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Eyelid surgery - Blepharoplasty

Eyelid Surgery

It's The Little Things That Age Your Face

What can you do to stop the aging of your face?

People have always been concerned about the appearance of their eyes. As the eyes are the windows of the soul, it’s natural to want them to look as bright and attractive as possible.

The eyes themselves are actually without any expression. It’s the tissues around the eyes that create our expressions and communicate our personalities.

What are eyelids, exactly?

The function of eyelids and eyelashes is to protect our eyes. Eyelid skin is very thin and the inside of each lid is covered with a mucous membrane. There are glands in the skin, which produce fluids to keep our eyes moist.

There are fibrous plates made of strong connective tissue, which support the eyelids. Small eye muscles open and close the lids.

As we age, these small muscles around our eyes weaken and the skin stretches. So the fat under the skin pouches out. Stretched skin is pulled down by gravity and bags form under the eyes. Sun damage contributes too (uneven pigmentation, deeper wrinkles, etc.). All this makes our eyes appear sleepy, droopy and old.

Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) moves or removes extra fat and skin and tightens muscles to create a more alert and younger look. This type of facial cosmetic surgery has always been very popular.

Talking with your cosmetic surgeon:
When having your first discussion with the cosmetic surgeon, be sure you communicate fully about your health, including any allergies. Health conditions that would appear to have nothing to do with eyelid surgery might have more relevance than you realize. So establish an honest relationship with your eyelid surgeon so that the outcome of your surgery will be satisfactory for both of you.

There’ll be a complete physical done, perhaps some eye tests, and a health history taken. If you wear glasses, remember to bring them with you. Eyesight is not affected by eyelid surgery.

Your plastic surgeon will explain what procedures he thinks are best for you, and why, and how they’re done. Sometimes a person will think eyelid surgery is the solution, but the surgeon may suggest another procedure such as a browlift or mid-facelift, or a combination of procedures. He’ll give you various options and together you can arrive at the best plan.

Good candidates for eyelid surgery:
The best candidates are people in good general health, personally stable enough to deal with the recovery period afterwards and to follow the plastic surgeon’s orders for recovery, and who have talked through their desires with the surgeon, arriving at realistic expectations for the outcome.

There are some conditions that make eyelid surgery possibly a poor risk. For instance, anyone with high blood pressure, glaucoma, dry eyes, diabetes, cardiovascular disease or thyroid problems should be carefully interviewed and screened.

Eyelid surgery for Asians
Although all human eyes are structured the same way as far as vision is concerned, the tissue around Asian eyes is usually draped differently from that around Caucasian eyes. Eyelid surgery has a different goal when done on Asian eyes. Asian people typically ask for this surgery at a younger age (20s and 30s) for the purpose of creating an upper eyelid crease to make their eyes wider.

Preparation for eyelid surgery:
Your cosmetic surgeon will give you some guidelines on how best to eat and drink, which vitamins and health products to take or avoid, on smoking, and on medications.

The surgery itself:
Usually it will take between one and three hours, depending on how much work is to be done. It can be done in a hospital, but is more usually done in a doctor’s accredited office surgery facility with local anesthetic and IV sedation or general anesthesia. Small incisions are made such that excess skin, fat and muscle can be removed. The remaining tissue can be sculpted for a smoother and firmer shape. All four eyelids can be done at once, or just the upper or just the lower eyelids.

In working on the lower eyelids, not a lot of fat is removed. Fat may be moved and used to fill any nearby sunken areas.

Transconjunctival eyelid surgery
In younger people who have more thick and elastic skin, but need some fat removed, the incision can be made inside the lower eyelid rather than just below the lashes. This preserves the muscular support layer of the lower lids. This technique uses dissolving stitches and leaves no visible scar unless some skin needs to be removed.

Eyelid lift:
In some people, part of the aging around the eyes includes downward sagging of the outside corners of the eyes. An eyelid lift raises them, using permanent invisible sutures. As aging continues though, this more upward angle will again start to fall.

Recovery period:
At the end of the surgery, the eyes will be lubricated with ointment. You’ll have pain medication and you will need to keep your head elevated for a few days.

The bruising will increase during the first week or so, then slowly subside in the following weeks.

Some itching and dryness are common, and your plastic surgeon will prescribe eye drops. There might also be some temporary vision changes, such as blurriness, double vision or extra sensitivity to light.

The stitches will be removed after a few days. Until then, rest is the best activity. You’ll be able to watch TV and read during this time.  You should be able to return to work after a week. For about 3 weeks, avoid any activity that might raise your blood pressure, and stay away from alcohol.

In the longer term:
After 2-3 months you’ll be able to see your new look. The scars might be a little pink for as long as 5 or 6 months, but they’ll fade to a thin, barely visible line, hidden in the eyelid crease.

Please click here for more information regarding eyelid surgery and other cosmetic surgery procedures in the Orlando area.

Article submitted by: Sara Goldstein,, 17301 W. Colfax, Suite 275, Golden, CO, USA 80401

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