As people age, eyelids may begin to droop and sag. This eyelid change can necessitate corrective surgery for cosmetic and medical reasons. Not only can droopy eyelids lead to an undesirable appearance, but they can also interfere with eyesight.
A sagging eyelid can obstruct vision, narrowing the field of view from the eye. This obstruction of vision can also result in other problems, including brow aches due to needing to lift muscles in the forehead to compensate for sagging eyelids and fatigue from reading.
Blepharoplasty is often recommended to correct these problems. The goals of blepharoplasty are the restoration of proper functioning of the eyelid and the aesthetics of the region of the face surrounding the eye.
Aging naturally results in excess skin and fat around the eyelids, resulting in sagging and puffiness of the skin. Skin begins to wrinkle and fall, and muscles supporting the eyelids weaken, causing eyelids to begin to stretch. A layer of fat exists that provides cushioning for the eyeballs from the skull. This fat layer can start to protrude into the eyelids due to the diminishment of the membrane that keeps the fat layer in place.
Sagging eyebrows, droopy upper lids, and bags underneath the eyes are symptoms that blepharoplasty can address. These can affect both the upper and lower eyelid. A correctly performed blepharoplasty can create a younger look and, in specific cases, improve vision.
At What Age Should Blepharoplasty be Considered?
Droopy lids can appear after age 30. Younger individuals over 18 may also be good candidates for surgery under certain conditions.
Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty
For upper eyelids, an incision is made in the natural fold or crease of the eyelid. Here, excess skin and fat are carefully removed. Finally, the incision is closed by the surgeon. Because the incision is made along the natural skin crease of the eyelid, most of the scars that may form are hidden from view with the eyes open.
Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty
With the lower eyelid, an incision is created just under the eyelashes on the eyes or on the inside of the lower eyelid. The skin is pulled upward, excessive skin and fat are removed, and the incision is closed to leave a minimal impact. The lower eyelid fat may be repositioned to create a pleasing contour. Lower eyelid blepharoplasty addresses bags that form under the eyes.
Exactly how each blepharoplasty is performed will vary from person to person. The procedure is customized for each patient.
Blepharoplasty and Ptosis Surgery
In cases where the upper eyelid droops low enough to be near the pupil, a blepharoplasty may be performed in addition to a procedure known as ptosis. Ptosis surgery is performed to lift the eyelid by tightening a muscle
Results and Post-Surgery Care
Blepharoplasty will create firmer eyelids and reduce puffiness and sagging. Following blepharoplasty, many patients report greater self-confidence and satisfaction with their appearance. Additionally, peripheral vision can improve in patients when vision was obstructed prior to the surgery.
Swelling and bruising from a blepharoplasty typically begin to diminish after 10 to 14 days, and scars may take multiple months to disappear. It is critical to avoid rubbing the eyes during the recovery process, as this can cause trauma to the eyelid area. Eye ointment and cool compresses can help manage short-term swelling and discomfort. Additionally, the affected eyes and skin will be very sensitive to sunlight following the blepharoplasty, and sun protection