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Taking The Step Towards Eyelid Surgery - Blepharoplasty

Jun 18, 2008
Blepharoplasty or eyelid rejuvenation surgery is an operation designed to correct drooping skin around the eyes as well as bulges that may appear with age or due to heredity. Drooping skin is often most evident in the upper eyelids, where it can hide the normal skin crease above the eyelashes and even impair vision.

"Bulging" seen in the upper or lower eyelids is actually due to normal pockets of fat which have become more pronounced with age. Together, these factors may combine to give the eyes a tired, aged look, which may be out of proportion to the rest of the face. Good candidates for eyelid surgery are patients with normal tear production and good eyelid tone and function. Contact lens wearers may be asked to refrain from lenses for one to two weeks.

Upper eyelid surgery or upper blepharoplasty is often done at the same time as lower eyelid surgery in our San Diego office, although either procedure may be done alone, or in combination with other facial cosmetic procedures such as facelift or rhinoplasty

Upper eyelid surgery is commonly performed using local anesthetic and a mild oral (by mouth) sedative for patient comfort. The excess skin is carefully marked for removal, usually in an oval shape just above the natural eyelid crease. The final scar will actually lie within the crease, making it very difficult to notice once healing is complete. Following marking of the skin, the upper eyelid is injected with anesthetic solution.

The skin is then carefully excised, exposing the underlying muscle and fat of the upper eyelid. A variable amount of muscle and fat is then removed from the upper eyelid to create and shape an optimal aesthetic balance. The skin is then closed with suture that will be removed in approximately one week. The entire procedure can take 20 minutes to one half hour to perform.

Recovery from upper eyelid surgery is generally rapid, with patients resuming regular activities in several days to one week. Bruising is either absent or very mild. The incision line may remain slightly red while healing, but due to its location in a natural crease is often hard to notice after suture removal.

For lower eyelid surgery, patients are offered gentle intravenous sedation with our anesthetist, although this procedure can also be comfortably performed with only local anesthetic.

For patients with prominent fat bags of the lower eyelids and only a small amount of excess skin or muscle, the lower eyelid surgery can be performed with no external incisions. Instead, and incision is made on the inner side of the lower eyelid and excess fat is carefully removed . No sutures are required for this approach, and patients are asked to use a topical eye drop for one week to aid healing.

When excess skin and wrinkles are present around the lower eyelid, an external incision approach may be chosen. This incision is made just beneath the lower eyelashes, which easily camoflage it during the healing phase. Through this lower eyelid incision excess skin and muscle, as well as fat, may be removed. The incision is then closed with suture which is removed in approximately one week. Bruising and swelling are slightly more common with lower eyelid surgery, however this generally resolves within one week. Regular activities are resumed within one to two weeks.

Lateral canthoplasty or eyelid tightening is a procedure that is often done concurrent with lower eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty in order to tighten an excessively loose lower eyelid. This procedure aids in restoring a more youthful position of the lower lid in relation to the iris.

Additional ancillary procedures include fat transfer or fat grafting to the lower eyelid region, as well as lower eyelid laser resurfacing or chemical peel, both of which may enhance the results of a lower lid blepharoplasty.

Laser eyelid surgery or laser blepharoplasty is a technique by which the CO2 laser replaces the scalpel for more meticulous incision-making. Some plastic surgeons commonly uses the laser for this portion of the procedure, thereby reducing bleeding, bruising, and healing time.

Patients often inquire about "crow's feet" lines or other fine wrinkles or spots around the eyes. These areas can often be improved with a chemical peel or laser resurfacing at the same time as eyelid surgery, or shortly after.

Thin, absorbable sutures placed in the eyelid incisions usually disappear or are removed at one week after eyelid surgery in San Diego. Patients generally complain of little or no pain with this procedure, and are usually able to return to their routine within several days to one week, depending on the extent surgery.

Some swelling or discoloration is normal with eyelid surgery. This will resolve for the most part within one to two weeks, and can be camouflaged with makeup after several days.
About the Author
LookingYourBest.com an online resource for plastic surgery . Learn more about eyelid surgery and cosmetic surgery procedures.
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