Blepharoplasty, also known as an eye lift, is a procedure to correct the sagging or drooping of the eyelids and the removal of excess fat, skin and muscle. As we age, it is common to see a difference in the eye area — more laxity, bags below and above the eye; sometimes so much that the upper lid seems to disappear underneath the extra fatty area under the brow bone. Even with good skincare and eye care, wrinkles, puffiness and drooping eyelids will occur. Genetic factors and body chemistry can cause these aging effects in younger people. Blepharoplasty can give a more youthful appearance to an otherwise older, more tired looking, face.
Blepharoplasty surgery can also treat a medical condition called ptosis (drooping eyelid), which is caused by poor muscle tone or nerve damage. Ptosis causes the eyelids to hang very low and block vision. Blepharoplasty treats drooping eyelids, but not drooping eyebrows or wrinkles. Blepharoplasty is often performed with another cosmetic surgery such as a brow lift or facelift to improve droopy eyebrows, crow’s feet and facial sagging.
There are two types of blepharoplasty: Upper eyelid blepharoplasty and Lower Eyelid blepharoplasty. The upper lid blepharoplasty removes excess skin, fat and/or muscle from the upper lid. The goal of a lower lid blepharoplasty is to remove excess bags and sometimes trip some skin at the lash line to tighten the under eye skin.
The best candidates for blepharoplasty are physically healthy and are well informed about the surgery. Typically candidates are at least 35, though genetic factors may indicate treatment for younger people. Candidates may be excluded if they have any of the following conditions: dry eyes, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, glaucoma, or Graves’ disease. A patient’s anatomy, including bone and supporting structure, may also affect your candidacy.
To determine candidacy for blepharoplasty, it is necessary to have a consultation at Advanced Eye Care. At the consultation Dr. Feulner has will discuss post surgical goals and expectations and help decide what procedure(s) would be beneficial based on each specific case.
At the time of surgery, the patient will be given a local anesthesia to numb the area around the eyes and a mild sedative to help him/her stay relaxed during the procedure. The patient will be awake during the surgery, but relaxed and insensitive to pain. The blepharoplasty will take between to three hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. A small incision is made following the natural line of the eyelids, excess fat is removed and sagging skin trimmed, and the incision is closed with very fine stitches.
After surger the following temporary side effects may be experienced:
- Bruising, lasting from two weeks to a month
- Dry or itchy sensation in the eyes
- Excessive tearing
- Sensitivity to light
- Blurred sight
- Swelling at the corner of the eyelid
- The eyes will be bandaged so a driver will be necessary
- Eyelids may feel tight and sore as the anesthesia wears off, but pain medications will be given to ease any discomfort.
- The patient will also be given eye drops to alleviate any dry or itchy feeling in the eyes.
- The patient will come back to Advanced Eye Care in 3 to 5 days after the surgery to have stitches removed.
Post operatively, patients should be able to read or watch TV in two or three days. Most people feel ready to return to work in 7 to 10 days. There may be sensitive to sunlight and wind for several weeks, so sunglasses should be worn and a special sun block made for eyelids.