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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.
Blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid surgery, is a surgical procedure that improves the appearance of the upper and lower eyelids by tightening muscles and tissue or removing excess fat and skin. This procedure can be performed on men and women alike and offers a younger, more refreshed look that reflects across the whole face.
Blepharoplasty is now the most popular facial plastic surgery procedure after rhinoplasty. The popularity of this procedure reflects the importance of the eyes in perfecting overall appearance. In fact, two-thirds of adults consider the eyes to be the defining feature of the face. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your eyes, you may want to consider blepharoplasty to improve your look and boost your confidence through a safe procedure with minimal downtime.
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.
The blepharoplasty procedure is performed under local anesthesia with sedation. General anesthesia may be used for anxious or nervous patients. 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.
If the upper eyelid is being treated, an incision is made along the natural crease of the eyelid. Once the incision is made, your doctor may reposition fat deposits, tighten muscles and tissue or remove excess skin in order to leave the eye looking younger and refreshed. For the lower eyelid, an incision is made just below the lash line in order for excess skin to be removed.
After the procedure is performed, the incisions are closed with sutures and usually wrapped in gauze to allow the area to heal.
After the blepharoplasty procedure, your doctor may recommend applying lubricating ointment and cold compresses to aid the healing process and minimize side effects such as swelling, bruising, irritation or dry eyes. The eyes may be wrapped in gauze after the procedure as well.
Patients can usually return to work within two days, but 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.
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.
As with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks associated with this procedure. Although rare, these risks include bleeding, infection, dry eyes, skin discoloration and an inability to fully close the eyes. Many of these risks can be minimized by choosing an experienced surgeon and following proper care instructions after surgery. You can discuss these risks, along with any other concerns you may have, with your doctor to reduce anxiety and worries about your surgery.