Blepharoplasty is one of the most popular facial rejuvenation procedures. The eyes are the focal point of the face and demonstrate some of the earliest signs of aging. A person with whom you are speaking spends the majority of the time looking directly into your eyes, conveying their attention and seeking nonverbal feedback. The eyes are exquisitely expressive and are able to convey nonverbally all manner of messages such as attention, understanding, warmth, joy, and concern. The appearance of aged eyelids may falsely convey tiredness, disinterest and/or boredom.
The Aging Process
As part of the normal aging process, the appearance of the eyes changes in a predictable way. The skin of the upper eyelid becomes redundant and appears to sag. The upper eyelid crease, well demarcated in youth, becomes blunted and eventually is lost. The deeper tissue, firm in youth, becomes lax with age resulting in protrusion of fat which can appear lumpy or bulging. Descent of the brow with aging contributes to the diminished appearance of the upper eyelid. In the lower eyelid, the skin becomes thinner and can take on a finely wrinkled appearance sometimes described as resembling the characteristically crinkled crepe paper. Dark circles can appear underneath the lower eyelid as cheek fat is displaced and eyelid fat begins to bulge. Together these changes cause the eyes to appear tired and less bright.
Candidates for Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
You may be a good candidate for eyelid surgery if you notice any age related changes that are of concern to you. These changes may include excessive or sagging upper eyelid skin, dark circles under the eyes, areas of bulges which may detract from the optimal appearance of the eyes. Dr. Pearson will assess your concerns along with the appearance of your eyes and surrounding tissues to help you to understand if eyelid surgery may be a good option for you.
Blepharoplasty involves the removal of excess skin and sculpting of eyelid fat by way of carefully placed and small incisions in the eyelid creases. Blepharoplasty can minimize the puffiness and bags which can contribute to the appearance of aged or tired eyes. In some cases, blepharoplasty can be performed in the office by Dr. Pearson.
Blepharoplasty is often undertaken in conjunction with laser resurfacing of the skin surrounding the eyelids. When a heavy or malpositioned brow contributes to the appearance of upper eyelid fullness or hooding, a forehead lift of browlift can be beneficial. When the lower eyelid appearance is affected by age-related cheek descent, a midface lift may help to rejuvenate the entire lower lid-cheek complex.
Possible Non-surgical Alternative Treatments
Subtle signs of aging may be amenable to minimally invasive methods to rejuvenate the eyelids and surrounding tissues. Dr. Pearson offers a full range of nonsurgical procedures including facial skin resurfacing, Botox / Dysport treatments, and volume replacement. In some cases, the hollows in the tissue surrounding the eyes may be improved using hyaluronic acid filler.
Recovery after Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
Following blepharoplasty, you can expect a few days of swelling and sometimes some bruising. Soreness is typically minimal. Sutures are typically removed between days 3 and 5. Makeup can be used at this point to camouflage any bruising or scars. Swelling and bruising generally subside by 7 days. You can resume most normal activities after a couple of days, except for intense exercise, which may be resumed at about 3 weeks. Most people are able to return to work in 1 week. Blepharoplasty scars are usually not noticeable after a short time.
Blepharoplasty Quick Review
|GOALS||Rejuvenate the eyes and surrounding tissues|
|PROCEDURE||Blepharoplasty, upper and/or lower|
|ANESTHESIA||Either limited local anesthesia in the office or local anesthesia with sedation in the operating room.|
|LENGTH||Under 1 hour|
|AFTER PROCEDURE||Sutures are removed between 3-5 days. Small surgical tapes are often used to cover the incision sites and are removed after 7 days|
|RECOVERY||Most activities may be resumed after a couple of days. Swelling and bruising generally subside by day 7. Return to work in 1 week.|