The eyes are the most telling things on your face, and as the adage goes, the eyes are the windows to the soul. However, as the skin on the eyelids is among the thinnest and most delicate on our bodies, the eyes are often the first area to be affected by the aging process. Time, heredity, lifestyle choices, and skin type all have an effect on your eyes. Damage to this skin not only makes you look older than you feel, but it can also affect your eye’s ability to accurately convey emotion since heavy eyelids often make one look fatigued and upset. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is the surgical process of removing excess skin and fat deposits around the eyes, leaving you looking refreshed and more awake.
Upper Eyelid Surgery
Upper eyelid surgery aims to refresh your look by removing drooping and sagging excess skin from above the eyes. Excess skin and fat deposits in this area not only contribute to showing distortions of your real emotions but can also play a part in impairing your vision. Upper blepharoplasty uses local anesthesia with sedation, or general anesthesia may be used. An incision is made along the natural fold of your upper eyelid, and the underlying muscles and tissues are tightened. Excess fat deposits are then removed or repositioned before the incision is closed with sutures. If you have excess skin, it will be trimmed and removed before closing the incision. Because the incision is made within the natural creases of the eye, the scar will be hidden in the folds and can be covered with makeup. Scars will fade over time.
Lower Eyelid Surgery
Lower eyelid surgery is designed to remove excess skin and fat deposits that sit beneath the eye and contribute to a tired, puffy look. This technique is performed under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. An incision will be made along the lower lash line. Fat deposits and excess skin will be removed before the incision is closed with sutures, tissue glue, or surgical tape.
Transconjunctival blepharoplasty focuses on removing or repositioning excess fat deposits in the lower eyelids and is not for patients who have excess lower eyelid skin. Whereas traditional lower eyelid surgery (also known as transcutaneous blepharoplasty) removes both excess skin and fat deposits through an incision along the lash line, transconjunctival blepharoplasty uses an incision on the inside of the the lower eyelid to address fat deposits. Since the incision is made on the inside of the eyelid, there will be no visible scar.
Regardless of whether you have upper eyelid surgery, lower eyelid surgery, or both, you will be sore in the days following your procedure. Cold compresses and pain medication will be provided to make you comfortable. While you can return to work within a few days, it is recommended to take it very easy (no heavy lifting or exercise) and protect your eyes from bright lights for at least two weeks. While recovery is never fun, once you get through it, you will be able to enjoy your more youthful and alert eyes.