What is blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that enhances the appearance of the eyelids. The upper and/or lower lids can be operated on. The upper lids often have excess saggy skin that can rest on the eyelashes and at times can interfere with vision. The lower lids can have excess skin and wrinkles. Both the upper and lower lids can show bulges that are related to weakness of a structure called the orbital septum that causes segments of fat to push forward and be visible under the skin.
If the only issue is some bulging of the lower lids, surgery can be done with the incision on the inside of the lid, so no external incision is needed.
If the only issue is a need to remove some of the upper eyelid skin, that procedure can be done in the office with light sedation under local anesthesia. More complex procedures are usually done in the operating room either under sedation of if other procedures are being done at the same time (such as a facelift), a general anesthetic is used.
Will eyelid surgery rid me of my eye wrinkles?
Blepharoplasty will often tighten the skin lessening the appearance of wrinkles. The fine lines etched in the skin will not be completely gone. There are other procedures available to help minimize the fine lines of the eyelids such as Ultherapy (an Ultrasound procedure to tone and tighten the skin, skin care products, chemical peels and laser treatment.
What should I expect postoperatively?
Immediately after blepharoplasty I have my patients place small pieces of gauze soaked in ice water on the lids for comfort and to minimize swelling and bruising. Discomfort after eyelid surgery is usually minimal. Home care usually involves cleaning of the incisions with Hydrogen Peroxide and application of a small amount of antibiotic ointment (I prefer Bacitracin) twice daily. If removable sutures are used (that depends on the exact procedure being done), they are removed on the fifth post operative day. Bruising and swelling are most often resolved by 7-10 days after surgery.
When will I be able to see the final results?
Some of the improvement is seen immediately. Some will take a little bit of time for the swelling to resolve. You should have a good idea of the results after about two weeks, but additional improvement occurs over the first three to four months.
Traditional Blepharoplasty VS. Laser Blepharoplasty for Eye Bags?
Laser can be used to make surgical incisions in the eyelids but final results are no different than if the incision is done with a fine scalpel. There are laser treatments used for the fine lines around the lower lids and the area around the eyes, but this is not a true blepharoplasty and will not remove excess skin or help with excess bulging fat.
Eyelid procedures are tailored to the individual patient. Some patients have just a small amount of excess upper eyelid skin and can get great improvement with a minor procedure. Some have a large amount of sagging skin, and bulging fat that would require a more complex procedure for optimal results.