Many people have drooping or loose skin above their eyes, below their eyes, or in both areas. This may cause the eyelid skin to be wrinkled, or may cause bulges beneath the eyes. Some women even have trouble applying eye makeup because the lids droop so severely. In some cases, the vision can actually be impeded because the lids droop so badly. Many people look exhausted all the time, even if they're actually well rested when they have drooping or loose eyelids. Eyelid surgery, medically known as blepharoplasty, is a procedure that reshapes the lids, removes extra skin, and reinforces the muscles and tendons below the skin. Eyelid surgery is often done as a cosmetic procedure, but it can have functional benefits as well if the patient has vision problems due to the skin drooping.
Who is a Good Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?
Candidates for eyelid surgery should be in good overall physical health and should be over the age of 18. Most eyelid surgery patients are 35 or older. However, people who have a genetic predisposition towards drooping eyelids can have the surgery done well before age 35 if desired. If patients have certain medical conditions including hyperthyroidism, glaucoma, cardiovascular disease, or high blood pressure, they may not be a good candidate for this surgery.
The Benefits of Eyelid Surgery
Eyelid surgery can correct a variety of problems with the upper and lower eyelids. These problems include
- Sagging or loose upper eyelids
- Hooded eyes
- No eyelid crease
- Drooping outer corners of the eyes
- Loose or puffy skin on the lower eyelids
This surgery can make a person feel much more confident about their appearance and it can often help a person look much younger.
Preparing for Eyelid Surgery
Patients will be given specific instructions to help them prepare for the surgery. This may include discontinuing certain prescribed medications, discontinuing smoking, and discontinuing the use of aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements.
The Eyelid Surgery Procedure
Eyelid surgery is typically done on an outpatient basis. The surgery lasts around 1 to 3 hours depending on whether both sets of eyelids are being corrected. The patient is normally placed under local anesthesia while being sedated. This means that the patient will feel no pain during the surgery. With this type of sedation, the patient is technically awake but is likely to doze through the surgery. In some cases, patients are placed under general anesthesia depending on that person's tolerance and the complexity of the procedure. In an upper eyelid surgery, tiny incisions are created in the natural upper lid crease. Through these incisions, extra skin and fat are removed. The muscles, tendons, and fat are repositioned as needed before the incision is closed.
In the lower eyelid surgery, an incision is created along the natural lower lash line. Extra skin, fat, and muscle are taken out through this incision. If the patient has hollows under the eyes, some of the fat may be moved to correct that. The incisions are then closed. Many patients have both upper and lower eyelid surgery at the same time. In this case, the upper eyelids are generally worked on first and then the lower eyelids are corrected.
Recovery After Eyelid Surgery
After eyelid surgery, patients are able to return home to recover. A friend or family member should drive the patient home and help them get settled. Patients aren't confined to bed but should take a few days to relax at home. The eyes will tire quickly for the first few weeks. Most people are able to return to work in about a week, as long as they take regular breaks to rest the eyes. The use of contact lenses should be delayed until 2 weeks post-surgery. Patients can generally resume exercise at around the 3-week mark after eyelid surgery.
Results: What to Expect After Eyelid Surgery
Patients can expect a small amount of scarring after eyelid surgery, but this fades away over time. After around 6 months, the scars will be virtually invisible. Eyelid surgery can give patients a younger and more rested appearance, and it can help with vision in cases where the eyelid skin caused vision issues. It usually takes at least several weeks to see the true results of the surgery, but most patients are very pleased with their appearance after eyelid surgery. This can be a long lasting or even permanent surgical correction for most patients. Aging, lifestyle factors, and environmental factors can all impact the eyelids and may eventually cause them to sag or droop again. However, it's often possible to prevent further eyelid damage with some proactive steps like using sunscreen.
Ready to Eliminate Eyelid Drooping, Sagging, and Bagging?
Eyelids don't have to drag the face and the feelings down. The team at Rau Plastic Surgery, led by plastic surgeon Dr. Jeffrey Rau, is ready to help. Call today to arrange an eyelid surgery consultation.