Tired and older looking eyes can be caused by a variety of different factors such as genetics, sun damage, smoking, stress, weight loss or weight gain. As we age, our skin loses its elasticity. Eyelid skin is the thinnest skin on our bodies and in an area exposed to the sun. It is no wonder that the first signs of aging on our face involve the area around our eyes!
Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, eyelid tuck, or eyelift, refers to the cosmetic procedure which can transform the tired, older look of your eyes. This popular procedure for both men and women is designed to restore a bright, energetic, more youthful and less tired appearance. Upper eyelid tucks remove the skin and fat that can droop down to the lashes and in some instances can even correct obstructed vision. Lower lid tucks remove the bags created by fat pouches under the eyes and tighten the lower eyelid skin. A special technique is used in the Asian eyelid to create a double crease eyelid. The effective results of blepharoplasty have made it the most common cosmetic surgical procedure in the world.
While it is commonly a cosmetic procedure, blepharoplasty may also serve more functional purposes, such as correcting congenital deformities, as well as vision impairment caused by excess eyelid skin or fat, and damage caused by trauma, inflammation, or infection. Blepharoptosis, for example, is a congenital deformity which can occur in men and women both young and old and involves the abnormal sagging or drooping of the upper eyelids resulting in a sleepy appearance. Similarly, blepharochalasia is the congenital excess bulging of lower eyelid fat that can occur even in young people.
Blepharoplasty may consist of upper eyelid surgery and/ or lower eyelid surgery, depending on the state of the problem area, and on your desires and expectations. Both upper and lower eyelid tucks can be performed either as an office procedure under local anesthesia or with general anesthesia in the hospital operating room. In my practice, most patients choose the former and find it a convenient and well-tolerated treatment.
When undergoing an upper eyelid tuck, careful measurements are made to determine how much redundant skin should be removed. Local anesthesia is administered and extra skin and also any offending extra fat is removed. Fine stitches are placed under the skin and tape is applied to the skin at the outer corners of the eyes. Cold compresses are applied for several hours following treatment to reduce any swelling. There may be some bruising that can take some days to fade away but fortunately the scars from the incisions are very fine and hard to notice.
Lower blepharoplasty is similar to upper lid surgery although the removal of bags under the eyes from redundant fatty tissue tends to be most important. Folds of extra skin can be tightened along with the underlying muscle and ligament at the corner of the eyes.
Usually one can return to work in one to two weeks depending on the amount of swelling and bruising. Discomfort tends to be mild. Although others may notice a more rested, youthful appearance soon after your procedure, full healing can take several months as with all plastic surgeries. Some representative examples of results can be seen in our before and after photo galley.