Our eyes are our most intriguing and revealing facial feature – they draw attention and convey expression. Through them, we not only see others but others see us as well. Our interest and how we feel physically or emotionally is reflected in our eyes. Unfortunately hereditary factors and the signs of aging can greatly impact the appearance of our eyes, so that what they reflect is not really how we feel.
If you are bothered by upper eyelids with excess, drooping skin that makes you appear sad or angry, or by eyes that look tired due to puffiness or bags, cosmetic eyelid surgery may be right for you. In general, eyelid surgery corrects the excess skin, tissue and fat that contribute to puffiness and bags in both the upper and lower eyelids, revealing a more youthful and energetic appearance.
What is eyelid surgery?
Cosmetic eyelid surgery, technically called blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. Specifically, eyelid surgery can treat:
- Loose or sagging skin that creates folds or hides the natural contour of the upper eyelid
- Excess skin that hangs down from the upper eyelid, sometimes impairing vision
- Excess fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the upper eyelids
- Bags under the eyes
- Droopiness of the lower eyelids, showing white below the iris
- Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid
These conditions typically appear as part of the natural aging process, or due to heredity. Where they are the result of heredity, individuals as young as their 20s and 30s may achieve a marked improvement in the appearance of their eyes through eyelid surgery. Eyelid surgery removes excess skin, eliminates bags and restores firmness to the area surrounding the eye, making you look more rested and alert.
Most commonly, eyelid surgery is performed on adult men and women who have healthy facial tissue and muscles and have realistic goals for improvement of the upper and/or lower eyelid and surrounding area. Good candidates are:
- Healthy individuals who do not have a life-threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
- Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for improvement through eyelid surgery
In addition, the following medical conditions are essential to disclose if you are considering eyelid surgery:
- 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 or diabetes
Your eyelid surgery
Like any cosmetic surgery procedure, eyelid surgery requires and individualized approach. Dr. Greg Ganske will evaluate patient anatomy, the condition you wish to have corrected, what is causing the condition and your realistic goals for improvement. Eyelid surgery can offer dramatic improvement in the upper and lower eyelids and surrounding regions. This degree of correction of drooping eyelids, puffiness or bags can only be achieved surgically, by repositioning muscle, redistributing fat that has settled into contours and when necessary by removing excess skin.
Skin resurfacing techniques may be recommended to further improve the tone and surface appearance of skin surrounding the eye, and in some cases as a substitute for excision of minimal excess lower eyelid skin. Where a low positioned brow or crows’ feet at the outer corner of the eyes contribute to the aging appearance of the eyes, a brow lift may be more appropriate than, or recommended in conjunction with eyelid surgery. In addition, a brow lift can also smooth a lined or furrowed forehead.
A midface lift, one that corrects sagging in the cheek region and pronounced nasolabial folds (creases from the nose to the outer corner of the mouth) may be performed through the same incisions as blepharoplasty. A face lift and neck lift may also be performed at the same time as eyelid surgery.