Eyelid surgery, also called a blepharoplasty, removes extra skin and fat from the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both to brighten the center point of your face. The aging process and genetics cause the eyelid skin to lose elasticity and the fat pads around the eyes to enlarge and herniate. This can make you appear tired, less youthful, and unhappy and make your eyes look puffy and hooded. A blepharoplasty is one of the best ways to rejuvenate your face.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Victoria Aimé will listen to your goals and evaluate your eyes. Based on your unique physical characteristics and goals, she will discuss treatment options including what to expect from the procedure and recovery. Together, you will decide on the treatment plan that best fits your aesthetic goals. Ideal candidates:
Prior to your procedure, you will meet with Dr. Aimé at a preoperative appointment to review the surgical plan and answer any questions you have. Depending on whether the procedure is done under local anesthesia (for upper blepharoplasty) or under general anesthesia (for lower or both upper and lower blepharoplasty), you may need to have labs done or see your primary care physician prior to surgery. Some medications or supplements may be adjusted in the weeks leading up to surgery to decrease the risk of bleeding. Smoking should be stopped 6 weeks prior to and following surgery.
An upper blepharoplasty is performed by making an incision in the upper eyelid crease and removing excess skin. Enlarged fat pockets are trimmed as well. The incision is then closed with suture and generally results in a near inconspicuous scar.
A lower blepharoplasty can be done through an external incision just below the lower lash line if there is excess skin or through an internal incision along the back of the eyelid if only fat needs to be removed. Often a small strip of skin removal is necessary. Herniated fat pockets can be trimmed through either incision or repositioned into the tear troughs. If needed, the lower eyelid muscle can also be tightened. The incision is then closed with suture.
An upper blepharoplasty can be done under local anesthesia (awake) in the office, while a lower blepharoplasty typically requires general anesthesia. Many patients elect to undergo both upper and lower eyelid surgery simultaneously for optimal eye rejuvenation.
Swelling and bruising around the eyes is common following upper and lower eyelid surgery. Using cool packs and sleeping with your head elevated on several pillows will help improve swelling. The eyelids may not close entirely immediately after the procedure due to swelling and for this reason it is important to use lubricating eye drops, gels and ointments especially while sleeping.
Post-procedure pain is usually minimal and well tolerated. Sutures are typically removed at one week. Patients that wear contacts are advised to use only glasses for approximately 2 weeks after the procedure. Many patients feel ready to return to work about a week after the procedure. Wearing glasses (even those that have no correction in the lenses) and concealer makeup can help to camouflage the incisions and any residual swelling and bruising. Most patients are able to return to normal daily activities within 1-2 weeks and may resume moderate exercise 4-6 weeks after surgery.
The following are reputable organizations that provide information specifically for plastic surgery patients on this and other procedures.
American Society of Plastic Surgery
American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons