Blepharoplasty (BLEF-uh-roe-plas-tee) or eyelid surgery is a surgical procedure on the eyelids to improve the appearance the upper lids, lower lids or both. It may involve removing excess skin, muscle and fat.
As we age, our eyelids tend to stretch, and the muscles supporting them weaken. This can result in sagging eyebrows, droopy upper or lower lids, puffiness, skin folds or bags under your eyes. Severely sagging skin around your eyes changes the natural contour of your eyelid and in addition to cosmetic concerns it can sometimes impair your vision especially the upper and outer parts of your field of vision. Blepharoplasty can reduce or eliminate these problems and make your eyes appear younger and more alert.
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Blepharoplasty may be an option if you have: baggy or droopy upper eyelids, excess skin of the upper eyelids that interferes with your peripheral vision, droopy lower eyelids, which may cause white to show below the colored part of the eye (iris), excess skin on the lower eyelids, or bags under your eyes. In some patients, this procedure can diminish the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. The best candidates for an eyelift are people who are in good health and who have realistic expectations. Most are 35 years or older, but sometimes baggy eyelids or droopy eyelids are a familial trait and some decide to have the surgery done sooner.
Blepharoplasty is usually done in an outpatient setting. Medications are administered for your comfort during the surgical procedure. The choices include intravenous sedation to help you relax or sometimes, general anesthesia. If you have surgery on your upper and lower eyelids, the surgeon generally works on your upper lids first. The upper eyelid can be corrected through an incision within the natural crease on the eyelid. This allows for removal or repositioning of fat deposits, tightening of muscles and removal of excess skin.
Lower eyelid conditions are usually treated to correct and redistribute or remove excess fat through an incision created on the inside of the lower eyelid hidden within the reddish conjunctival tissue. With this technique, no skin is removed. Your surgeon may also suggest use of a laser or chemical peel to reduce discoloration of the lower eyelids.
Eyelid incisions typically are closed with sutures or skin glue. Sutures are removed within one week. Blepharoplasty usually takes less than two hours, depending on the amount and location of tissue being removed.
The results of eyelid surgery will appear gradually as swelling and bruising subsides to reveal a smooth, better-defined eyelid and surrounding region, and a more alert and rejuvenated appearance.
Following your post-operative instructions is essential to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions not be subjected to excessive force, abrasion or motion during the time of healing. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.