The eyes are the focal point of the face and demonstrate some of the earliest signs of aging. Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty or eye lift) is a popular cosmetic plastic surgery to remove excess skin and fat from droopy upper and lower eyelids. Blepharoplasty improves baggy skin under the eyes, sinking upper eyelids or drooping eyelashes that impair vision. The surgery can also treat a medical condition called ptosis (drooping eyelid), which is caused by poor muscle tone or nerve damage. Ptosis causes the eyelids to hang very low and block vision.
The best candidate for eyelid surgery is a person who is 45 years old or older, but if droopy, baggy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have eyelid surgery at a younger age.
Upper Eyelid Surgery
The aging appearance of the upper eyelid can be corrected through an incision within the natural crease of the upper eyelid allowing repositioning of fat deposits, tightening of muscles and tissue, and/or removal of excess skin.
Lower Eyelid Surgery
Problems of the lower eyelid may be corrected with an incision just below the lower lash line. Through this incision, excess skin in the lower eyelids is removed.
Alternatively, transconjunctival incision, one hidden inside the lower eyelid, can be used to correct lower eyelid conditions and redistribute or remove excess fat.
Eyelid surgery is often performed under local anesthesia — while you are sedated, numbed and awake — in an outpatient surgery center, surgeon’s office or hospital. General anesthesia (meaning, while you are asleep) may be used.
Depending on the extent of the procedure, time in surgery may be up to three hours. Patients return home typically within hours of the surgery.
Blepharoplasty treats drooping eyelids, but not drooping eyebrows or wrinkles. Blepharoplasty is often performed with other cosmetic surgeries such as a brow lift or facelift to improve droopy eyebrows, crow’s feet and facial sagging. Frequently a chemical peel or laser skin resurfacing can also be done to improve fine wrinkles around the eyes
Your eyes will need to be lubricated after surgery. Oral medications will help with pain and discomfort.
You will receive a list of instructions to follow for several days, including:
- the proper way to clean your eyes
- use of cold compresses
- use of lubricating eye drops
- head elevation
- no makeup
- no alcohol
- no television
- no contact lenses
Stitches are removed about a week after surgery. Bruising and swelling will continue to decrease after stitches are removed. Sunglasses and protective sun block are important and useful for several weeks.
Normal activities can resume after 7-10 days, though strenuous activities such as lifting, bending and exercise can resume after about three weeks.