Several factors such as aging, sun damage, smoking, stretching and obesity can cause the eyelids to droop and sag as the supporting tissues deteriorate. This area is often one of the first to deteriorate, as the skin of the eyelid is thinner than the rest of the face. Eyelids that droop or bulge can cause people to appear much older or more fatigued than they actually are.
Blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid surgery, is a surgical procedure that improves the appearance of the eyelids by tightening muscles and tissue or removing excess fat and skin. It is used to correct under-eye bags, sagging lower eyelids that may show the white of the eyes below the iris and excess skin and fine wrinkles in the lower eyelids. This procedure can be performed on men and women alike and offers a younger, more refreshed look that reflects across the whole face. Blepharoplasty is now the most popular facial plastic surgery procedure after rhinoplasty. The popularity of this procedure reflects the importance of the eyes in perfecting overall appearance. In fact, two-thirds of adults consider the eyes to be the defining feature of the face. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your eyes, you may want to consider lower blepharoplasty to improve your look and boost your confidence through a safe procedure with minimal downtime.
The best candidates for lower blepharoplasty are individuals who are in good overall health and who do not smoke or have any serious eye conditions. If you have loose, sagging skin or puffy bags beneath your eyes, this procedure can help reduce these unwanted effects and leave the eyes looking young and fresh. It is important for patients to have realistic expectations before undergoing surgery in order to be satisfied with their results. While this procedure can enhance your appearance and may improve self-confidence as a result, it cannot alter your entire appearance or change the structure of your face.
The lower blepharoplasty procedure is performed under local anesthesia with sedation. General anesthesia may be used for anxious or nervous patients. The procedure typically takes from 45 minutes to an hour. To treat the lower eyelid, an incision is made on the inside of the lower eyelid, leaving no visible evidence of the surgery. Occasionally, a small amount of skin is removed beneath the lash line with the incision hidden below the lower eyelashes. It is often combined with other procedures such as canthoplasty to strengthen the tone and support the eyelid. Other common procedures that are used to augment the cosmetic effects of lower eyelid blepharoplasty are Mid-face lifting and spacer grafts. These procedures are tailored to the individual patient and adjusted for their unique requirements both aesthetically and functionally. After the procedure is performed, the incisions are closed with sutures and usually wrapped in gauze to allow the area to heal.
After the lower blepharoplasty procedure, your doctor may recommend applying lubricating ointment and cold compresses to aid the healing process and minimize side effects such as swelling, bruising, irritation or dry eyes. The eyes may be wrapped in gauze after the procedure as well. Patients can usually return to work within a few days, but should avoid exercise and strenuous activities for at least two weeks. Stitches are removed after three or four days. Swelling and other side effects usually subside within two weeks after surgery. Contact lenses may not be worn for two weeks. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for your eyes post-procedure.
The results of a lower blepharoplasty procedure are visible as swelling and bruising subside and will continue to improve for up to a year after surgery. This procedure is designed to produce long-lasting results. While surgery cannot prevent your eyes from aging, most patients are satisfied with their results and do not seek repeat procedures. The scars from the lower blepharoplasty procedure are usually well concealed and will fade with time until they are virtually unnoticeable. The incision is either hidden on the inside of the lower eyelid if a transconjunctival incision was used, or it will be well concealed just below the lashes in a standard lower blepharoplasty.
As with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks associated with a lower blepharoplasty procedure. Although rare, these risks include bleeding, infection, dry eyes, skin discoloration and an inability to fully close the eyes. Many of these risks can be minimized by choosing an experienced surgeon and following proper care instructions after surgery. You can discuss these risks, along with any other concerns you may have, with your doctor to reduce anxiety and worries about your surgery.