Age is often deduced from the appearance of our eyes. These "windows into our souls" can give a tired, run-down impression. Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is designed to remove excess skin and fat from the upper and lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery should center on making the eyes look better, not different. The procedure can correct over-hanging skin found on the upper lid that can sag over time. When extreme, hanging skin can actually get in the way of your vision. Upper eyelid surgery can also create an eyelid crease when absent. A blepharoplasty can also correct the puffy bags that develop below the eyes. This puffiness is the protective fat located around the eye which begins to herniate into the skin with aging. When lower puffiness is the only problem the surgery can be designed to leave no visible scar, this is because the surgical approach is through the inside of the lower eyelid. Blepharoplasty can either be done as a single procedure, or with other facial surgery such as a facelift or a brow lift to give an overall improvement to a patient's facial harmony. Often eyelid surgery is combined with Laser resurfacing to tighten up the remaining skin around the eye. Healing time is quick but the appearance of the lids will continue to improve over several months.
Blepharoplasty is ideal for the correction of:
Blepharoplasty cannot raise the eyebrows or reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles, crow's feet or dark circles under the eyes. However, eyelid lifts can be combined with other procedures such as brow lifts, BOTOX® Cosmetic treatments and laser procedures to achieve these results.
The best candidates for blepharoplasty:
Dr. Roland will talk to you about whether you are a good candidate for eyelid surgery.
Eyelid surgery may be performed with local anesthesia and IV sedation. The procedure can take less than 45 minutes.
Incisions are made along the eyelids in inconspicuous places: in the natural creases of the upper lids for upper eyelid blepharoplasty and just below the lash line on the lower lids for lower eyelid blepharoplasty. He then closes the incisions with fine sutures. If no skin needs to be removed, Dr. Roland may perform a transconjunctival blepharoplasty. Here the incision is made inside the lower eyelids to remove the fat pockets so there are no visible scars.
Bruising, swelling and a sense of tightness in the eyelids are common after eyelid surgery. These should subside within 2-4 weeks. Most patients resume activities in 3-5 days, when non-absorbable stitches are removed, and return to work in about one week. On average by two months after your surgery, you should see the results of your eyelid lift: a more bright-eyed look around the eyes.
Contact lenses may not be worn post operatively until you are advised to. Eyes can be sensitive to light and wind and may be slightly irritated for a short while; Dr. Roland may prescribe eye drops and cool compresses to ease any discomfort.
Complications from blepharoplasty are uncommon, but can include infection, reaction to anesthesia, dry eyes, double or blurred vision for a few days, temporary swelling of the eyelids, tiny whiteheads in the scars, and difficulty closing eyes when going to sleep. Uneven healing and scarring, and ectropion (pulling down of the lower lids) are very rare and may require surgical correction. Patients with a history of vision correction surgery, thyroid problems, dry eye, high blood pressure, diabetes, detached retina, glaucoma or other health problems should discuss these issues during the consultation about their eligibility.
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Donald Roland, MD
BOARD CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON