.
In some patients with very loose skin and fine wrinkles a “skin pinch” is then performed which is very similar to the upper eyelid procedure in the sense that a small area of loose excess skin is carefully removed with the incision hidden within the natural creases.
Blepharoplasty is most often performed with sedation for your comfort; however, there are many patients who can easily tolerate upper eyelid surgery in an office setting under local anesthesia with a light amount of sedation in the form of a pill. This allows for a very simple and quick recovery without the added issues and cost related to having a heavy anesthetic.
Lower eyelid surgery using the transconjunctival technique is a bit more complicated and, as a general rule, does require some sedation for most patients.
Very fine sutures are used during the procedure, and they are removed around 4 days after the operation leaving a fine line that will continue to fade over time.
Some bruising and swelling is to be expected but can be minimized by using cold packs, keeping your head elevated, and relaxing as much as possible. Most people can very quickly get back to work, but you’ll want to wait a couple of weeks before you restart any heavy exercise or other strenuous activity.
The results are immediate, but the swelling in the early healing stages can hide some of the long term improvement that you will soon begin to see.
Many people also ask about how long a procedure like this lasts. Well, it does provide permanent results, but the aging process continues. A small amount of patients may consider a touch up procedure 10+ years down the road, but most eyelid surgery patients are happy with their results and need no additional treatments for the eyelids themselves.
The eyes are a very complex area of the face, and as you will see in the next few blog posts there are many factors that contribute to issues with aging and a tired appearance around the eyes. The goal is to understand that and come up with the best options for each individual patient. Eyelid surgery is the mainstay of treatment, but as you will learn options such as Botox, laser treatments, and brow procedures are also important to consider.
Dr. David Rodwell specializes in facial cosmetic surgery including eyelid and browlift procedures. To learn more about your options and what to expect after these procedures call our office at (843) 628-1415 to schedule a private consultation.