Our eyes are no doubt our most expressive facial feature. Yet, they are often the first part of the face to show our age, making us look tired or sad even when we’re not – and long before our time. That’s where an eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) comes in.
With eyelid surgery on the upper eyelids, lower lids, or both, we can often restore your eye area to the way it looked 10 or 15 years ago. The procedure is usually performed on patients aged 35 and up, but some younger people have inherited drooping upper lids or bags under the eyes that can also be corrected with an eyelid lift.
We will spend time with you in consultation, answering all of your questions so that you can decide if blepharoplasty is a smart choice for you. Our philosophy is to provide you with a natural look that does not look “operated on.”
Note that eyelid surgery does not correct drooping eyebrows or forehead wrinkles. For this reason, some patients combine blepharoplasty with a brow lift.
If you have signs of aging on the middle or lower portions of the face, a cheek lift, facelift, or neck lift can sometimes be performed concurrently with your eyelid lift for an overall facial rejuvenation. If the aging is not significant, fat transfer, Botox®, or dermal filler injectables may be sufficient.
While these surgeries are performed regularly by plastic surgeons, there’s nothing cookie cutter about them. Every patient is an individual, and we treat you and your surgery as such. We look at the shape of your eyes, the muscles involved, and take into account how you want to look.Dr. David J. Kiener, M.D.
What can be accomplished by Upper Blepharoplasty?
Upper eyelid surgery is primarily to correct overhanging upper eyelid skin that hangs over the eyes. It can also often improve lines and wrinkles around the eyes. Small pockets of fat beneath the skin of the upper lids that appear as bulges are also often removed during the surgery.
What can be accomplished by Lower Blepharoplasty?
Lower eyelid surgery can eliminate bags or puffiness under the eyes and can sometimes also smooth some lines and wrinkles under the eyes. Bulging fatty tissue under the lower eyelid skin can be removed at the time of the surgery. If you have a hollow appearance under the eyes, dermal fillers or fat transfer may be a better solution than surgery.
How does Roseville Facial Plastic Surgery Approach Eyelid Surgery?
Upper eyelid surgery can usually be done in our office under local anesthesia with oral sedation. We place the incisions within the crease of the eyelid where scars will be very difficult to see. Any excess fat and drooping skin over the eyes is removed to tighten the area appropriately – not too tight but so that you look younger. This surgery often brings the eyes out of hiding so that they are more readily seen.
Lower eyelid surgery, which is a bit more intricate, is usually done under general anesthesia at the surgery center. The most common method is called subciliary, in which the incision is placed immediately below the lower eyelashes where the scar will not be easily visible. In some cases, the incision can be placed on the inside of the lower eyelid (transconjunctival) to remove fat, with a small amount of skin below the lashes removed at the same time in some cases.
Excess fat is removed, and if there is excess skin, that is removed as well.
Doing either upper or lower blepharoplasty takes about an hour, while surgery on the upper and lower lids at the same time takes about an hour and a half.
What is Recovery Like After Eyelid Surgery?
Most patients are surprised that recovery from upper, lower, or combination blepharoplasty is relatively easy. There is, of course, some mild swelling, bruising, and occasional tenderness, as well as possible eye dryness and tearing for a few days.
We place small gauze pieces soaked in ice water on your eyes to minimize swelling, and keeping your head elevated for a few days will speed resolution of the swelling. We also routinely prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection, as well as pain medication, although many patients never feel the need to take it.
Plan to take 7-10 days off from work and social activities as you heal. Vigorous exercise and some sports should be avoided for 2-3 weeks. Most women can wear eye makeup within about a week after surgery.
You will follow up with us several times after your surgery to ensure that you are healing well and that you are happy with your results. Some of the sutures used are absorbable, but some nylon sutures are used as well in a few cases, which must be removed in our office about five days after surgery.