Facial aging can begin relatively early in adulthood, especially around the eyes. Lifestyle habits such as tanning can exacerbate the natural aging process because UV exposure degrades the collagen fibers that support firm, youthful-looking tissue. At our office serving the Boston area, patients can address aging eyes with blepharoplasty.
What is Eyelid Surgery?
Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a technique through which the tissue around the eyes is manipulated to reduce cosmetic and functional concerns. The objective of eyelid rejuvenation surgery is to create a more open and energized appearance so the face appears naturally younger and friendlier.
Why Do People Have Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery or Blepharoplasty?
The personal reasons people choose to have upper or lower blepharoplasty typically revolve around wanting to look younger, more vibrant, less tired, and more competitive. These characteristics are all visualized through the tissue around the eyes. By carefully revising skin and superficial tissue, Dr. Rick Silverman gives patients the “open-eyed” appearance that suits their age and personality.
The Ideal Blepharoplasty Patient
Many adults are excellent candidates for eyelid surgery. If you are in good general health and would like to correct cosmetic issues such as puffiness, loose skin or sagging eyelids, you may be an ideal candidate for blepharoplasty. Optimal results are achieved with non-smoking patients. If you smoke, Dr. Silverman may advise you to stop using tobacco at least two weeks before surgery and to continue avoidance for several weeks after surgery. Tobacco use inhibits oxygenation of tissues and thus creates greater surgical risks.
Blepharoplasty is a cosmetic technique that achieves very good results when conducted by a board-certified plastic surgeon. Still, it is necessary for patients to have realistic expectations about the scope of what blepharoplasty can do. Eyelid surgery can rejuvenate the appearance of the eyes and make them appear more open and “awake,” but this surgery alone will not alter the structure of the face. Studies indicate that patients who are happiest with the results of eyelid surgery are individuals who have a good sense of confidence before their procedure.
What is the typical age a person would have eyelid surgery?
Most of our patients are in their 40s. Some people opt to have eyelid surgery in their 30s, but it’s rare to have extensive sagging by that time. Many patients also have this procedure in their 50s, as their eyelid sagging can become quite extreme by this time.
What are the benefits of eyelid surgery?
Every year, eyelid surgery is one of the most popular cosmetic surgeries around the world. That’s because it delivers dramatic results, yet it does so subtly. It’s generally thought that eyelid surgery takes about a decade off a patient’s facial age. This is because sagging, drooping eyelids can really make the face look much older. Unlike many other procedures, eyelid surgery is subtle. Unless you tell someone you’ve had this surgery, they won’t know. All they’ll know is that you look more alert, refreshed, and rested.
What Are The Different Types of Eyelid Surgery?
Dr. Silverman performs four different types of eyelid surgery. Many patients want to address both upper and lower eyelids with a single surgery session.
- Upper blepharoplasty — This only addresses the upper eyelids, mainly focusing on removing sagging, excess tissue and tightening slackening control muscles.
- Lower blepharoplasty — This targets the lower eyelids and the area where patients often have under eye bags immediately below the lower eyelids. Dr. Silverman pays particular attention to fatty tissue under the lower eyelids.
- Asian blepharoplasty — Also known as double-eyelid surgery, this procedure creates a pretarsal crease in the upper eyelids in patients who do not naturally have one.
- Revision blepharoplasty — In these procedures, Dr. Silverman revises a previous surgery done elsewhere where the patient is not satisfied with his or her results.
How is Eyelid Surgery Performed?
Blepharoplasty is an outpatient procedure that can be conducted with local anesthesia and sedation. In some cases, general anesthesia may be preferable. This aspect of surgery is decided upon during the consultation and planning phase of care. Depending on the type of anesthesia selected, surgery can take from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
Blepharoplasty Before and After
Click here to visit our blepharoplasty before and after gallery.
In an upper blepharoplasty procedure, after anesthesia has been administered, an incision is made along the natural crease of the upper eyelid. A second cut may be made around the outer edge of excess skin so that tissue can be precisely removed. If necessary, fatty tissue may be removed or redistributed across the upper eyelid to support natural contouring. The incision is closed with discreet sutures and an antibiotic ointment may be applied.
After local anesthesia and sedation have been administered, the lower blepharoplasty procedure begins with an incision made in one of two places. Many lower blepharoplasty surgeries are conducted through an incision made just at the lash line where scars can be easily disguised by the eyelashes. The lash-line incision may be ideal for patients who want the skin of the lower lid lifted for a smoother, tighter appearance.
A second option that may be used is the transconjunctival incision, made just inside the lower eyelid. In addition to being completely hidden, this type of incision allows better access for fat distribution during surgery. Incision technique is decided upon before surgery and revolves around each patient’s goals and personal preferences.
During lower blepharoplasty, tissue is carefully marked and excised to achieve just the right amount of tightening. If fatty tissue is creating bags, it will be repositioned or removed as needed to refine the eyes without creating a hollow appearance. At the conclusion of surgery, incisions are closed with stitches and an antibiotic ointment may be applied.
Asian blepharoplasty is a surgical technique that is performed to create a natural crease in the upper eyelid where it doesn’t exist. Some patients have a slight crease that they wish to have accentuated. This can also be achieved with a meticulous blepharoplasty that observes the natural crease and enhances it with careful tissue repositioning. Asian blepharoplasty involves considerable planning and artistry. Surgery is conducted on an outpatient basis through incisions that are made to be hidden in the crease that is created during surgery.
Revision Eyelid Surgery
It is sometimes necessary to correct or “revise” a previous surgical technique performed on the eyelids. This is referred to as revision blepharoplasty. If you have had eyelid surgery to correct a cosmetic or structural defect and are dissatisfied with the outcome of your previous procedure, you may wish to discuss how a revision procedure may help. Because swelling and tissue settling continue for several months after eyelid surgery, it is best to wait at least six months before discussing a second procedure to correct the first.
Revision eyelid surgery is a delicate procedure that must take into consideration the dynamic nature of the eyes and the movements of the surrounding muscle, soft tissue, and skin. Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Rick Silverman takes a conservative approach to all blepharoplasty procedures in order to minimize risks and improve the outcome for each patient.
How Long Is the Eyelid lift Recovery?
Blepharoplasty recovery occurs over several weeks. Initially, the skin around the eyes may feel tight and tender. Pain medication and cold compresses can be used to manage comfort. Incisions will need to be treated with ointment for a few days to prevent drying. Stitches are removed approximately one week after surgery. Patients are normally ready to return to light activity within 10 days. The eyes may tire easily and may feel dry. Plenty of rest and approved eye drops can ease these side effects.
Are there risks with blepharoplasty?
There are the potential risks and complications of any surgery: infection, bleeding, and poor wound healing. There can be some eyelid specific complications such as dry eye, entropion or ectropion, and problems closing an eyelid, but these are very rare. Blepharoplasty with an experienced, board certified surgeon such as Dr. Silverman is a safe, satisfying procedure.
Will I have scarring after eyelid surgery?
In the upper eyelid, Dr. Silverman makes the incision in the natural crease, effectively hiding it from view. In the lower eyelid, the incision is made along the eyelash line or on the inside of the eyelid. Both options show little if any scarring. Eyelid skin is very thin, and it heals very quickly and effectively. This keeps scarring to a minimum.
How do I care for my skin after eyelid surgery?
The most important thing you can do after this surgery is to be diligent about using the cold compress we supply. This can really minimize swelling and subsequent bruising. We also provide eyedrops and ointment to keep your eyes from drying out. You cannot rub your eyes, so you won’t be using any lotion or anything on them. It’s important to not lift anything heavy or do any strenuous exercise for 10 days or so. You don’t want to elevate the blood pressure to your face.
How painful is recovery after eyelid surgery?
This isn’t a painful recovery. Dr. Silverman will prescribe prescription pain medication, but most patients only use it for the first day or not at all, instead feeling that over-the-counter pain medications handle the discomfort. Discomfort and most of your swelling is usually complete by the end of the first week when you have your stitches removed. You can have on and off swelling moving forward from there, but not any pain.
How long before I can drive after eyelid surgery?
You can drive after you’re finished taking any prescription pain medication, but when you do is up to you. While you could drive as soon as just a couple days after your surgery, it’s really best to wait a week or so. That way you won’t have much, if any, discomfort to distract you.
How long will my results last from my blepharoplasty?
These changes made by Dr. Silverman are permanent. He will remove excess, sagging skin, and he’ll tighten elevator muscles as needed. These changes are for good. Of course, your eyelids will sag some as you get older, but they will never do so to the extent that predicated this surgery. You’ll enjoy your younger-looking, refreshed eyes for the rest of your life.
Schedule a Consultation
Eyelid surgery is one of the most common techniques performed by plastic surgeons. To learn more about this procedure, call (617) 965-9500 and schedule a visit to one of our offices near Boston.