Your eyes tell the world a lot about you. You can smile with your eyes or let people know that you’re feeling tired or sad without saying a word. Sometimes though, the eyes can send a message that doesn’t align with how you’re really feeling or what you’re thinking.
As people age, it’s common for the skin around the eyes to sag and droop. Excess skin can hang down over the eyes, making a person look tired or sleepy. In the lower eye area, the skin can become puffy, creating an exhausted look.
Blepharoplasty, AKA eyelid surgery, can help to correct sagging skin and puffiness in the eye area for a refreshed, alert expression. If you’re concerned that your eyes aren’t telling the story you’d like them to tell, then eyelid surgery might be the right choice for you.
What Does Blepharoplasty Do?
Blepharoplasty can actually accomplish two different goals. One type of eyelid surgery focuses on the upper eyelids while the other type focuses on the area under the eye. Many patients choose to have surgery on both the upper and lower lids for optimal results.
During upper eyelid surgery, a facial plastic surgeon will remove excess skin, muscle, and fat. Usually, the surgeon makes an incision in the crease of the eyelid, meaning that any scars will be well-concealed once they heal.
In a lower eyelid surgery, a facial plastic surgeon removes (or sometimes repositions) excess fat and/or skin. This is typically done to resolve “eye bags” that create a puffy appearance. In many cases, the incision will be located inside the eyelid to conceal it.
Although blepharoplasty is most often performed as a cosmetic procedure, designed to improve the look of the eye area, it also has functional purposes. If you have droopy upper eyelids that make it difficult to see, the surgery can remove the excess skin and help improve your vision.
Are You a Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?
You might be a candidate for blepharoplasty if you have excess skin or fat around your upper or lower eyelids or if you have “bags” or dark circles under your eyes. Your overall health affects your candidacy for surgery. If you’re in good health and don’t smoke, you might be a good candidate.
It’s also important to have realistic expectations about your surgery and about what it can and can’t do. Schedule a consultation with a plastic surgeon before surgery to learn more about what you can expect from blepharoplasty, what the recovery is like and whether or not it’s a good option for you.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Eyelid Surgery?
Like any plastic surgery, eyelid surgery has its pros and cons. One of the pros is that it can help you look more youthful and awake. In some cases, it can lead to an improvement in your vision and overall quality of life. You’ll also probably feel more confident in your appearance after the surgery.
One of the most significant cons of blepharoplasty is that it is a surgical procedure, meaning that it’s a big commitment. You’ll need to dedicate time after the surgery to recovery. You are also likely to have some side effects as you heal, such as swelling and bruising around the eyes. As with any surgical procedure, there is also a risk of complications occurring during or after the surgery.
What Can You Expect After Blepharoplasty?
After your eyelid surgery, you can expect to need about one week off from your normal schedule for the initial recovery. During that time, you’ll want to avoid work or other activities and will want to rest as much as you can. You might find that the area around your eyes feels somewhat sore or tight. There is likely to be bruising and swelling, as well as some itching and dryness in your eyes.
Your surgeon will give you a full list of instructions on what to do and what not do after your surgery. They’ll also let you know when it’s OK to go back to work or to resume other activities.
How Do You Choose a Surgeon for Blepharoplasty?
One factor that will play a huge role in the success of your surgery is the surgeon you choose to perform the procedure. Ideally, you’ll want to work with a board-certified facial plastic surgeon. The surgeon should have plenty of experience performing eyelid surgery and will be able to show you photos of past patients and give you a comprehensive idea of what you can expect from the surgery.
How to Prepare for Blepharoplasty
Once you’ve found a surgeon and are getting ready for eyelid surgery, there are several things you should do to prepare. Your surgeon will most likely give you a list of tasks to complete that will help you get ready for the surgery and the recovery process.
Depending on the medications or supplements you take, you might need to take a break from taking them in the weeks leading up to the surgery. You might need to take an alternative form of certain medications, as some drugs can interfere with blood flow and increase your risk of bleeding.
You might also have to give up certain habits, such as smoking, in the weeks leading up to your surgery. You’ll also be asked not to smoke during the recovery process, as tobacco can interfere with your body’s healing process.
If any of the instructions your surgeon gives you to help you prep for surgery are confusing or vague, feel free to ask for clarification. The more you know and understand, the better you’ll be able to prepare for a successful surgery.
Dr. Michael Schwartz is a board-certified facial plastic surgeon practicing in West Palm Beach, Florida. He is always happy to help patients plan and prepare for blepharoplasty and other facial plastic surgeries. To schedule a consultation, call 561-288-5888 today.