Loose skin above the eyes, tired eyes or bags under the eyes can be improved dramatically with eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty. Eyelid surgery improves the appearance of your upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both.
A common cosmetic procedure in patients age 30 and older, eyelid surgery, also known as an eyelid lift, is used primarily to fight the effects of aging skin. As skin ages, it gradually loses its elasticity, and this, combined with the constant pull from gravity, leads to excessive skin collecting in the upper eyelids, causing drooping of the eyelids. The primary cause of lower-lid aging is loosening of skin and the underlying muscle.
The best candidates for eyelid surgery are adult men and women who have healthy facial tissue and muscles and realistic goals for improving the upper and/or lower eyelids and surrounding area. If improving both upper and lower eyelids, the procedure is called an upper and lower blepharoplasty.
Candidates for eyelid surgery include:
Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness
Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for blepharoplasty
Individuals without serious eye conditions.
You should tell your cosmetic surgeon if you have any of the following medical conditions:
Eye disease, such as glaucoma, dry eye or a detached retina
Thyroid disorders, such as Graves’ disease and under or overactive thyroid
Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure or other circulatory disorders
How do I prepare for eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)?
Preparation for your eyelid surgery includes:
Lab testing or a medical evaluation
Taking certain medications or adjusting your current medications
Stopping smoking well in advance of surgery
How is eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) performed?
Eyelid surgery can involve the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both eyelids depending upon the goals of the surgery and recommendations of your surgeon:
Upper eyelid surgery involves the placement of incisions in the natural crease of the upper lid, making them well hidden when the eyes are open. The excess skin and protruding fat are removed and the incision is closed. An entire upper eyelid surgery can be completed in approximately 45 minutes to one hour. Surgeons may combine upper eyelid surgery with an eyebrow lift to achieve optimal rejuvenation results if the eyebrows are too low.
Lower eyelid surgery can correct conditions with an incision just below the lower lash line. Excess skin in the lower eyelid is removed through this incision. Your cosmetic surgeon may also use an incision hidden inside the lower eyelid, or a transconjunctival incision, as an alternative technique to correct lower eyelid conditions and redistribute or remove excess fat. If the transconjunctival approach is used, there is no visible incision. If the lower eyelids are lax, as they are in many middle-aged individuals, your surgeon may recommend tightening the lower lids in addition to removing skin and/or fat (canthopexy or canthoplasty).
Eyelid surgery usually takes about two hours to complete if both upper and lower eyelids are completed at the same time. Typically, a local anesthesia is combined with conscious sedation (also known as “twilight sleep”).