Blepharoplasty can rejuvenate puffy, sagging or tired-looking eyes by removing or re-positioning excess fat, skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. It may be performed for cosmetic reasons or to improve sight by lifting droopy eyelids out of the patient’s field of vision. Blepharoplasty can be combined with laser treatments, filler injections or other cosmetic procedures to raise the eyebrows or reduce the appearance of wrinkles, crow’s feet or dark circles under the eyes.
This procedure is performed in our Los Angeles office under local anesthesia with sedation, or general anesthesia. Incisions are often hidden inside the lower eyelid (Transconjunctival Blepharoplasty). When external incisions are necessary, they are made in inconspicuous creases, or just under the lower lash line. While absorbable sutures are generally used for closure, other types when needed are removed within one week. Patients can resume wearing contact lenses after two weeks.
The best candidates for blepharoplasty are individuals who are in good overall health and who do not smoke or have any serious eye conditions. If you have loose, sagging skin or puffy bags around your eyes, this procedure can help reduce these unwanted effects and leave the eyes looking young and fresh.
It is important for patients to have realistic expectations before undergoing surgery in order to be satisfied with their results. While this procedure can enhance your appearance and may improve self-confidence as a result, it cannot alter your entire appearance or change the structure of your face.
The blepharoplasty procedure is performed under local anesthesia with sedation. General anesthesia may be used for anxious or nervous patients. Patients may choose to have this procedure on their upper or lower eyelids, or both. Depending on these choices, the procedure can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
If the upper eyelid is being treated, an incision is made along the natural crease of the eyelid. Once the incision is made, your doctor may reposition fat deposits, tighten muscles and tissue or remove excess skin in order to leave the eye looking younger and refreshed. For the lower eyelid, an incision is made just below the lash line in order for excess skin to be removed.
After the procedure is performed, the incisions are closed with sutures and usually wrapped in gauze to allow the area to heal.
After the blepharoplasty procedure, your doctor may recommend applying lubricating ointment and cold compresses to aid the healing process and minimize side effects such as swelling, bruising, irritation or dry eyes. The eyes may be wrapped in gauze after the procedure as well.
Patients can usually return to work within two days, but should avoid exercise and strenuous activities for at least two weeks. Swelling and other side effects usually subside within two weeks after surgery. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for your eyes after surgery.
Results of a blepharoplasty procedure are visible as swelling and bruising subside and will continue to improve for up to a year after surgery. This procedure is designed to produce long-lasting results. While surgery cannot prevent your eyes from aging, most patients are satisfied with their results and do not seek repeat procedures.
The scars from the blepharoplasty procedure are usually well concealed and will fade with time until they are virtually unnoticeable. The incision is hidden in the crease of the eyelid in an upper blepharoplasty, and just below the lashes in a lower blepharoplasty.
As with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks associated with this procedure. Although rare, these risks include bleeding, infection, dry eyes, skin discoloration and an inability to fully close the eyes. Many of these risks can be minimized by choosing an experienced surgeon and following proper care instructions after surgery. You can discuss these risks, along with any other concerns you may have, with your doctor to reduce anxiety and worries about your surgery.