The face you see looking back at you in the mirror as you remove your makeup each night, does it look tired?
Inside, you may feel as vibrant as you did in your twenties. But your eyes are telling a different story to everyone you come in contact with.
Cosmetic eyelid surgery is a way to align those two versions of yourself. It restores a more refreshed and naturally youthful appearance to aging eyes.
Here’s what eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can treat:
- Loose or sagging skin that creates folds around the upper eyelid
- Fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the eyelids
- Bags under the eyes
- Drooping lower eyelids
- Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid
What’s eyelid surgery like?
Eyelid surgery can be performed on your upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. Your plastic surgeon will determine how much skin, and/or fat to remove based on a thorough pre-operative evaluation.
From there, your surgeon will make precise markings to indicate where the excess tissue will be removed. In the upper eyelid, the incision will be hidden in the natural fold of the upper eyelid. In the lower eyelid, it’ll be hidden just below the lower lashes. When excess fat is removed, the incision can also be placed inside the lower eyelid, in which case a laser is sometimes used to tighten the lower eyelid skin.
The excess tissue will be removed with scalpels, surgical scissors, radiofrequency cutting devices, and, sometimes, cutting lasers. Less tissue will be removed if you have dry eyes because exposing more of your eyes to air could worsen your symptoms.
Fat is sometimes redistributed in the lower eyelids to eliminate puffiness or bulges. In the process, your surgeon may also make adjustments to correct special issues, like muscle laxity.
Sutures or glue are then applied to smooth and reconfigure the areas around the eyebrows and eyelids. The sutures are invisible to the eye and usually self-dissolving. In most cases, there are virtually no detectable scars. A laser may also be used to resurface skin and smooth wrinkles in and around the eyelids.
The surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure and usually lasts between 45 minutes and two hours. Depending on the extent of yours, you’ll be given either general anesthesia or local anesthesia with IV sedation.
Eyelid surgery alone can significantly rejuvenate your appearance, but it’s also commonly combined with other complementary procedures, such as a facelift, brow lift, or both. A brow lift will address the sagging skin and deep furrows above the eyes, while a facelift will resolve jowling, sagging, and wrinkles on the cheeks and neck.
How about the recovery?
During the first few days to a week following eyelid surgery, it’s common for patients to have some visible bruising and swelling. Their eyelids may also feel unusually tight and more bothersome than normal. This can often be relieved with cold compresses.
Most are fit to return to work within five to seven days. For the first few weeks back, you can expect your eyes to get tired a little more quickly than usual. You’ll also need to avoid lifting, straining, and bending down to pick things up for about two weeks. And it’s critical that you protect your eyes from the sun and wind.
The effects of your eyelid surgery, with a healthy lifestyle and a good skincare regimen, should last for years. Nothing stops the aging process, but your results will age naturally with you.