While people often say that the eyes are the windows to the soul, your eyes can also let others know if you are healthy and give the impression of youth. If you have drooping upper eyelids or puffy lower eyelids, you will appear older than you are and your friends and family may frequently ask if you are tired, upset, or sick. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can return your drooping, puffy eyelids to a more youthful appearance and improve others’ impression of you.
Eyelid Surgery Before & AftersEyelid surgery is a good procedure for many people, but others may benefit more from other procedures instead or in combination. Although this page contains some basic information about the procedure, the best way to learn what procedure is right for you is through a personal consultation with a board-certified plastic surgeon. For personalized recommendations, please call or email us to schedule your eyelid surgery consultation today.
Cause of Drooping and Puffy Eyelids
Your eyelids, like the rest of your body, can accumulate fat deposits over time. This is what creates the appearance of puffy eyelids even when you are well-rested. Additionally, as time and gravity break down the collagen and elastin in your skin, your skin can become loose and wrinkled.
The amount of collagen and elastin that your body naturally produces determines at what age your eyelids become saggy, puffy, and wrinkled, and while dermal fillers or BOTOX® and Dysport may improve the appearance of minor wrinkles around the eyes, if your eyelids suffer from extreme laxity or puffiness, the most effective option is eyelid surgery.
In those cases where drooping upper eyelid skin is obscuring a patient’s line of sight, eyelid surgery is particularly important and may be considered a functional procedure. This can potentially result in some amount of coverage from the patient’s health insurance provider. Purely cosmetic eyelid surgery is not covered.
Eyelid Surgery Procedure
Eyelid surgery may be performed on your upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both, and is often supplemented by improving the brow with a forehead lift.
Eyelid surgery is an outpatient procedure. The surgery may require up to two and a half hours to perform. Beforehand, we will administer either local anesthesia with IV sedation or general anesthesia; this will be determined in advance during your consultation.
The first step in eyelid surgery is to surgically remove the excess skin from the drooping lid. A portion of the muscle under the skin may also be removed so that the skin will lay flat and the fatty tissue under the muscles can be accessed. The volume of the bags under your eyes is reduced by removing the excess fat, and this may also be necessary in your upper eyelids.
For upper eyelid surgery, your surgeon will place the incisions in the upper eyelid fold and just below the lower lash line. For lower eyelid surgery, your surgeon will have two incision options: traditional and transconjunctival.
The more common option is below the lash line on the outside of the lower eyelid. Many surgeons choose this option when the patient is in need of skin tightening, fatty tissue alteration to alleviate puffiness, muscle tissue alteration, and removal of excess skin tissue.
The less common choice, on the inside of the lower eyelid (the transconjunctival incision), is an excellent method of making sure the post-surgical mark is invisible. This is an ideal incision for cases in which only fatty tissue needs to be altered.
After the tissue removal and alteration has been conducted, the eyelid surgery will end with sealing of the incisions. This will involve the use of small medical sutures (either absorbable or non-absorbable).
Though there will be some scarring as a result of the incisions used in this procedure, the scars will eventually fade to be virtually invisible, and will also be hidden in the crease of your eyelid and under your lower eyelashes.
Eyelid Surgery Recovery
A friend or family member will need to drive you home after your eyelid surgery, as you will not be able to drive immediately following the surgery.
Recovery time for eyelid surgery, as for many procedures, is variable, and this is only a generalized guideline.
During your eyelid surgery recovery, you will have to protect your eyes from wind and harsh sun. To do this, we recommend wearing sunglasses.
Because your eyelids will be healing after surgery, your eyes may become dry more easily than normal in the days following the operation. To ensure that your eyes stay healthy, apply ointment and drops as recommended to keep them lubricated.
If non-absorbable sutures are used for your procedure they will be taken out approximately a week after surgery. If you took time off work to avoid revealing that you had surgery, you will probably be able to return at this time.
Total recovery from bruising and/or swelling may require several weeks. Cold compresses will ease this process and aid in the reducing of these issues. Once your sutures are removed you can use concealing makeup and most people will not notice that you have had surgery. Once healing is complete, the result is smoother eyelids that enhance the shape of your eyes and help you look younger, healthier, and happier.
If you would like to learn more about eyelid surgery, please contact the experienced Atlanta facial plastic surgeons at Marietta Plastic Surgery today, serving patients throughout the southeastern United States including Atlanta, Marietta, and Woodstock, Georgia.