One area of the face where people often first notice aging is the eyes. Cosmetic eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) treats the droopy, tired appearance of the eyes by removing the excess skin and fat of the upper or lower lid. Eyelid drooping is caused by the weakening of the eyelid muscles and loss of skin elasticity due to natural aging processes.
It is important to have realistic expectations about eyelid surgery. This procedure is useful in the treatment of:
• Sagging eyelid skin, including skin of the upper eyelid that has created folds that are obscuring vision
• Lower eyelids that have drooped, possibly even to the point of exposing too much cornea below the iris of the eye
• Puffy appearance due to fat deposits on the eyelids
Other conditions may be better suited to other treatments. If the sagging appearance extends to the eyebrows, your physician may consider a brow lift more appropriate. Eyelid surgery cannot treat wrinkles around the eyes; for wrinkles, an injectable may be a more effective treatment.
Before Your Eyelid Surgery
Candidates for this procedure, as with any surgery, should be in otherwise good health and should be sure to disclose any health concerns to their physician. If you have any eye problems, such as glaucoma or dry eye, it is especially important that these be disclosed before undergoing any eye surgery.
Prior to your surgery, you will have a consultation with your physician, at which point you will discuss the treatment itself, preparation, local or general anesthesia, and any testing you will need. You may be given preparation instructions such as not eating for a period of time before the surgery. As always, it is important to follow all instructions.
During the Procedure
During surgery, an incision is made, and the excess skin or fat is removed. The opening is then closed up with stitches. The incision will be made in the least conspicuous location, with the goal of disguising the scar within the folds of the eye. When possible, the incision may be made inside the lower eyelid so nothing will be visible on the outside after the surgery.
As with any surgery, some recovery is involved. You should arrange for a ride home from your appointment, and you should refrain from driving until you are told it is safe and your vision, which may be blurred, has returned to normal. Cold compresses and approved pain medication can be used to treat swelling and discomfort while you are recovering. It is important to follow all of the instructions from your plastic surgeon for home care and cleaning of the incisions, and he should also tell you when it is ok to use eye make-up again. You may need to return to the office to have your stitches removed or for other follow-up care. Recovery times will vary among individuals, but as the swelling subsides and incisions heal, your new younger appearance will be revealed.
To schedule a consultation call Sandy Friedman, director of patient relations for Dr. Nachlas, at (561) 939-0909. You can also reach us at drnachlas.com/contact-us.