Few would argue
that the eyes are one of the most expressive features of the
face. It stands to reason, therefore, that blepharoplasty
(BLEF-AR-OH-PLASTY) can affect one's appearance as
dramatically as any facial plastic surgery.
Blepharoplasty is a safe, effective procedure accomplished
to restore a more youthful appearance and less fatigued look
while maintaining or improving function. Performed to remove
excessive skin and fat around the eyelids, blepharoplasty is
one of the most common facial rejuvenation procedures. Once
thought a beauty procedure sought by only wealthy women, men
in today's competitive corporate workplace are increasingly
seeking eyelid surgery to restore a younger look that more
typifies their energy level.
When patients come to our office seeking facial plastic
surgery, it's not uncommon for them to focus on a single
aspect of their appearance rather than the overall picture.
Blepharoplasty alone is not always the answer to redundant
skin about the eyes. Premature aging and dropping of the
brow can cause a tired, angry look with frown lines and
sagging skin. It is not uncommon for patients who come to my
office for evaluation of the eyelid area to simultaneously
discuss an eyebrow lift. Read more about endoscopic browlift
to see if this procedure is right for you.
Along with baggy eyelid skin, an additional source of
concern is textural or surface changes (fine little lines)
in the skin around the eyes. Although some improvement in
facial wrinkles can be obtained from a blepharoplasty, it
will not address all the superficial lines that come from
premature aging, overexposure to weather and genetics.
Blepharoplasty addresses "excess skin and fat; skin
resurfacing such as chemical peels and laser surgery
addresses textural wrinkles and imperfections.
A good surgeon, knows that his responsibility is to evaluate
not only the areas of concern but also the motivation behind
the requests. It goes without saying that blepharoplasty
won't save a failing marriage. Similarly some patients not
ready for cosmetic surgery are better served with
conservative measures, such as Botox for fine lines and
wrinkles or Collagen for crows feet. Patients who educate
themselves about facial rejuvenation know when and if the
time is right to proceed.
When discussing rejuvenation procedures the best place to
start is by looking at before and after photos to see just
what can be accomplished. As you will see in the photos,
patients often ask to combine an eyelid lift with other
cosmetic surgery. Facelifts, chin implants, cheek implants,
rhinoplasty (nasal surgery), otoplasty (ear surgery) and lip
surgery can also be performed in conjunction with
The illustration (left) shows the incision placement for
upper and lower eyelid surgery. For traditional lower eyelid
blepharoplasty, it is common that an incision is made in the
lower eyelid skin with removal of excess skin and fat to
achieve a refreshed look.
advanced technique that has been performed successfully for
the past ten years on lower eyelids is the transconjunctival
blepharoplasty. (Wow! That's a big word! The conjunctiva
(con junk tie vah) is the pink inner lining of the lower
eyelid.) With this approach, the incision is made just
inside the lower eyelid and no external incision is
required. Ask your facial plastic surgeon if you are a
candidate for this surgery.
Revision Eyelid Surgery
While we're on the subject of alternatives to traditional
blepharoplasty, we would like to include a word about
revision eyelid lift. It is not uncommon for patients to be
referred to us for revision cosmetic surgery. The following
instructions for eyelid tuck apply to all patients
undergoing blepharoplasty. However, revision eyelid patients
have their own set of challenges.
In revision blepharoplasty, the facial plastic surgeon is
working on an area that has previously undergone changes.
Correcting previous surgery by another plastic surgeon can
be a bit more complex and, therefore, may take longer than
the initial surgery. Also, swelling can be more pronounced
with revision surgery as well as a slightly longer healing
time. Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have
questions about previous cosmetic surgery.
At your initial consultation, we evaluate the bony and soft
tissue architecture as well as the form and function of the
eyes. Assessment of the upper and lower eyelids along with
the eyes themselves provides the basis for what one may
expect from blepharoplasty. Skin type, ethnic background and
age, along with the degree of deformity and function are
important factors influencing the outcome of surgery.
As with all facial plastic surgery, a thorough health
assessment and realistic expectations are prerequisites.
Your understanding of procedures and routines is essential
to a successful final result. Following your consultation,
we continue our discussion at the preoperative appointment.