What is eyelid surgery (Blepharoplasty)?
Blepharoplasty is the term used to describe eyelid surgery. One may have an upper or lower blepharoplasty or a combination of the two. This plastic surgery technique is one of the most popular procedures for both men and women facing the signs of aging such as undereye bags or hooded upper eyelids.
What issues can eyelid surgery treat?
Some of the common reasons for blepharoplasty include:
- Loose, sagging skin on the upper or lower eyelids
- Heaviness and hooding of the upper eyelids
- Loss of upper eyelid crease
- Puffiness or dark circles under the eyes
- Obstructed peripheral vision caused by loose upper eyelid skin
Sagging, wrinkled and puffy eyes can make you look older far before your time. When this occurs, eyelid surgery with Dr. Wiener can minimize these imperfections and restore your vibrant expression.
Who is an ideal candidate for eyelid surgery?
To be considered a candidate for eyelid surgery, you should have:
- Excess skin around the upper eyelids
- Heavy bags and dark under eye circles
- Crepey skin along the lower eye area
- Puffiness that makes you look perpetually tired or sad
In addition, most eyelid surgery patients are over 35 years of age. However, younger men and women may qualify for the procedure if they are displaying the above signs of aging earlier in life.
How should I prepare for a blepharoplasty procedure?
- Stop smoking, if applicable. This should take place at least two weeks before surgery and must continue for at least two weeks after surgery. The reason why smoking must be avoided is that the nicotine and other chemicals in cigarettes inhibit oxygenation and tissue recovery, which could diminish results and increase the risk of surgical complications.
- Avoid aspirin and other blood-thinning products. A shortlist includes ibuprofen, naproxen and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, herbal supplements, and vitamin E.
- Avoid sun exposure. A broad-spectrum, SPF 30 sunscreen should be applied daily both before and after blepharoplasty. When outdoors, sunglasses should also be worn. This prevents sun damage to the fragile tissues around the eyes.
The Main Event
What to expect during eyelid surgery
Eyelid surgery is done under general anesthesia. To begin, Dr. Wiener will place tiny incisions hidden in plain sight, within the natural creases of your eyes.
Through those openings, he will remove excess skin and fat using tiny surgical instruments. He may also reposition the underlying tissue and fat to remove puffiness and heavy bags. All of these refinements will be made with a conservative hand to avoid overcorrecting and creating an unnatural, “wide awake” appearance.
Once your naturally youthful expression has been restored, Dr. Wiener will carefully close the incisions to minimize any scarring.
Upper Eyelid Surgery vs. Lower Eyelid Surgery
Preparation for eyelid surgery is the same regardless of which area is being treated. An upper blepharoplasty can take about one hour, whereas lower blepharoplasty may take approximately 90 minutes. Upper blepharoplasty is performed through tiny incisions made in the natural crease of the upper eyelid. The procedure focuses on repositioning or removing fat as needed and trimming excess skin to restore a smooth, youthful curve to the upper eyelids. Lower blepharoplasty is performed through hidden incisions either along the lash line or just inside the eyelid. This procedure repositions or removes fat and trims excess skin to reduce the appearance of puffiness or dark circles below the eyes. Whether one area or both the upper and lower eyelids are rejuvenated at the same time, patients can expect the same recovery time of about 10 days.
"I can't thank Dr. Wiener enough for a successful surgery and recovery! His pre-op and post-op instructions made me feel comfortable that I would heal properly. He took his time explaining everything to me and allowed me to ask as many questions as I needed. I strongly recommend him!" - Lori S.
How long does blepharoplasty take?
Eyelid rejuvenation surgery can take anywhere from about one hour to a few hours. The duration of the procedure is determined by the extent of lifting that will take place and which eyelids (upper or lower) are being refreshed. Additional procedures increase surgery time according to their extensiveness, as well. During your consultation, we will discuss blepharoplasty and any other techniques you may be interested in and provide an estimated surgical time based on your personal treatment plan.
Can blepharoplasty be combined with other procedures?
Blepharoplasty can be combined with various other procedures. To fully rejuvenate the upper part of the face, some people combine their eyelid surgery with a brow lift or a mid-face lift. Facial rejuvenation does not have to revolve only around plastic surgery, either. Nonsurgical treatments like Botox and dermal fillers can also enhance the results achieved with blepharoplasty.
How does Asian eyelid surgery differ from standard eyelid surgery?
Traditional blepharoplasty is performed to refresh aging eyes and remove excess sagging tissue. Asian eyelid surgery is conducted to create a fold in the upper eyelid and lift tissue so it does not sit right along the lash line. As a result of this procedure, the Asian eyes will appear slightly wider, as well.
What to expect after eyelid surgery
You’ll Need Help Getting Home
Until the effects of the general anesthesia have completely worn off, you will not be able to drive. As such, a friend or family member will need to take you home.
Time Off From Work
After the procedure, you will need to focus on healing. The initial recovery period should last about one week, at which point you will be free to return to sedentary work and your normal daily routine.
Uncomfortable Side Effects
Swelling, bruising, irritation and dry eyes are normal during the healing process. Any discomfort can be controlled with medication, cold compresses and ointment.
How long after a blepharoplasty procedure can I drive again?
Patients undergoing blepharoplasty must have someone drive them to their surgery and see them home afterward. We prefer that patients have someone to look after them for the first 24 hours of their recovery, at least. Driving can only resume once prescription pain medication is no longer being taken and the patient feels comfortable maneuvering a vehicle. This usually takes place about one week after surgery.
What will my eyelid surgery results look like?
Patients who undergo blepharoplasty are typically very happy with their results. After this procedure, the eyes appear more open and alert. This gives the face a refreshed, energetic appearance. The tissue manipulation that is done during blepharoplasty can decrease or eliminate undereye bags and dark circles and restore the natural crease of the upper eyelids to its normal position. These results can be seen almost immediately after blepharoplasty, despite the swelling.
As the swelling and bruising diminish, most of our Houston patients notice:
- Fewer wrinkles
- Firmer + tighter skin
- Increased eyelid definition
- An alert + rejuvenated expression
How long after eyelid surgery will I see my results?
Your eyelid surgery results will appear within a few weeks and should be very long-lasting.
Are the results of eyelid surgery permanent?
Yes. There is no stopping the aging process so tissue changes may occur over time. However, most people who have blepharoplasty never have to repeat this procedure. The eyes look younger than they would otherwise. This can be maintained by taking care to avoid sun damage around the eyes; wearing sunglasses and sunscreen.
Is eyelid surgery safe?
Blepharoplasty is generally considered safe. Like all surgeries, however, there are risks that patients must understand. For blepharoplasty to be as successful as possible, it is necessary to have this procedure performed only by a board-certified plastic surgeon with the appropriate training and experience to refine the delicate tissue around the eyes.