As you age, it’s not uncommon to develop excess tissue and excess skin around the eyelids. That excess tissue can begin to make patients look older and more tired than they actually feel. This disconnect can lead many patients to feel compelled to seek out a procedure known as eyelid surgery.
Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)1 is a procedure that removes fat along with excess skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery can correct drooping upper lids and puffy bags below your eyes – features that make you look older and more tired than you feel, and may even interfere with your vision. It won’t remove crow’s feet or other wrinkles, eliminate dark circles under your eyes, or lift sagging eyebrows. Blepharoplasty can be done alone or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a facelift or browlift.
Blepharoplasty2 works to improve the overall appearance of the eyes by removing excess tissue from the region. People can look older than they are due to puffy bags under the eyes or drooping, heavy eyelids. Blepharoplasty can help restore a youthful appearance and make the eyes look more alert. If you’re interested in discussing what this procedure can do to improve the appearance of your eyelids and your eyes themselves, contact Dr. Rokhsar to schedule a consultation.
*Results may vary.
In general, most candidates for blepharoplasty are those who have a certain amount of excess tissue around the eyes. However, because blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure–even a minor one–it’s important that candidates are well qualified for the procedure. In general, good candidates for blepharoplasty have the following characteristics:
As blepharoplasty3 is considered to be a minor procedure, it is generally done under a combination of local anesthesia and IV sedation. Many candidates choose to get eyelid surgery at the same time as other procedures such as a facelift, brow lift, or rhinoplasty.
While some patients choose to focus only on their upper or lower eyelids, many choose to have the procedure done on all four lids. In these cases, surgery is first performed on the upper lids, then the surgeon moves to the lower lids. Incisions are usually made in the crease of your eyelid for the upper lids and slightly underneath your eyelashes for the lower lids.
If you want to get started on your eyelid transformation, contact us today!
Blepharoplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure that addresses defects, deformities, and disfigurations of the eyelids or aesthetically modifies the eye region of the face. The procedure involves removing excess skin, muscle, and sometimes fat from the upper and/or lower eyelids to improve the appearance of sagging eyebrows, droopy upper lids, and bags under the eyes.
Blepharoplasty can be performed on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both, depending on the patient’s needs. The surgery can be done under local anesthesia and oral sedation, and it usually takes less than an hour. During the procedure, incisions are made in the eyelids to remove excess skin and fat, and sometimes muscles are repositioned or tightened to achieve a more natural appearance.
Blepharoplasty can improve both the appearance and function of the eyelids. For example, if excess upper eyelid skin is obstructing vision, blepharoplasty can remove it to improve peripheral vision. Additionally, the surgery can correct ptosis, or droopy eyelids, which may be caused by a variety of factors, including age, genetics, or neurological conditions.
After a blepharoplasty procedure, gentle massage can be beneficial in reducing swelling and promoting healing of scars. It is recommended to begin massaging the incision scars with silicone gel for at least 10-14 days, but up to 2-3 months following surgery. Both topical therapies can help hydrate the skin and prevent scarring. It is important to massage the scars gently with the ring finger to avoid putting too much pressure on the delicate eye area.
It is recommended to use cool compresses for the first 24 hours after blepharoplasty surgery, applying them to the eyelids every 10-15 minutes for 10-15 minutes After 24 hours, cold compresses are not as effective in reducing swelling.
It is important to avoid exposing blepharoplasty scars to direct sunlight by using a good sunscreen of 30 SPF or more to cover the face and eyelid area.
Recovery time for blepharoplasty typically ranges from 1 to 2 weeks. Patients may experience bruising and swelling around the eyes, which usually peaks on the second day post-surgery, and then begin to subside. Bruising may last up to 1-4 weeks while swelling may take longer to subside.
To help speed up recovery, patients are advised to rest their eyes and apply cold compresses to the area for the first 48 hours. Patients should also avoid activities such as heavy lifting and exercise, which can increase blood pressure and prolong swelling. Following post-operative care instructions, such as keeping the incision site clean and dry, taking prescribed medication, and avoiding smoking, can help ensure a smooth and successful recovery.
Individual recovery times may vary, and patients should follow their surgeon’s specific post-operative care instructions for optimal results. Patients may also experience scarring at the site of the surgical incision, which may take several months to fade completely.
The results of blepharoplasty should last for up to 10 to 20 years, depending on various factors such as the patient’s age, lifestyle, and genetic makeup. However, some sources suggest that the results may last longer or shorter than this range, and that occasional touch-ups may be necessary over time. While the results of blepharoplasty can be long-lasting, the natural aging process continues, and patients may experience changes in the appearance of their eyelids over time. Additionally, the outcome of the surgery may depend on the skill and experience of the surgeon, as well as the patient’s individual anatomy and health status.
Precise and careful incisions are made in the natural folds of the upper eyelids, inside the lower eyelid, or at the lower lash line to conceal the appearance of scars. The thin skin of the eyelids also heals well, and most patients have nearly imperceptible scars once the area is completely healed.
To further minimize the appearance of scars, it is recommended to avoid sun exposure and to invest in good sunscreen of 30 SPF or more to cover the face and eyelid area. Additionally, gently massaging blepharoplasty scars with vitamin E or silicone gel can help reduce scarring.
Dr. Rokhsar often uses the Fraxel laser or the CO2 laser to resurface the areas of blepharoplasty scars. The Fraxel restore dual laser may take 3-5 sessions to result in dramatic improvement of the blepharoplasty scars. The CO2 laser may take 1-2 sessions to minimize blepharoplasty scars. The CO2 laser has more downtime than the Fraxel restore dual.
Good candidates for blepharoplasty are those who have excess skin and fat around the eyelids, causing droopy upper lids, sagging eyebrows, or bags under the eyes. Candidates should be healthy, nonsmokers, and have a positive outlook with realistic goals.
Also individuals with loose or sagging skin that causes folds or affects the natural contour of the upper eyelid, impairing vision, or under-eye puffiness or bags may be good candidates for eyelid surgery. Additionally, those with lower eyelid blemishes or excess skin, or lower eyelid skin that has begun to droop in maturity may also be good candidates for blepharoplasty.
However, to be covered by insurance, specific criteria must be met. For example, Medicare requires proof of at least 30% or 12 degrees of obstruction of the visual field caused by the underlying medical condition. Excess eyelid skin must be diagnosed by physical examination.
After eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, there are several temporary side effects that patients may experience:
However, patients are often surprised at how little pain is involved during recovery. Swelling and bruising are common, and may be worse in the morning but will improve throughout the day as the patient sits or walks around. Cold compresses and eye drops can help with swelling and discomfort.
It’s important to avoid activities that increase blood flow to the eyes during the first few weeks after surgery, such as jogging, aerobics, sports, and intensive exercise. Patients should plan to take it easy for the first two weeks after surgery, although they won’t need to stay in bed for the full two weeks.
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