Eyelid Surgery, medically referred to as Blepharoplasty, is a surgical technique done to repair sagging, drooping eyelids by removing excess skin and fat around the eye, and sometimes tightening supporting muscles. For people of Asian heritage, a blepharoplasty can add an upper eyelid crease, without erasing evidence of your natural heritage.
The best candidates for eyelid surgery are men and women who are physically healthy, and realistic in their expectations. Most are 35 or older, but if droopy, baggy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have eyelid surgery at a younger age. You may also be a candidate for blepharoplasty if your drooping eyelids keep you from completely opening your eyes or if drooping skin pulls down your lower eyelids.
The procedure can be performed on either the lower or upper eyelids, but many patients prefer to have surgery on both for a more balanced correction. Removing the excess skin from around your eyes will leave you feeling younger and looking more fresh and alert.
You may benefit from blepharoplasty if you have:
- Droopy upper eyelids that “hood” over your eyes
- Excess skin in the upper eyelids that restricts your vision, particularly your peripheral vision
- Drooping lower eyelids, which do not properly cover the lower eyeballs
- Excess skin in the lower eyelids which appears as “bags” under your eyes
When to Consider Eyelid Surgery
One of the first things we notice about other people is their eyes. So often we hear or tell people “you look tired, is everything okay?” The telltale sign of someone that looks tired, are puffy and drooping eyelids. Unfortunately, as we age, eyelids can stretch and supporting muscles can weaken. Instead of bright and refreshed, our eyelids will appear drooping, sagging and puffy. This can result in a permanent state of tired looking eyes and something that eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) may help repair.
With stretched eyelids, excess fat can gather above and below the lids, which causes the eyebrows to sag and contributes to drooping lids and heavy bags under the eyes. Severely sagging skin over the eyes can make you look older than you really are.
In addition, sagging skin around the eyelids can impact your vision, particularly your peripheral vision. The hooded upper eyelid can restrict the vision out of the upper and outer corner of your eye. Vision loss is more than a nuisance, and can be a dangerous hindrance to your independence, especially when driving.
The good news is that eyelid surgery can correct sagging eyelids, improving your youthful appearance and correcting for visual disturbances.
Two Types of Eye Surgery
There are two types of eyelid surgery: upper blepharoplasty and lower blepharoplasty.
The upper blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure addressing the appearance of the upper eyelid. The incision is made in the natural crease line that occurs 1 cm above the eyelashes. The incision might extend into the crow’s feet or laughter lines at the outer corners of your eyes. Your surgeon will separate the skin from the subcutaneous layers and remove excess fat and trim the sagging muscle and skin. The incisions will be closed with very fine sutures or with surgical glue.
The lower blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure addressing the appearance of the lower eyelid. This incision usually starts at the outer margin of the eyelashes. The skin is then lifted upwards and outwards, gently tensioning the area and the overlapping skin is removed. Again, the incisions will be closed with very fine sutures. In older patients, laser resurfacing is recommended on the lower lid to erase fine lines and resurface the delicate area of the lower lid.
What to Expect Before, During & After Blepharoplasty
Your eyelid surgery will begin with a consultation. You will discuss your goals and set realistic outcomes for surgery. You will have a complete physical examination and eyelid photography. Your eyes will be photographed from different angles to assess your individual needs and allow the medical team to best approach your surgery. If your eyelids impact your vision, you may have a vision examination prior to surgery.
Day of Eyelid Surgery Procedure
On the day of surgery, you will have numbing medication injected into your eyelids and given IV medication to help you relax and stay comfortable. You will be groggy and sedated. Our surgeon will remove the necessary skin, muscle and fat and then close the incision. The surgery typically lasts less than two hours for most clients.
Recovery from Blepharoplasty
Recovery from blepharoplasty will take several days and up to six months for surgical incisions to fade. Immediately after the procedure, you will experience blurred vision (from necessary ointment applied to your eyes during the procedure), as well as watering eyes, light sensitivity, and some pain. You will have puffiness, swelling and some bruising around the eyes, similar to a “black eye.” You will be instructed how to care for your healing incisions and to apply cool compresses to the eyes to reduce swelling and discomfort. A few days after surgery, you will return to the OMNI to follow up with the medical team and ensure optimal healing and recovery. You should continue to protect the delicate skin around your eyelids from too much sun exposure on an ongoing basis. For some clients, the results of the blepharoplasty will last the rest of their lives, but for others drooping eyelids may reappear. This is typically a result of heredity, environmental sun damage and skin care practices.
Procedures that Complement Eyelid Surgery
Eyelid surgery will not remove superficial wrinkles, lift sagging eyebrows, or lighten dark circles under the eyes. For these issues, there are other surgical or regenerative medicine procedures available that can complement the blepharoplasty. For example, if you are concerned about correcting for sagging eyelids but also improving fine lines and wrinkles, you may benefit from a blepharoplasty followed by a series of regenerative medicine treatments such as skin resurfacing. If you are concerned about sagging eyelids as well as sagging eyebrows, you may consider a blepharoplasty with a brow lift.
The OMNI Difference: Eyelid Surgery
OMNI Surgery + Anti-Aging Centre is dedicated to medical excellence, exceptional patient care, and optimal surgical outcomes. We are proud to have an excellent team in facial plastic and reconstructive surgeries.