Few would argue that your eyes are the most expressive part of your face — they don’t call them the windows to the soul for nothing. But age and genetic predisposition can mean dealing with sagging, drooping, fine lines and puffiness, none of which are ideal, and often can’t even be camouflaged with cosmetics. Luckily, there is a way to give your eyes a makeover, one that’s effective, long-lasting and perfect for a wide variety of eye-related concerns.
Blepharoplasty: What is It?
Also known as eyelid surgery, blepharoplasty improves the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. In short, it’s the ideal path to pretty peepers, or at the very least, eyes that look bright, youthful and refreshed.
Over time as our eyelids get heavier, we sometimes end up with extra skin on the upper lids, extra skin on the lower lids, drooping or sagging on the lower lids and even puffiness or bags, explains Dr. Brian S. Biesman. There is no non-surgical way to treat this condition, but if you’re worried, don’t be. “Eyelid surgery is one of the safest cosmetic procedures when performed properly,” he says. Not to mention, it was also one of the top five cosmetic procedures performed in 2011, with close to 200,000 people opting for the surgery.
What Does it Treat?
No makeup or skin care product in the world is going to give you the eye-opening results of blepharoplasty. “The goal of any eyelid surgery is to make someone look youthful, relaxed and fresh, but not like a deer in headlights,” says Dr. Biesman. Instead, the effect will be such that someone who hasn’t seen you in a while won’t even know you’ve had surgery; they’ll just think you look great.
More specifically, the goal of the procedure is to fix the following eyelid concerns:
- Gets rid of puffiness in the upper eyelids
- Smoothes out folds created by loose or sagging skin
- Removes excess skin and fine wrinkles on the lower eyelid
- Gets rid of bags under the eyes
- Corrects droopiness of the lower eyelids
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Anyone with eyelid concerns is a good candidate for eyelid surgery, whether those concerns are age-related or you just want to improve the overall look of your eyes.. Whether you’re dealing with bags under your eyes, sagging, drooping, puffiness or fine lines and wrinkles, if you’re in good overall health, eyelid surgery is good option for achieving the eye look you want.
What to Expect
Eyelid surgery is an outpatient procedure meaning you don’t have to stay in the hospital, and in the vast majority of cases you don’t even have to go to sleep for surgery. “The surgery itself does not require general anesthesia and does not require an overnight stay,” says Dr. Biesman.
Upper eyelid surgery is performed by using a laser or knife to make an incision in the natural fold of the upper eyelid, explains Dr. Biesman. “Some of the upper eyelid tissue is removed to give the eyelids a refreshed, more youthful look.”
Lower eyelids can be approached either from the inside of the eyelid, from the outside of the eyelid, or in combination, and through the incision made, excess skin in the lower eyelids is removed. Lower eyelid surgery can be more complicated than upper eyelid surgery, notes Dr. Biesman, only in that you can’t use the same operation from patient to patient so lower eyelid surgery must be tailored to the individual.
You can expect some bruising and swelling after the operation, which is completely normal and there usually are some stitches in the skin that stay in place for about a week. But in terms of potential discomfort following surgery, there isn’t much. “The vast majority of patients only need extra strength Tylenol® and some need nothing at all,” affirms Dr. Biesman.
It is important to avoid heavy lifting and bending after surgery, and using a cold compress and taking it easy for first few days will mean less swelling and bruising and a quicker recovery.
If you’re unhappy with the look of your eyes, whether it’s due to aging or genetic predisposition, talk to your doctor about blepharoplasty and find out whether eyelid surgery is for you.