Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
Several factors such as aging, sun damage, smoking, stretching 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.
By removing excess fat, skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids, blepharoplasty can rejuvenate puffy, sagging or tired-looking eyes. It is typically a cosmetic procedure but can also improve vision by lifting droopy eyelids out of the patient's field of vision. Blepharoplasty cannot be used to raise the eyebrows or reduce the appearance of wrinkles, crow’s feet or dark circles under the eyes, but the procedure can be combined with others such as a Facelift and BOTOX® treatments to achieve these results.
Who are good candidates for Eyelid Surgery?
The best candidates for blepharoplasty are individuals who are in good overall health, and 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 as a result, it cannot alter your entire appearance or change the structure of your face.
During a scheduled consultation, Dr. Conkright will determine whether you are a qualified candidate for Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery).
How is a Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery) performed?
The procedure is usually performed in the doctor's office with local anesthesia, and lasts one to three hours, depending on how much work is done. Incisions are made along the eyelids in inconspicuous places (in the creases of the upper lids, and just below the lashes on the lower lids). Dr. Conkright removes fat and loose skin from your upper eyelid area through an incision that is hidden within the natural eyelid fold. The incision extends slightly beyond the outside corner or your eye where it easily blends into existing laugh lines or other creases. If your upper eyelid problem is aggravated by sagging at your eyebrows, then Dr. Conkright may recommend a brow lift.
Treatment of the lower eyelids often requires an incision that is hidden just below your lower lashes. Through this incision, excess skin, muscle and fat are removed or adjusted; sometimes fat may be repositioned to eliminate puffiness or bulges. If your lower eyelid is not excessive, Dr. Conkright may decide to use a different technique that removes fat through an incision placed inside the lid. A laser is sometimes used, if necessary, to resurface the lower eyelid skin and to achieve a small degree of skin tightening.
Eyelid surgery is often performed along with a facelift or other facial rejuvenation procedures. Some people have inherited traits that cause them to have eyelid surgery as early as their 20s or 30s.
What is recovery like from Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)?
After surgery, patients can expect some swelling that may persist for a week or longer. Your vision may be somewhat blurry for a few days, and you will want to wear dark glasses to protect your eyes from wind and sun. Your stitches are normally removed within 3 to 7 days of the procedure. The removal process may sting a little bit as the tight, fine sutures are very small and require very fine tweezers and scissors for removal. Eyes can be sensitive to light and wind and may be slightly irritated for a short while. Dr. Conkright may prescribe eye drops and cool compresses to counteract these discomforts. Within a week, you can wear makeup to conceal any remaining discoloration. You should be back to work within 7 to 10 days.
What are the results of Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)?
Results of a blepharoplasty procedure are visible as swelling and bruising subside, 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.
What are the risks / complications associated with Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)?
Complications from the procedure are uncommon, but may include: infection, reaction to anesthesia, double or blurred vision for a few days, temporary swelling of the eyelids, tiny whiteheads and difficulty closing eyes when going to sleep. Uneven healing and scarring, and ectropion (pulling down of the lower lids) are very rare and may require surgical correction. Patients with thyroid problems, dry eye, high blood pressure, diabetes, detached retina, glaucoma or other health problems should consult with an ophthalmologist about eligibility.