Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
What is Blepharoplasty (eyelid Surgery)?
Blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid surgery, is a procedure that corrects sagging or drooping eyelids. This is something that many men and women experience as they age. Eyelid surgery is most commonly performed for people who desire a more youthful and rested appearance of the eyes. This procedure may also widen one’s visual fields if excessive upper lid skin has partially blocked his or her vision. Eyelid operations do not remove or erase wrinkle lines. They will, however, soften wrinkle lines.
Benefits of Eyelid Surgery
Aesthetically, eyelid surgery rejuvenates the eyes and the entire face. The consensus is that eyelid surgery takes around a decade off a person’s facial age. The procedure removes sagging in the upper eyelids. That sagging may be pronounced enough that this isn’t considered aesthetic, but functional (and is usually covered by health insurance). This is because the sagging upper lids can actually be infringing on the person’s vision.
Eyelid surgery will make the patient appear more alert and friendly. Any hooding in the eyelids is corrected. On the lower lids, beyond removing any sagging skin, puffy under eye areas can be improved. Underlying muscles are tightened to help with bags and wrinkles.
Candidates for Blepharoplasty
The best candidates are men and women with optimal health, they do not smoke, and do not have any eye diseases. People with eye disease such as glaucoma or retinal detachment, diabetes, high blood pressure, or cardiovascular disease are not good candidates for eyelid surgery.
Patients should have realistic expectations before undergoing eyelid surgery. The procedure can enhance appearance and self-confidence, but will not completely alter the face. To find out if you are a candidate for blepharoplasty, schedule a consultation with Dr. Stuart Lipton.
What Dr. Lipton’s Patient’s Say
“His surgery center and staff are all amazing! Highly recommended!” – Jen W.
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What is functional eyelid surgery?
Functional eyelid surgery with Dr. Lipton has medical, not cosmetic, intent. Usually, blepharoplasty is considered functional if the eyelid sagging has extended to the degree that it is coming into the patient’s field of vision. Another functional problem would involve difficulty wearing either glasses or contact lenses, also due to baggy upper or lower eyelids.
Other conditions that could merit functional eyelid surgery:
- Irritation from excess folds of eyelid skin rubbing together.
- Muscle fatigue caused by the continual need to try to lift the sagging skin in the eyelid area.
Upper Blepharoplasty vs Lower Blepharoplasty
The goals of upper and lower blepharoplasty are the same — to rejuvenate the eyes, but there can be differences between the two eyelids. The main differences between the surgery on the upper and lower eyelids are what needs to be addressed and where the incisions will be placed. For the upper eyelid, Dr. Lipton places the incision within the natural crease in the eyelid, making it virtually invisible. In the lower eyelid, the incision is made along the eyelash line or inside the lower eyelid.
Upper eyelid surgery usually focuses on removing or tightening sagging skin. In more extreme cases, this is called hooding. Dr. Lipton removes skin and tightens underlying muscles around the eye to firm up the area.
Lower eyelid surgery often seeks to correct puffiness under the eyes. These under eye bags are caused by excess skin and tissue in the area. In some patients, their lower eyelid can droop to the degree that the white part of the eye under the iris becomes visible.
Blepharoplasty Procedure With Dr. Lipton
Eyelid surgery is done on an outpatient basis under sedation and local or general anesthesia. The process is relatively noninvasive and patients typically see a full recovery after a few weeks. During a blepharoplasty operation, Dr. Lipton makes incisions where the natural crease should be in the upper lids and below the lash line in the lower lids. This helps mask scarring that may result from the procedure. After the incisions have been made, excess fat and skin are removed.
The procedure can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours. The length of the procedure depends on if both the upper and lower eyelids are operated on.
Can Eyelid Surgery Be Combined With Other Procedures?
Eyelid surgery may be combined with a few different facial procedures, both surgical and non-surgical. Some patients choose to incorporate their eyelid surgery into a full or mid facelift. In some instances, it is advantageous to combine eyelid surgery with a brow lift. Non-surgical treatments that may enhance the results of eyelid surgery include dermal fillers, Botox, and laser skin resurfacing. During your consultation with Dr. Lipton, we will listen to your desired outcome and discuss your needs and preferences to formulate the most appropriate treatment plan.
Recovery after Eyelid Surgery
After eyelid surgery, we may advise patients to apply lubricating drops, ointment, and a cold compress to help with healing and minimize side effects. Most patients will return to work within a few days to a week. Patients should avoid exercise and strenuous activities for at least 2 weeks. Dr. Lipton will remove stitches after 3 or 4 days. Most swelling and other side effects typically subside within 2 weeks. Patients should not wear contact lenses or eye makeup until 2 weeks after surgery. Patients will typically wear dark sunglasses outside or in bright light for 2 weeks to protect their eyes from sun and wind.
What Results Can I Expect After Blepharoplasty?
Some of the effects of eyelid surgery can be seen right away. However, patients can expect for swelling and bruising to somewhat disguise full results for at least a few weeks. Every person heals at their own speed. Sometimes, it can take 3 to 6 months to fully appreciate the results of upper or lower blepharoplasty. However, general improvement is typically noticeable by 4 weeks post-op.
This is a very rewarding procedure. Your results are dramatic, yet subtle. This is because eyelid surgery isn’t obvious or “showy.” With some aesthetic procedures, such as breast augmentation, it’s obvious you had surgery. But with eyelid surgery, unless you told them, people cannot tell you’ve had anything done. They only know that you somehow look more alert, refreshed, and younger.
How long do the results last from eyelid surgery?
This rejuvenation is permanent. After all, Dr. Lipton removes excess sagging skin and removes or repositions fat. These changes endure. Yes, your eyelids will continue to sag with aging, but they will do this from a younger starting point. Your results will last for the rest of your life.
Scarring After Blepharoplasty
Where there are incisions, there will be scars. Blepharoplasty is a conservative procedure in which incisions are made in hidden places. The upper incision is completely hidden by the natural crease of the eyelid. Yes, if you close your lid completely and hold it closed, you can see the incision, but in normal use, the incision is basically invisible. The lower incision is made along the lash line or inside the eyelid. Neither location creates a visible scar.
Will Eyelid Surgery Affect My Vision?
After eyelid surgery, post-operative swelling may temporarily affect vision, making objects appear blurry. As swelling subsides, vision should return to normal. Primarily, the vision changes associated with blepharoplasty relate to the improvements achieved by removing excess tissue from the upper eyelids. When eyelid surgery repairs ptosis, or a muscle-related droop, vision also improves because the eyelid can open more fully.
Risks of Blepharoplasty
There may be slight swelling and bruising around the surgical site, but this will reduce over time. Eyes may be irritated or dry due to a temporary change in tear distribution. Other side effects are very uncommon. These include infection, reaction to anesthesia, and blurred vision. Uneven healing and permanent scarring are very rare. Scars from blepharoplasty are usually well-concealed and fade with time.
Are There Alternatives to Eyelid Surgery?
There really aren’t any other options for rejuvenating the eyelids other than eyelid surgery. While Botox injections can remove crow’s feet at the sides of the eyes for about four months, there isn’t anything that can be done with the eyelids, short of surgery. If your sagging eyelids are caused more by relaxation of the forehead skin and the eyebrow, rather than the eyelids themselves, a brow lift may be a better procedure.
Schedule a Consultation
If you want to have a more rejuvenated look to your eyes and face, contact the office of Stuart Lipton, MD today! Call us at 972.420.0023 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lipton to see if you are a candidate. Our practice serves Lewisville, Dallas, and surrounding areas in Texas.