Reasons for Blepharoplasty

Since the eyes carry much of the facial expression, we usually notice a stranger's eyes first upon meeting. Premature aging of the area around the eyes can add years to the face. In severe cases, hanging skin can also produce interference with the vision or eye fatigue, especially if the upper eyelid skin is affected.

In the young, the facial skin fits tightly over the underlying muscles and bones. There are few facial lines and the skin is soft. Just beneath the skin is a firm layer of fatty tissue that cushions and smoothes the face.

As we grow older, the fat layer shrinks and the skin fits more loosely The skin may also sag after rapid weight loss. Gravity pulls down loose facial skin and it is stretched; lines that occur from contracting the facial muscles grow more prominent.

The area around the eyes is especially subject to changes from aging. Early signs are a downward shift of the eyebrows, and increased fullness of upper eyelid skin, or bagginess of the lower eyelids. The bagginess is caused by the bulging forward of the fat that cushions the eyeball and by excess skin. These changes can appear earlier in some people because of inherited tendencies.

The Operation

We perform the operation in our surgery center under a local anesthetic (lidocaine). Your physician will remove a portion of the eyelid skin and the underlying fatty tissue and muscle. This usually takes about 30 minutes per lid.

After the Operation

Bandages and ice packs are applied to the eyelids. Although a great deal is done to minimize swelling and discoloration, both will still occur and will be noticeable for about one week. Because patients differ in healing ability, the time needed to return to normal appearances varies. Most stitches are removed after five to seven days; makeup may be worn after 14 days.

What about Scars?

Incisions made through the skin leave minimal scars which are the natural result of wounds healing and uniting. But the surgeon's careful placement of the incision and precise stitching minimizes scars. Blepharoplasty incisions are hidden in the upper eyelid folds and under the lower eyelashes, leaving virtually no signs of the surgery.

Possible Complications

While even the most carefully performed surgery offers a risk of complication, few patients undergoing blepharoplsty experience complications. Sometimes additional skin may be removed or replaced after surgery. These postoperative"touchups" can be done during an office visit.

How Long do the Results Last?

While blepharoplasty does not halt the aging process, the person who has one usually will not appear as old as he or she might without the operation. In most cases, the effects of the blepharoplasty last at least five to ten years. In some people, especially those who are heavy, the improvement may not last as long. Many people never need the operation again.

Is this Surgery for Me?

Do your eyes always feel tired? Do they droop? Are you losing peripheral vision? Do you dislike the change in your facial appearance? Perhaps blepharoplasty is for you.