Many people notice the first signs of aging in the area surrounding the eyes, when droopy folds in the upper eyelid and puffy bags under the eyes can make you look tired and add years to your appearance. This type of problem can sometimes happen to people as early as twenty or thirty years of age.
Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty [blef-er-uh-plas-tee], is a surgery where excess skin and fat are removed from the upper and/or lower eyelids. This helps to rejuvenate the area around the eyes dramatically improving the appearance.
The ideal candidate for this procedure is healthy and does not have life-threatening illnesses or medical conditions that would hinder the healing process; is a non-smoker; has a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for eyelid surgery; and doesn’t have any serious eye conditions.
Ask your plastic surgeon about other procedures that may be performed along with blepharoplasty. These may include Botox® or other facial filler treatments that help to eliminate crows feet and other similar conditions that are not treated by eyelid surgery.
Blepharoplasty usually takes between one and two hours to complete and may be performed with local or general anesthesia.
Upper Eyelid Surgery
Upper eyelid surgery removes loose or sagging skin and excess fatty deposits that create redundant folds or disturb the natural contour of the eyes.
For upper eyelid blepharoplasty, incisions are made in the crease of the upper eyelid. The resulting scars are usually very faint when fully healed and blend in with the natural folds of the eyelid.
Lower Eyelid Surgery
A lower eyelid blepharoplasty removes excess skin and fine wrinkles, tightening the skin and muscle, and removing the excess fat that causes droopiness or "bags" under the eyes.
For lower eyelid surgery, the incisions are made below the lower eyelid lashes or through the inside of the lower eyelid. These follow the natural contour lines and creases of the eyelid. As with upper eyelid surgery, the resulting scars are very faint and blend in with surrounding skin.
After blepharoplasty, patients can expect full recovery in 2-3 weeks. Most patients can return to light work in two or three days if appearance is not a major concern. Patients will experience bruising and swelling for several days following the procedure (black eyes are typical). Stitches are removed after three to five days.
Your doctor will discuss a specific recovery schedule prior to the procedure. We strongly encourage patients to avoid strenuous activities such as exercise programs or other vigorous fitness regimes for at least four to six weeks after surgery.