Blepharoplasty also called eyelid lift can rejuvenate puffy, sagging or tired-looking eyes by removing excess fat and skin from the upper and lower eyelids. The upper eyelid is usually an excess skin issue (droopy skin); the lower eyelid is usually an excess fat issue (bags under eyes). The procedure is usually performed as an outpatient procedure under sedation or under a general anesthesia. Blepharoplasty can be combined with a facelift to help rejuvenate the entire face, or combined with BOTOX® and fillers such as Juvederm®, to raise the eyebrows, lessen frown lines, reduce crow’s feet (smile lines) and plump up the cheek prominence.
Several factors such as aging, sun damage, smoking, stretching and obesity can cause the eyelids to have a droopy appearance and sag as the supporting tissues deteriorate. In actuality, as Dr Pritha Rakshit, a Top Doctor Eyelid Surgery explains, it is not the eyelid itself that droops but the excess hanging skin that drapes and droops. The eyelids are often the first area to shows signs of aging, as the skin of the eyelid is thinner than the rest of the face. Upper eyelid skin that droops and lower eyelids that bulge can cause people to appear much older, tired or fatigued than they actually are. On the upper eyelid, the lid itself does not droop; it is the skin that hangs, droops and drapes; occasionally some fat on the upper inner lid also bulges. On the lower lid, the issue is less of excess droopy skin and more to do with fat pockets weakening and pushing forward, giving an appearance of a bulge or “bags under the eyes”.
Blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid surgery and somewhat misleadingly known as an eyelid lift, is a surgical procedure that improves the appearance of the upper and lower eyelids by removing excess skin, especially on the upper lids, and by removing excess fat on the lower lids. This procedure can be performed on men and women alike and offers a younger, more refreshed look that reflects across the whole face.
Blepharoplasty is now the most popular facial plastic surgery procedure after Rhinoplasty. The popularity of this procedure reflects the importance of the eyes in perfecting overall appearance and youthfulness. In fact, two-thirds of adults consider the eyes to be the defining feature of the face. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your eyes, you may want to consider blepharoplasty to improve your look and boost your confidence, through a safe procedure with minimal downtime.
The best candidates for blepharoplasty are individuals who are in good overall health and who do not smoke and do not have any serious eye conditions. If you have loose, sagging upper eyelid skin or puffy bags under your eyes, this procedure can help reduce these unwanted effects and leave the eyes looking young and refreshed.
It is important for patients to have realistic expectations before undergoing surgery in order to be satisfied with their results. While this procedure can enhance your appearance and may improve self-confidence as a result, it cannot alter your entire appearance or change the structure of your face. Other signs of the aging face, such as smile lines (“crow’s feet) are not improved with this procedure.
The blepharoplasty procedure is performed under local anesthesia, although for the lower eyelids, Dr Pritha Rakshit often uses general anesthesia. Patients may choose to have this procedure performed on either their upper or their lower eyelids, or both. Depending on these choices, the procedure can take anywhere from 1 to 2 hours.
If the upper eyelid is being treated, a lazy-S excision of skin is made along the natural crease of the eyelid fold called the supratarsal fold and the droopy skin from above is removed. Once the excision is made, Dr Pritha Rakshit may also remove small fat deposits located near the nose. The result leaves the upper eyes looking younger and refreshed. For the lower eyelid, an incision is made just below the lash line extending a tad out into a smile line, and through this incision excess fat (the puffy bulge) is removed as well as a small amount of excess skin. Whereas the upper lid is usually an excess skin problem, the lower lid is usually an excess fat problem.
After the procedure is performed, the incisions are closed with sutures, some of which dissolve. Ice compresses are applied as one is brought to the recovery room.
After the blepharoplasty procedure, Dr Pritha Rakshit recommends applying lubricating drops during the day and lubricating ointment for bedtime, as well as aggressive cold ice compresses to aid the healing process. In distinction to many other procedures, ice compresses are very important after a blepharoplasty in order to minimize the four main side effects: swelling, bruising, oozing and pain.
Patients can usually return to work within several days, but should avoid exercise and strenuous activities for at least two weeks. Makeup or lightly tinted glasses often help camouflage signs of surgery allowing patients to return to work sooner. Most swelling and other side effects usually subside within two weeks after surgery. Rakshit will give you specific instructions on how to care for your eyes after surgery.
Results of a blepharoplasty procedure are visible as swelling and bruising subside and will continue to improve for up to a year after surgery. This procedure is designed to produce long-lasting results, although the aging process continues. While surgery cannot prevent your eyes from aging, most patients are more than satisfied with their results and do not seek repeat procedures for many, many years.
The scars from the blepharoplasty procedure are usually well concealed and will fade almost completely with time until they are virtually unnoticeable. The incision is hidden in the crease of the eyelid in an upper blepharoplasty, and just below the lashes in a lower blepharoplasty.
As with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks associated with this procedure. Although rare, these risks include bleeding, infection, dry eyes, skin discoloration, sagging lower eyelid (ectropian) and an inability to fully close the eyes (very rare). Many of these risks can be minimized by choosing an experienced surgeon and following proper care instructions after surgery. You can discuss these risks; along with any other concerns you may have with Dr. Rakshit, to reduce anxiety and worries about your surgery.