The eyes are one of the most extraordinary elements of the face. Not only do they play an important role in our sensory experience, but they also facilitate the communication of emotions and are a focal point of facial aesthetics. With age come changes to this pivotal feature. The skin of the eyelids is thin and consequently quite delicate, making it especially susceptible to the effects of time and gravity. Aging eyelids can become droopy, puffy, wrinkled, heavy and even impair vision.
Some men and women are born with larger, heavier upper eyelids. Regardless of age, these individuals may consider their hooded lids a cosmetic nuisance and may find that their vision while driving and performing other tasks is diminished. Both cosmetic concerns and functional concerns regarding the eyelids can be addressed by a plastic surgeon.
What is blepharoplasty?
Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is performed on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both simultaneously to create a more rested, alert and youthful look. Cosmetic blepharoplasty restores a more open and refreshed appearance to aging eyes. Functional blepharoplasty restores a patient’s ability to open their eyes and widens their field of view. Eyelid surgery encompasses multiple surgical techniques that can achieve a range of outcomes. The technique used for your eyelid procedure will depend on the type and severity of your concerns, your anatomy, and whether the surgery takes place on your upper, lower or both eyelids.
What concerns can eyelid surgery treat?
With a relatively uncomplicated surgical procedure, blepharoplasty can produce dramatic improvements. Eyelid surgery can improve issues including:
- Loose, droopy or sagging skin of the upper or lower eyelids
- Impaired vision as a result of heavy skin on the upper eyelid
- Small or wrinkled upper eyelid surface that makes makeup application difficult
- Excess fatty deposits that create puffiness around the eyes
- Bags or deep grooves underneath the eyes
- Fine lines on the lower eyelid
- Forehead discomfort caused by overused muscles straining to relieve pressure from sagging skin in the eye area
What happens during eyelid surgery?
Blepharoplasty is performed as an outpatient procedure in most cases. During surgery, incisions are made in the natural folds of the treatment area — the crease of the upper eyelid or beneath the lower lash line — or behind the lower eyelid. This discreet placement minimizes and in some cases eliminates visible scarring after the procedure. Once the incisions are made, your surgeon will remove or reposition fat deposits, tighten loose tissue and/or remove excess skin as needed to achieve your desired improvements.
What can I expect during recovery?
It’s important to allow sufficient time for recovery after any surgical procedure, but particularly when the procedure may affect your vision. A caregiver should drive you home and remain with you to offer assistance. Do not drive or participate in any activity that requires uncompromised vision until you have been cleared to do so. Contact lenses and eye makeup should also be avoided until Dr. Bazzi approves their use.
The initial healing period after eyelid surgery may involve swelling, bruising, irritation, numbness or eye dryness that can be managed with cool compresses, medication, eye drops and lubricating ointment. You may also temporarily experience tearing, double vision or light sensitivity. Be diligent about sun protection and wear dark sunglasses until the healing process is complete. Keep your head elevated, including during sleep, as much as possible to reduce swelling and bruising.
Recovery time from eyelid surgery varies for individual patients, but healing times are generally relatively short compared to more extensive procedures. Dr. Bazzi will discuss expectations for your individual recovery and provide specific after-care instructions prior to your procedure.
What results can eyelid surgery achieve?
Blepharoplasty results appear gradually as swelling and bruising subside in the first few weeks after surgery. Your final results may include:
- A more alert and youthful appearance
- A smoother and better-defined eyelid
- Less loose, sagging skin
- Reduced puffiness around the eyes
- Reduced wrinkles or “crepey skin” beneath the eyes
- Less prominent bags or dark circles under the eyes
- Improved field of vision
- Improved self-image
While eyelid surgery results are long-lasting, you will continue to age naturally and your results will age along with you. Good skin care habits and healthy lifestyle choices, along with nonsurgical treatments such as Botox or dermal fillers, can help maintain your youthful appearance.
What procedures complement eyelid surgery?
Blepharoplasty is designed to improve one specific part of the face. For more dramatic results, eyelid surgery can be performed in conjunction with other surgical or nonsurgical procedures. A brow lift to address drooping eyebrows and creases in the forehead pairs well with eyelid surgery. For upper and lower facial rejuvenation, a facelift may be recommended in addition to eyelid surgery. For a complete transformation, all three procedures can be combined. Nonsurgical techniques that complement eyelid surgery include injectables and laser skin resurfacing. Dr. Bazzi can create a personalized treatment plan that recommends a procedure or combination of procedures based on your physical characteristics and your aesthetic goals.
Is eyelid surgery right for me?
Potential candidates for eyelid surgery are unhappy with the appearance of their upper and/or lower eyelids and may struggle with vision problems as a result of overhanging eyelids. A good candidate for blepharoplasty is in good overall health, does not smoke and has realistic expectations for the outcomes of the procedure. You may not be a candidate for blepharoplasty if you have a serious medical condition that could impair healing, including certain eye conditions such as glaucoma or a detached retina. Dr. Bazzi will determine your candidacy for the procedure during your initial consultation. Contact Bazzi Plastic Surgery today at 734-844-5700 to learn more about blepharoplasty and schedule a visit to our practice in Canton, Michigan.