An eye lift, also called blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery, can be performed medically to increase the range of vision impaired by drooping eyelids, or cosmetically to reduce sagging and alter the appearance of the eye area.
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Younger-Looking, Brighter Eyes with Eyelid Surgery
Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, corrects various signs of aging on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both. As we age, the skin loses its firm, elastic quality and muscle loses its tone, causing the eyelids to appear droopy or puffy. In some cases, the skin on the upper eyelids can droop so low that it interferes with the line of vision. Often, this sagging, loose eyelid skin creates a tired and older-looking appearance.
Whether it is to restore a pleasant and well-rested eye appearance or to address a functional problem, a board certified plastic surgeon from the Franciscan Health network can perform eyelid surgery and achieve natural-looking and long-lasting results.
Who Is a Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?
Ideal candidates for eyelid surgery are individuals who have:
- Loose or sagging skin on the upper eyelids
- Difficulty seeing properly due to excess skin on the upper eyelids
- Puffiness on the eyelids due to fatty deposits
- Under-eye bags
- Drooping skin on the lower eyelids that reveals white below the iris
- Wrinkles and fine lines on the lower eyelids
In addition, all eyelid surgery patients should be in good overall health. Patients should also have realistic expectations from the procedure. They should understand the risks and possible complications, all of which will be explained in detail by the plastic surgeon during the initial consultation.
Eyelid Lift Procedure Details
Eyelid surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, with either general anesthesia or local anesthesia and sedation. During upper eyelid surgery, an incision is made on the natural crease on the eyelid. The surgeon is meticulous when creating the incision so the resultant scar will be well concealed. The surgeon will remove or reposition fat and tissue in the upper eyelids. Lax muscles can be tightened as needed. The surgeon will also remove excess skin and tighten the remaining skin carefully to achieve a smoother yet not “overly pulled” look. The incisions will then be closed with sutures that will be removed by the surgeon some time after surgery.
In lower eyelid surgery, an incision is created just below the lower lash line. Excess skin is removed and fat is removed or repositioned as needed to create a smoother and more harmonious eye appearance.
Some patients benefit from combining eyelid surgery with another facial rejuvenation procedure such as facelift or forehead lift (brow lift). The goal is to create a well-balanced and natural-looking overall facial appearance.
Recovering from Eyelid Surgery
Patients should arrange to take one to two weeks off from work and their normal routine in order to recover from eyelid surgery. During this initial recovery period, patients should get plenty of rest, relaxing with their head slightly elevated on a soft pillow as much as possible. Strenuous activities, including exercise, should be avoided.
Initial symptoms include swelling, bruising and soreness, which can be managed with oral pain medication and by applying a cold compress over the treatment area. These symptoms typically improve greatly after two weeks. After this time, any leftover bruising can be covered up by makeup. The plastic surgeon will make the final call as to when it is safe to resume normal activities based on the patient’s personal healing progress.