Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, is a procedure designed to improve the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. This surgery treats loose or sagging skin that creates folds near the eyes, fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the eyelids, bags under the eyes, drooping lower eyelids, and excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid.
There are different types of incisions where the excess skin is removed and the eyelid is lifted. Dr. Campos-Leon will discuss these options before the procedure.
What is eyelid surgery for?
Eyelid surgery does not reduce or correct wrinkles or other symptoms caused by the passage of time, however, although most patients opt to undergo this surgery by itself, on some occasions it can be combined with other facial aesthetic techniques in order to correct sagging or to rejuvenate the face, as well as to eliminate spots.
When should an eyelid surgery be considered?
Over time, the face goes through a reduction of skin elasticity, which causes an apparent increase in skin on the eyelids or even fat bags on the lower and upper eyelids that darken and sadden the expression of the eyes. This, along with wrinkles around the eyes, can cause the person to look much older than they actually are. Eyelid surgery serves to correct all these problems, providing favorable results and returning a younger and fresher appearance with a long-lasting effect to the skin. This is why it has become one of the most in demand cosmetic surgeries to rejuvenate the appearance.
What does this procedure consist of?
During the first consultation, the necessary clinical parameters are evaluated. The expectations of the patient are discussed and the surgeon provides an idea of realistic results, in addition to a detailed explanation of what the indicated procedures consist of. The necessary evaluation will be carried out to know if the patient is an ideal candidate or not.
The surgery lasts from 1 to 3 hours depending on the degree of the surgery. In some cases, patients decide to address all four eyelids. In these cases, the surgeon always begins with the upper ones, making an incision in order to remove excess skin and tighten the orbicularis oculi muscle.
During the procedure, the surgeon makes incisions that follow the natural lines of the eyelids: the creases of the upper eyelids and just below the lashes on the lower eyelid. Through these incisions, the surgeon separates the skin from the internal fatty tissue and muscle, removes excess fat, and generally cuts off sagging skin and muscles. Subsequently, the incisions are closed with very fine sutures.
When there is excessive laxity in the lower eyelids, the incision is usually below the eyelashes with very fine sutures that heal without problem and are practically invisible after three months. In addition to removing fat and sometimes skin, the lower eyelid is repositioned to reduce eyelid laxity.
Who is a candidate for this procedure?
The best candidates for this type of surgery are physically healthy, psychologically stable men and women with realistic expectations. Most candidates are 35 years of age or older, however, if the drooping eyelids are due to genetics, the person could undergo this surgery at an earlier age.
There are certain medical conditions that can make blepharoplasty riskier, these include thyroid problems, problems with a lack of moisture in the eye or not enough tearing, high blood pressure or other circulation disorders, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. A detached retina or glaucoma is also a reason for caution. To avoid any type of problem, it is important for the patient to first consult with an ophthalmologist and a surgeon so that these two can determine whether they are an ideal candidate for this surgery or not.
What kind of anesthesia is used?
Eyelid surgery is an outpatient procedure and is generally performed under local anesthesia (which numbs the area around the eyes) along with oral or intravenous sedatives. The person is able to remain awake during the surgery, but will be relaxed and insensitive to the pain that it may cause, however, they may feel the skin being pulled or some type of occasional discomfort.
Some surgeons prefer to use general anesthesia. In these cases, the patient remains asleep and unaware of everything that happens during the surgical procedure, which can be more comfortable for some people.
Are there risks?
When a qualified plastic surgeon performs eyelid surgery, complications are rare and usually minor. However, there is always the possibility of complications, including an infection or a reaction to the anesthesia. To reduce these risks, it is important to follow the instructions provided by the surgeon.
Minor complications that occasionally occur after blepharoplasty include blurred or double vision for a few days; temporary swelling of the corner of the eyelids and a slight asymmetry during the healing process. Small white dots may appear after removal of the sutures, which the surgeon can easily remove. After surgery, some patients have difficulty closing their eyes when they sleep; in rare cases this condition could be permanent. It is important to consult about these issues with the surgeon, and to always make sure to approach only those certified and qualified to perform such a procedure.
Healing is a gradual process and the scars may remain slightly pink for six months or more after surgery. However, over time they will disappear, until they look like a thin white line which is almost invisible.
As a result of eyelid surgery, a fresher and more youthful appearance will be obtained, which can last for many years if the care and recommendations provided by the surgeon are followed, in these cases, for most people the results are usually permanent.