Blepharoplasty General Information
Blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid surgery, is performed to improve the appearance of the eyes by removing excess skin and fat from above and/or below the eyelids. An eyelid lift can be performed in order to correct functional problems of the eye (functional blepharoplasty) or for solely aesthetic purposes (cosmetic blepharoplasty). Regardless of the motivation, the surgery is performed using similar techniques.
Candidates for blepharoplasty typically wish to improve the appearance or function of their eyes by correcting the following:
- Droopiness, puffiness, and/or bags under the eyes
- Excess fat that manifests as puffiness in the upper eyelids
- Sagging or lax skin that results in skin folds and disrupts the natural eyelid contour (which may also impair vision if the eyelid droops over the eye)
- Excess skin and fine lines on the lower eyelid
- Droopiness of the lower eyelids, which may lead to white showing below the irises
Candidates for blepharoplasty should be in good overall health, have healthy facial tissue with good skin elasticity, and have realistic expectations about the results of their eyelid surgery. Some individuals cannot undergo an eyelid lift, including those with certain serious eye conditions and other medical risk factors. During your initial consultation, your doctor will gain an understanding of your medical history and goals for the surgery so that he can help you decide if blepharoplasty is right for you.
Blepharoplasty can be performed on the upper eyelids, the lower eyelids, or both at the same time. Your surgeon will choose from a variety of techniques based on the areas of the eyes being treated. The surgery will be performed under general anesthesia or a combination of sedation and local anesthesia. Your doctor will carefully mark your skin to indicate where excess skin and fat pads will be removed. Then, he will make very precise incisions along the natural folds of the eyelid so the incisions will be unnoticeable once they have healed. Skin, fat, and/or muscles will removed with surgical instruments. Lastly, tissue glues or sutures are carefully applied to help reshape and smooth out the area around the eyelids. For patients who also suffer from droopy eyebrows, eyelid surgery may be combined with a brow lift to elevate the eyebrows and enhance the appearance of the eyes.
After your surgery, your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for your healing face. Typically, he will recommend that you apply an antibiotic ointment and use cold compresses at regular intervals throughout the day. Most patients experience only mild discomfort after eyelid surgery, which can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication. Your doctor will give you a complete set of instruction to follow before and after the surgery. Strict adherence to these instructions will help you recover more quickly and experience an optimal outcome.
As with all surgeries, an eyelid lift carries with it a certain amount of risk. Potential complications include an adverse reaction to anesthesia, infection, temporary inability to fully close your eyes, and increased instances of dry eye. During your initial consultation, your doctor will help you understand the benefits and potential complications so you can decide if eyelid surgery is the right choice for you.
Written by Dr. Sam Rizk