Eyelid Surgery – Here is All That You Need to Know

You know the old adage about a person’s eyes being the window to his/her soul? It is true that you can tell a lot about someone by looking into and at his/her eyes. But what if their eyelids are puffy and drooping? This challenging facial flaw can certainly obscure the view (theirs and yours!).

The problem eyelids tend to create an appearance of being tired, old, and allusively difficult to read for their owner. And even worse, their vision of the outside world starts to be somewhat blocked, like curtains not being fully opened in a picture window contour rx eyelids. One may wonder if a surgical procedure could help and if so, what would it entail?

It is certainly an option to think about eyelid surgery. The scientific name for this surgical procedure is “blepharoplasty”. This is an operation where a plastic surgeon removes excess fat or skin on either the upper or lower eyelid or both. It is best to go to a reputable plastic surgeon for an initial consultation to see what can be done. Viewing “before and after” photos will give you a good idea of about possible outcomes.

An examination of a patient’s vision will often need to be performed as well as a physical exam. The upper eyelid skin is the section most commonly the culprit in hampering vision. If the vision is indeed adversely affected, it may be deemed a functional issue rather than merely a cosmetic problem. It can be a dangerous condition, in terms of limiting peripheral viewing in driving. If this is the case, medical insurance will often cover the blepharoplasty.

The surgery will involve the physician, most likely one specializing in such procedures, snipping a sliver of the excessively protruding skin from the eyelids, and then suturing the remaining skin together. Incisions are made in creases so that scarring is minimal. Sometimes other procedures will be performed simultaneously.

This procedure is most often done on an outpatient basis at a clinic that specializes in this type of surgery. The term “outpatient” means that the patient goes home the same day. On occasion, however, an overnight stay will be required. Local anesthesia with the addition of a sedative is usually the method chosen by physicians.

There will be bruising, swelling and some pain post-surgery, but it should subside within a few weeks. The applications of cold compresses are quite helpful to aid in more rapid healing. Over-the-counter pain relievers or those prescribed by your doctor will control most discomfort. In a matter of weeks, the patient will experience a complete healing, and will appear rested, alert and be able to have complete ability to view the outside world.

Blepharoplasty (Blepharo- means “eyelid”, and -plasty means “change”) is the most commonly performed facial plastic surgery procedure.  This is because the eyelids account for a large part of the expressiveness of the face. When you look at someone, you look at his or her eyes.  If the eyelids are sagging, droopy, or puffy, the face will look fatigued, sad, and tired despite good health and adequate rest.  If the eyes look bright and alert, an otherwise aging face will appear rejuvenated.  Thus, blepharoplasty is a procedure that can rejuvenate the face as well as the eyes.

Years ago, treatment focused on aggressive skin and fat removal on every patient.  This approach lead to unnecessary complications, such as lid retraction after excessive skin removal, causing chronically irritated eyes, and a sunken (skeletonized) appearance to the eye socket after excessive fat removal.  These results, unfortunately, created a more aged appearance – the direct opposite what was intended.

Today, blepharoplasty is tailored individually for each patient.  The right combination of skin removal, skin resurfacing, fat removal, fat repositioning, and lid tightening is applied to achieve a more rejuvenated and youthful appearance in each individual patient.  Sometimes, less is more. 

Modern day upper lid blepharoplasty is typically performed as a same day surgery under light sedation and local anesthesia.  An incision is made in the natural upper-lid skin crease, across the lid.  Excess skin is removed using an advanced electrocautery device with the precision of a laser.  Bulging orbital fat may be removed, sculpted, or repositioned.  Lateral sub-brow fat that contributes to upper lid fullness may be removed and/or sculpted.  The incision is closed using a fine, absorbable suture.

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *