The eyes can say a lot about you — whether you’ve been crying, gotten a good night’s, or whether you’re getting older. While plenty of people are satisfied with the way their eyes look or with the story their eyes are telling, others find that their eyes aren’t actually acting as an accurate window to their soul.
If you fall into the latter category, eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, might be on your mind. While the surgery can make the eyes look more youthful, it doesn’t correct all problems and might not be the right option for all patients. The surgery might also might be the best pick for you if you have certain problems with your eyes. Discussing your options with a facial plastic surgeon can help you make the most appropriate decision for your eyes and needs.
What the Surgery Does
One thing that’s important to note when considering eyelid surgery is that it is actually two separate procedures that can be performed on their own or together. An upper blepharoplasty focuses on the correcting the top eyelids, while a lower blepharoplasty focuses on the lower lids.
When performed on the upper eyelids, the goal of the surgery is usually to remove excess skin that gives the eyes a droopy or hooded look. The surgery can also reduce puffiness in the upper eyelids by removing the excess skin. In some patients, extra skin on the upper lids can make it difficult to see, so the surgery offers both a functional and a cosmetic benefit.
A lower blepharoplasty is often performed when a patient has sagging skin beneath the eyes. The extra skin below the eyes can make it look as though the patient has bags under his or her eyes or can make it look as though the patient has dark circles or rings under the eyes.
Whether performed on the upper lids or lower lids, or both, the procedure removes extra skin and in some cases extra fat, to create a smooth, bright eyed look. Although the surgery does require incisions, those incision are usually hidden in the crease of the lids or inside the lid, so that any scarring is minimal.
What It Doesn’t Do
Bags and droopy eyelids are just two ways that the area around the eyes can make you look older. Other changes that can occur near the eyes, and that aren’t resolved by eyelid surgery include the development of crow’s feet, the small, crinkly lines that develop in the outer corners of your eyes.
If your major concern is crow’s feet, eyelid surgery just isn’t the best pick for you. Fortunately, a less invasive treatment option can help reduce those lines, giving you a smoother, more youthful look. Botox injections have been approved by the FDA for treating crow’s feet, as well as the lines that develop between the eyebrows.
Although Botox is effective when it comes to erasing crow’s feet, it isn’t a long lasting treatment. Typically, the results last for about three months. You can repeat the injections every few months to maintain your results and to keep the corners of your eyes wrinkle-free.
Dry Eyes and Other Precautions
If you are considering any type of elective surgery, it’s important to first consider your overall health. Most surgeons won’t perform eyelid surgery on a patient who has certain conditions, such as thyroid problems or diabetes. Having an eye problem, such as glaucoma or dry eyes might also make you a bad candidate for the surgery.
Dry eyes are common after the procedure, as your eye area heals. Having a history of dry eyes before the surgery can make the dryness worse as you heal. If you are concerned that the surgery will make your dry eyes worse, it’s a good idea to discuss those concerns with your surgeon in advance. Most recommend using drops or ointments after the procedure to restore moisture to the eye area.
If you’re a smoker, eyelid surgery might also not be appropriate for you. It’s usually recommended that people quit smoking or using any products that contain nicotine at least two weeks before surgery and that they continue to avoid tobacco or nicotine containing products for several weeks afterwards. Your surgeon can give you advice on quitting and help connect you to resources that provide support and guidance as you wean yourself off of nicotine.
A prepared patient is usually a satisfied patient when it comes to facial plastic surgery. Along with doing your research about eyelid surgery, it helps to consult with a board certified facial plastic surgeon, who can provide you with direct answers to your questions and help you decide if the surgery is suitable for you. If eyelid surgery isn’t right for you at the moment, the surgeon can recommend alternative options that will provide the type of results you’re after.
In West Palm Beach, Florida, Dr. Michael Schwartz, a double board certified facial plastic surgeon, can give you the answers you need and help you make an educated decision about eyelid surgery. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Schwartz, call 561-228-5888 today.