What is Eyelid Surgery?
The eyes are the first thing we notice when we meet someone new. Beautiful eyes can make up for other features that are less than ideal. Likewise, eyes that are tired, droopy, or swollen may not reflect a vibrant inner self. The earliest signs of aging are often around the eyes. You may feel that the eyes looking back at you in the mirror every morning are old and tired looking. Or maybe people are always asking you if you had a good night's sleep because your eyes are swollen with bags. Fortunately, cosmetic surgery can give you dramatically younger eyes through eyelid lifts or blepharoplasty surgery.
One reason that eyes may seem droopy is simply due to age. As everything droops, so do the eyebrows. As the outer parts of the eyebrows droop, the skin of the upper eyelids will look saggy, as if you had developed extra skin that was not there several years before. Trimming this "extra" skin can improve that droopy look.
The other reason for "tired eyes" is because of droopy eyelid fat. This fat is held back by a thin wall of fibrous tissue called the orbital septum, which sags over time. The fat, held firmly back by this wall in youth, can bulge with age, giving you "baggy" upper and lower eyelids. Eyelid lifts trim this extra fat and tighten the wall, restoring a youthful contour.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is a good candidate for eyelid surgery?
The best candidates for eyelid surgery are men or women who are physically healthy and seek to correct puffiness or drooping of the eyes. Surgeons may discourage eyelid surgery for patients with certain medical conditions. Be sure to discuss your health status with your surgeon.
What does eyelid surgery involve?
Eyelid surgery corrects drooping upper lids and puffy bags below your eyes by removing excess fat, muscle and skin above and below the eyes. The procedure lasts between one to two hours and is performed under local or general anesthesia.
Your surgeon will first make incisions along the natural lines and crease of your upper and lower eyelids. The skin is then separated from underlying fatty tissue and muscle and excess fat removed. Often surgeons also trim sagging skin or muscle.
What should I do in the time leading up to my eyelid surgery?
Your doctor will give you instructions preparing for eyelid surgery and guidelines on eating, smoking, drinking and medications or vitamins to take or avoid taking. You will want to arrange for someone to drive you home following your procedure.
What should I expect following eyelid surgery?
Immediately following surgery, you may experience temporary discomfort such as tightness of lids, swelling, bruising, dryness, burning or itching of eyes, excessive tearing or sensitivity to light. Most side effects subside within one to three weeks.
You will want to keep your head elevated for several days and apply a cold compress to reduce swelling and bruising. Bruising may be the most severe during the first week following surgery and usually fades completely between one to three weeks. Your stitches will be removed approximately one week after the eyelid procedure.
Healing is gradual process and recovery is variable depending upon the amount of work done to your lids. You may read or watch television after two or three days and return to work within ten days following surgery. Contact lenses may not be worn for at least two weeks. Strenuous activity may be resumed within three weeks.
Patients generally look more alert and refreshed after eyelid surgery. Although the aging process continues, the results typically last for many years.