*Individual results may vary
What is Eyelid Surgery?
Eyelid surgery, also known as an eye lift or blepharoplasty, can rejuvenate puffy, sagging or tired-looking eyes by removing excess fat, skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. It is ideal for the correction of multiple issues with the eyelids. Loose, sagging and/or folded upper eyelids that may limit vision can be corrected by removing the excess skin. Puffiness, which is actually due to excess fat from around the eye, may be removed to give a more youthful, refreshed appearance. Sometimes the fat removed is then replaced in other nearby areas where there has been facial atrophy with aging, thus evening the facial contours.
Reasons for Blepharoplasty
Blepharoplasty may be performed for cosmetic reasons or to improve sight by lifting droopy eyelids out of the patient’s field of vision. Blepharoplasty can be combined with BOTOX® treatments to raise the eyebrows or reduce the appearance of wrinkles, crow’s feet or dark circles under the eyes.
Eyelid Surgery Candidates
The best candidates for blepharoplasty are individuals who are in good overall health and who 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.
For the blepharoplasty procedure, patients will have either local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia depending upon the specific patient and procedure. Patients may choose to have this procedure on their upper or lower eyelids, or both. Depending on these choices, the procedure can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
Dr. Epstein makes incisions along the eyelids in inconspicuous places. The upper eyelid incision is in the natural eyelid crease. The lower eyelid incision either lies directly below the eyelash line (subciliary incision), or is on the inside of the eyelid (trans-conjunctival incision), hiding the incision from view. With the latter procedure, there are no visible scars.
After the procedure is complete, Dr. Epstein closes the incisions with sutures.
Eyelid Surgery Recovery
After the blepharoplasty procedure, Dr. Epstein may recommend applying lubricating ointment and cold compresses. These will aid the healing process and minimize side effects such as swelling, bruising, irritation or dry eyes. Dr. Epstein will wrap the patient’s eyes in gauze after the procedure as well.
Patients can usually return to work within two to five days, depending upon how they look and feel. You should avoid exercise and strenuous activities for at least two weeks. Swelling and other side effects usually subside within two weeks after surgery. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for your eyes are surgery.
Patients should not wear contact lenses for two weeks. Patient’s eyes can be sensitive to light and there may be slight irritation with wind for a short while.
Eye Lift Results
Results of the eye lift procedure are visible as swelling and bruising subside. Results will continue to improve for up to a year after surgery. This procedure is designed to produce long-lasting results.* Although surgery cannot prevent your eyes from aging, most patients are happy with their results and do not seek repeat procedures.
The scars from the blepharoplasty procedure will fade with time until they are virtually unnoticeable. Dr. Epstein will hide the incision in the crease of the eyelid in an upper blepharoplasty. For a lower blepharoplasty, the incision is just below the lashes.
Risks of Blepharoplasty
As with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks with this procedure. Although rare, these risks include bleeding, infection, dry eyes, skin discoloration and an inability to fully close the eyes. 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. Many of these risks can be minimal by choosing an experienced surgeon, like Dr. Epstein, and following proper care instructions after surgery.