Our eyes convey many messages. They can show surprise, happiness, excitement, or sadness. They convey subtle hints and provide important information during human conversation. The eyes tell another story—a story not everyone wants to tell. The eyes tell a person’s age. Premature aging of the eyes may tell the wrong story, making people seem older, more tired, and less healthy than they really are. Fortunately, eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty can set the story straight, by removing “years” from a person’s eyes.
HOW EYELIDS AGE
While the visible surface of the eye stays virtually the same throughout life, the eyelids go through some profound changes with age. As with most skin, eyelids lose their elasticity with age. The upper and lower eyelids begin to sag; upper eyelid sagging causes ptosis (drooping eyelid), while lower eyelid sagging gives the appearance of puffy eyes. Moreover, the lower eyelids tend to bulge out as fatty deposits under the eye become more prominent. Sometimes aging eyelids are simply a function of normal aging, but they can also be due to certain illnesses or even genetics.
THE BENEFITS OF EYELID SURGERY (BLEPHAROPLASTY)
In most cases, eyelid surgery is a purely cosmetic procedure; however, as far as cosmetic procedures go, eyelid surgery can produce some dramatic results. By removing excess upper eyelid skin and the fat pads in the lower eyelids, people can truly look 10 years younger or more in a matter of hours. Patient satisfaction rates after blepharoplasty are very high, mainly because the improvement is so obvious and striking.
HOW EYELID SURGERY IS PERFORMED
Eyelid surgery can be performed under general anesthesia or local anesthesia using conscious sedation sedatives. Recovery tends to be quicker with local anesthesia and is the better option in patients with other health problems that may not be good candidates for general anesthesia.
Patients may opt for upper lid surgery, lower lid surgery, or both. In upper eyelid surgery, the facial plastic surgeon will remove a thin strip of the eyelid and reattach the cut ends, thereby shortening the vertical length of the eyelid. Care is taken not to make eyelid too short so that it can still cover the eyeball when the eyes are shut, but the lid no longer droops over the eyeball when the eyes are open. In fact, recent innovations to the procedure call for a more subtle skin removal with superior results. Since the incision is made along the natural crease of the eye, the surgical scar is hardly noticeable after the area has healed.
n lower eyelid surgery, an incision is usually made along the lash line. This allows the facial plastic surgeon to remove unwanted fat in the lower eyelid, but is also an excellent place to “hide” the surgical scar. In other words, the small surgical scar will be indistinguishable from the bottom of the lash line.
Blepharoplasty is an outpatient procedure, which means people will not need to stay overnight in the hospital. All that is required is 1-2 hours of monitoring in the office. Patients will need transportation after the procedure, regardless of whether they have general or local anesthesia. This is because the eyes will stay bandaged for after surgery.
Eyelid surgery patients should not lift anything heavy during recovery and should avoid strenuous activity. Treated patients should also use lubricating eye drops and topical antibiotic ointment in the eyes during recovery. Sutures may be removed within 3 to 7 days after the surgery.
EYELIDS ARE DELICATE: CALL ON AN EXPERT
As you can imagine, eyelid surgery is an incredibly delicate procedure. The facial plastic surgeon you choose to perform eyelid surgery must have sufficient experience and skill. Substandard eyelid surgery may not only result in a poor aesthetic result, but it can interfere with the function of the eyes and eyelids themselves such as proper eyelid closure, tear formation and clearance, or may lead to corneal abrasion (scratching the eye).