Do you suffer from eye envy? Do you dream of rejuvenating your tired looking eyes to match your inner vim? Taking that leap back in time to enhance your appearance may be just one magical blepharoplasty away.
Daniel Todd, MD FACS, Midwest Ear, Nose & Throat, simplifies the definition of the age-defying surgery. “Blepharoplasty is the term used for eyelid surgery,” he says. “Droopy eyelids can make you look older and can also impair vision. Blepharoplasty corrects these problems and also removes puffiness and bags under the eyes that make you look worn and tired.”
While revolutionary, “This procedure cannot alter dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, nor can it change sagging eyebrows,” he explains. “If the brow is low, elevating that with a ‘browlift’ is often considered as well. Laser resurfacing, fillers and botox can also be considered.”
“Blepharoplasty removes the excess fat, muscle, and skin from both upper and lower lids,” Dr. Todd adds. “The results can be a refreshed appearance, with a younger, firmer eye area.
Reviewing details about the procedure, “In upper eyelid surgery, the surgeon first marks the individual lines and creases of the lids in order to keep the scars as invisible as possible along these natural folds,” Dr. Todd explains. “The incision is made, and excess fat, muscle, and loose skin are removed. Fine sutures are used to close the incisions, thereby minimizing the visibility of any scar.”
And for the lower eyelid, “The surgeon makes the incision in an inconspicuous site along the lashline and smile creases of the lower lid,” he says. “Excess fat, muscle, and skin are then trimmed away before the incision is closed with fine sutures. Eyelid puffiness caused primarily by excess fat may be corrected by a transconjunctival blepharoplasty. The incision in this case is made inside the lower eyelid, and excess fatty material is removed.”
Dr. Todd says when sutures are used to close this kind of incision; they are invisible to the eye. “They are also self-dissolving and leave no visible scar” he adds. “Under normal conditions, blepharoplasty can take from one to two hours. It can be done under local or general anesthesia.”
Recovery from a blepharoplasty requires about a week and a half and the patient is issued the assignment of cleaning the eye area for a designated period of time. “The eyes may feel sticky, dry, and itchy,” Dr. Todd adds. “Eye drops may be recommended.”
Certain activities and environments must also be avoided in the weeks immediately following the surgery. As for follow-up, “Permanent stitches will be removed in three to five days after surgery,” Dr. Todd says. “Self-absorbing stitches will dissolve on their own.”
Dr. Todd adds that healing from a blepharoplasty does not require the eyes to be covered although ointment for dryness of the eye area may be used. There is a certain amount of swelling and bruising following the surgery and cold compresses and head elevation while lying down will relieve discomfort and promote healing.
Blepharoplasty is considered a cosmetic surgery and is not generally covered by insurance, although, “Surgery to correct or improve vision or surgery for eye deformity or injury may be reimbursable in whole or in part.” Dr. Todd says.
If blepharoplasty appeals to you, “As with all facial plastic surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites,” Dr. Todd says. “People with circulatory, ophthalmological, or serious medical conditions must rely on the diagnostic skills of their own personal specialists to determine whether blepharoplasty is an option to consider. Patients with dry eyes, ptosis, or lax lids may not be good candidates for this surgery.”