Blepharoplasty (Droopy Lids)
What is Eyelid Surgery?
Eyelid surgery, commonly known as blepharoplasty, rejuvenates sagging or drooping eyes. Since the skin around the eyelid is significantly thinner than other parts of the face, it is often one of the first areas to exhibit signs of aging. During surgery, fatty deposits and excess or loose skin around the upper or lower eyelids are removed and eyelid muscles and tissue are occasionally tightened.
Blepharoplasty can be done alone to improve vision problems or for cosmetic purposes. Additionally, eyelid surgery can be done in conjunction with procedures such as a facelift, lip enhancement, or a brow lift to create a more defined, new look.
What Can Eyelid Surgery Correct?
Eyelid surgery may become necessary when various factors including aging, sun damage, smoking and obesity, change the appearance of the eyes. In this case, patients can correct the following with eyelid surgery.
- Undereye bags
- Puffy fat deposits in the eyelids
- Loose or sagging upper eyelids that interfere with vision
- Excess skin in the lower eyelids
- Fine wrinkles in the lower eyelids
- Sagging lower eyelids that show the whites of the eyes below the irises
Candidates that are seeking eyelid surgery should be in good overall health, do not smoke, and have healthy facial tissue and muscles to work with. However, patients with eye disease including glaucoma or retinal detachment are not good candidates. Additionally, other medical conditions such as thyroid disorders, diabetes, cardiovascular disease or high blood pressure often prevent patients from eyelid surgery.
Types of Eyelid Surgery
Based on what is best for the patient’s needs and aesthetic outcome Dr. Tarbet will perform one of two types of eyelid surgery. It is important to note that both types of blepharoplasty do not radically change your face but can enhance your appearance. A functional blepharoplasty is performed when eyelid sagging is affecting the field of vision. This type of blepharoplasty eliminates the drooping of skin and when done will greatly improve peripheral vision. If medically necessary, your insurance may cover this surgical process.
The second type of eyelid surgery is a cosmetic blepharoplasty. This procedure is done for cosmetic, instead of medical, purposes. Surgery can be performed on both the upper and lower eyelids. In the case of the lower eyelid, a transconjunctival blepharoplasty is performed. This is ideal for younger patients with thicker, more elastic skin. Excess fat is removed which has no effect on a patient’s vision and leaves the patient with a younger and refreshed look.
Before & After Blepharoplasty
The Blepharoplasty Procedure
Blepharoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia and sedation. Surgery typically takes 1-3 hours depending on if one or both eyelids are being corrected and if any additional procedures are being performed at one time.
During the upper eyelid procedure, an incision is made along the natural crease of the eyelid. For the lower eyelid, the incision is made below the lash line. Both incisions are hidden as much as possible between natural facial lines. Then, Dr. Tarbet will remove excess skin, reposition or remove fat deposits, and tighten tissue and muscles. After the procedure, the incisions are most commonly closed with self-absorbable sutures and loosely covered with gauze.
Eyelid Surgery Recovery
In order to aid in the healing process and minimize unwanted side effects, Dr. Tarbet recommends applying cold compresses, lubricating drops, and ointment. Patients usually return to work within a few days to a week, however, they cannot wear contact lenses or eye makeup for two weeks. During this time it is advised that patients wear dark sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun and wind. Dr. Tarbet will give more specific instructions on how to care for the eyes after your procedure. Though healing takes time, it is only temporary in comparison to the long-lasting youthful results you will gain with eyelid surgery.
Initially, there may be bruising and swelling around the surgical site, that will resolve on its own. Your eyelids will continue to improve in appearance for up to a year. The scars from a blepharoplasty are well-concealed, and usually, fade with time and become virtually undetectable. While surgery cannot stop the eyes from aging, most patients are satisfied with their results and don’t look to repeat the procedure.
“I just had eye surgery with Dr. Kristin J. Tarbet. My eyelid muscles were loose so my levator muscles were tightened. I also opted for a lower bleph. I am thrilled with my results. The doctor and staff were wonderful. I am still healing and after only three weeks there are very few bruising marks left. I did follow all instructions and people are telling me I look twenty years younger, including my husband. If you are looking for a great doctor, look no further.” – Renee H.
Risks and Complications
As with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks associated with eyelid surgery. While rare, these risks can include the following:
- Blurry or Double Vision
- Dry Eyes
- Skin Discoloration