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.
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.
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.