Blepharoplasty, more commonly known as eyelid surgery, is a surgical procedure that corrects sagging, drooping, or tired-looking eyelids.
Since the skin on the eyelid is much thinner than the rest of the face, it's often one of the first facial areas to show signs of aging. The muscles and tissues that support the eyelids can weaken, causing such conditions. Besides making you appear older, sagging eyelids can also affect your peripheral vision, making daily activities, such as driving, difficult.
Who COULD BENEFIT FROM BLEPHAROPLASTY?
Blepharoplasty removes excess fat and skin and tightens the eyelid's muscles and tissues. It eliminates the drooping of skin into the visual field, and consequently, greatly improves peripheral vision.
Those experiencing the following could therefore benefit from blepharoplasty:
• Loose or sagging skin on the upper eyelid
• Drooping lower eyelids
• Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid
• Bags under the eyes
• Fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the eyelids
Whether you wish to improve your appearance or your eyelids' functionality, blepharoplasty can help rejuvenate the area surrounding your eyes.
Cosmetic blepharoplasty has no effect on vision, but the results are a younger, and more refreshed appearance. It can be performed on either the upper or lower eyelid, or on both.
It's important a patient undergoing a cosmetic blepharoplasty has realistic expectations. Although the procedure can enhance appearance and improve self-confidence, it doesn't dramatically alter the face.
Functional blepharoplasty may be performed if the eyelids sag into the field of vision and affect your peripheral vision, making daily activities more difficult. This procedure may be covered by medical insurance if it is deemed medically necessary. Specialists utilize an instrument known as a Humphrey Visual Field (HVF) Analyzer to successfully determine how much of a person's vision is affected by their eyelids.
Blepharoplasty is typically performed as an outpatient procedure requiring local anesthesia or sedation, but general anesthesia may be used for those who prefer to be asleep. A patient should consult with their surgeon to decide whether to modify their upper or lower eyelids, or both. The procedure can take anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours.
Surgical incision lines are designed to conceal associated scars within the natural structures of the eyelid region. For example, the incision for a procedure on the upper lid will typically follow its natural crease. Fat deposits are re-positioned or extracted, muscles and tissues are tightened, and excess skin is removed.
For a traditional lower eyelid surgery, an incision is made just below the lash line so excess skin can be removed. Once healed, the scar is usually not visible. Transconjunctival blepharoplasty—which does not require an external incision, but rather, internally within the lower eyelid—can correct lower eyelid conditions and remove, or redistribute, excess fat, without visible scars.
Following the procedure, the incisions are closed with one easily removed suture.
Patients may be advised to apply lubricating drops/ointment and cold compresses to aid in healing and minimize bruising following blepharoplasty, and will be given specific care instructions before leaving the surgeon's office.
Initial healing may include some swelling, bruising, irritation, dry eyes and discomfort that can be controlled with medication, cold compresses and ointment. The swelling and bruising around the surgical site will subside on its own, and patients can conceal additional bruising with camouflage makeup after just a few days.
Most patients are able to return to work within a few days to a week, but should avoid exercise and strenuous activities for at least two weeks—with most swelling and other side effects typically subsiding within two weeks as well. Patients can resume wearing contact lenses when their eyes feel comfortable, usually one to two weeks after surgery.
The scars from blepharoplasty are well-concealed, and usually fade with time until they are virtually undetectable. Although the eyelids are still subject to aging, blepharoplasty produces long-lasting results.