Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
A common concern among people seeking improvement in the appearance of their eyelids is that friends and acquaintances tell them they look tired or sad. Laxity of skin and deeper tissues in the lower eyelid results in protrusion of fatty tissue, leading to that "tired" or "allergy" look. Extra skin and fat of the upper eyelids contributes as well. Cosmetic eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) can help create dramatic yet refined changes around the eyes, often resulting in a natural, refreshed look.
Surgeons performing blepharoplasty surgery in the 1990's and before typically removed substantial amounts of fat. Over time, however, this created a hollow look around the eyes. With cosmetic eyelid surgery today there is much more focus on re-positioning eyelid fat than just removing it. Saving and re-positioning fat helps create nice shapes of the eyelids and the fat can help blend the lower eyelid with the cheek, creating a smooth transition there.
During upper eyelid blepharoplasty, an incision is made near the natural crease of the eyelid. Once the incision is made fatty tissue is re-positioned and removed. Excess skin is also removed. The incision is then closed with sutures.
During lower eyelid blepharoplasty surgery Dr. Kunkel typically manages the fatty fullness through an incision inside the lower eyelid. Some of the fat is removed, and some of the fat is re-positioned so it drapes over the bony rim of the eye down into the upper cheek. This helps blend the upper cheek and lower eyelid, creating a smooth transition. Once this part of the procedure is complete, the loose skin is then addressed. Typically an incision is made just beneath the eyelashes and a small amount of skin is removed.
Candidates for Blepharoplasty
The best candidates for blepharoplasty are women and men who are in good overall health, do not smoke, and do not have any serious eye conditions. For those who have loose, sagging skin or puffy bags around the eyes, blepharoplasty can help reduce these unwanted effects and leave the eyes looking relaxed.
Dr. Kunkel performs blepharoplasty at a surgery center or hospital with the patient under general anesthesia. Patients may choose to have this procedure on their upper eyelids alone, their lower eyelids alone, or both the upper and the lower eyelids. Some patients undergo blepharoplasty combined with a browlift. Depending on these choices, the procedure can take anywhere from one to three hours.
Recovery after Blepharoplasty Surgery
Most blepharoplasty patients have very little pain. The eyelids are mildly swollen for a few weeks. If bruising occurs it will be present for about 3 weeks. Make-up may be worn beginning about a week after surgery. Contact lenses should not be worn for 7-10 days after blepharoplasty surgery. Some patients return to work in just a few days, but that depends on a person’s comfort level with others seeing the swelling and sutures. Most people take about 10 days off from work. If there is a special occasion coming up, like a wedding or a reunion, it is probably best to undergo the blepharoplasty about three months before the event, leaving time for the swelling to dissipate and the scars to be less noticeable.
All surgical procedures, from breast biopsy to hysterectomy to cosmetic eyelid surgery, have some risks. Risks common to all procedures include infection, bleeding, and visible scars. Each specific surgical procedure has more unique risks as well. Risks that are more unique to blepharoplasty include dry eyes, inability to fully close the eyes, and an irregular downward pulling of the lower eyelids (ectropion). During initial and subsequent consultations, Dr. Kunkel carefully discusses the procedure, the recovery, and the risks with each patient.
If you would like more information about Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) or to schedule an appointment, feel free to fill out our convenient contact form or call us directly at (817) 335-5200.