Eyelid surgery, more properly known as blepharoplasty, is a procedure in which the upper and/or lower eyelids are recontoured to eliminate puffiness and droopiness. Heavy bags below the eyes and excess wrinkly skin can make a person look old and tired. Blepharoplasty surgery is designed to correct these problems creating a younger, fresher look.
At some point in our lives, most people would benefit from eyelid rejuvenation. It is one of the most commonly performed procedures for men as the recovery fairly quick and the incision scars are easy to hide. The decision to have this type of procedure is a personal one, but I try to guide my patients in the right direction so that they gain the most benefit with the least risk and downtime.
Eyelid surgery incisions are made in the crease of the upper lids and just below the lashes of the lower lids. The incisions will extend slightly beyond than the outer corners of the eyes and are hidden in a natural smile line. Once the incision is made, the skin is separated from the underlying fat and muscle layers. Each component of the eyelid structure is repositioned or tightened to achieve a snug look. Excess fat can either be removed or sculpted to eliminate puffiness and improve contour. Skin and muscle are carefully trimmed to remove any excess. It is very important to be conservative when performing eyelid surgery as too much tightness can create a “draggy” look, which is never desirable. At the end of the procedure, very fine sutures are used to close the incisions and narrow reinforcing tapes are applied.
Immediately after the surgery your eyes will be sensitive and cool compresses are used to minimize any swelling. Artificial tears are used during the first week to lubricate the eye and prevent dryness and irritation. Post-op pain is very minimal. Most patients find that one or two Advil is all they need for pain. It usually takes a week or so for the bruising and swelling to resolve. I advise patients to take a week off to recover after which they can plan a return to normal daily activities. Some swelling may linger for a month or so but during this time patients can be out socially without any worries about their appearance.
I see my patients within a week of surgery to remove the sutures and reinforcing tapes. Most times there is still a bit of bruising that needs a few more days to resolve. By two weeks, there is no longer any immediate evidence that surgery was done. I have patients return after a few months to assess their final result. Once fully healed, eyelid surgery lasts for years and most often, never has to be repeated.