What is blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)?
Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that reduces bagginess from lower eyelids and improves hooding of the upper eyelids. Upper blepharoplasty is a distinct surgery from upper eyelid ptosis repair, which raises drooping upper eyelids. Blepharoplasty often calls for the removal of excess skin, muscle, and underlying fatty tissue, but sometimes tissues can be repositioned rather than removed. While it is primarily a cosmetic procedure, blepharoplasty is also an effective method for improving sight in patients whose sagging upper eyelids obstruct their vision as determined by an ophthalmologist or oculoplastic surgeon.
Blepharoplasty with fat removal does not eliminate dark circles under the eyes or remove crow's feet or other facial wrinkles. Other blepharoplasty techniques that employ fat repositioning or cheek lifting can improve dark circles. Blepharoplasty can be performed in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures, such as laser resurfacing or brow lifts.
How does aging affect eyelids?
As skin ages, it gradually loses its elasticity. A lack of elasticity, combined with the relentless pull from gravity, causes excessive skin to collect in the upper and lower eyelids. Excess skin on the lower eyelid causes wrinkles and bulges. On the upper eyelids, an extra fold of skin forms that can hang over the eyelashes and obstruct vision. Bulges on the upper and lower eyelids can also be caused by the fat that cushions the eyeball from the eye socket. The thin membrane that holds the fat in place weakens with age, allowing the fat to protrude into the lids.
Who is a good candidate for blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)?
The best candidates for blepharoplasty are individuals generally 30 years old or older who are in good health and who have no other eye conditions. Tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions:
- Eye disease, such as glaucoma, dry eye, or a detached retina
- Thyroid disorders, such as Graves’ disease and under or overactive thyroid
- Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, or other circulatory disorders
Be realistic about the expectations you have for blepharoplasty. Eyelid surgery can enhance your appearance and help build your confidence. However, you should not expect the surgery to drastically change your look. Many people have eyes that are not perfectly aligned or that appear to be different sizes. Asymmetrical features occur during the early stages of development. Blepharoplasty will not alter your facial structure. It is important to know your face well before you decide to have surgery. Think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.