Several factors such as aging, sun damage, smoking and obesity can cause the eyelids to droop and sag as the supporting tissues deteriorate. This area is often one of the first to deteriorate, as the skin of the eyelid is thinner than the rest of the face. Eyelids that droop or bulge can cause people to appear much older or fatigued than they actually are.
Blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery is a surgical procedure that improves the appearance of the upper and lower eyelids by tightening muscles and tissue or removing excess fat and skin. This procedure can be performed on men and women alike and offers a younger more refreshed look that reflects across the whole face.
Blepharoplasty is now the most popular facial plastic surgery procedure after rhinoplasty. The procedure’s popularity reflects the importance of the eyes in perfecting one’s overall appearance. If you are unhappy with how your eyes look, then you may want to consider blepharoplasty.
The best candidates for blepharoplasty are individuals who are in good overall health and who do not smoke or have any serious eye conditions. If you have loose sagging skin or puffy bags around your eyes, this procedure can help reduce these unwanted effects and leave the eyes looking young and fresh. It is important for patients to have realistic expectations before undergoing surgery in order to be satisfied with their results. While this procedure can enhance your appearance and may improve self-confidence, it cannot alter your entire appearance or change the structure of your face.
The blepharoplasty procedure is performed under local anesthesia with sedation. General anesthesia may be used for anxious or nervous patients. Patients may choose to have this procedure on their upper or lower eyelids, or both. Depending on the choices made, the procedure can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
If the upper eyelid is being treated, an incision is made along the natural crease of the eyelid. After the incision is made, Dr. Kurtzman may reposition fat deposits, tighten the muscles and tissue or remove excess skin in order to leave the eye looking younger and refreshed. The incision for the lower eyelid is made just below the lash line in order for excess skin to be removed. After the surgical procedure is performed, the incisions are closed with sutures and usually wrapped in gauze allowing the area to heal.
After the blepharoplasty procedure, Dr. Kurtzman may recommend applying lubricating ointment and cold compresses to help aid the healing process and minimize side effects such as swelling, bruising, irritation or dry eyes. The eyes may also be wrapped in gauze after the procedure is completed.
Patients can usually return to work within two days, but should avoid exercise and strenuous activities for at least two weeks. Swelling and other side effects usually subside within two weeks after surgery. Dr. Kurtzman will give specific instructions on how you are to care for your eyes after surgery.
As swelling and bruising subside, results from a blepharoplasty procedure become more visible and will continue to improve for up to a year after surgery. This procedure is designed to produce long-lasting results. While surgery cannot prevent your eyes from aging, most patients are satisfied with their results and do not seek repeat procedures.
The scars from the blepharoplasty procedure are usually well concealed and will fade with time until they are virtually unnoticeable. The incision is hidden in the crease of the eyelid in an upper blepharoplasty and just below the lashes in a lower blepharoplasty.