Several factors such as aging, sun damage, smoking, stretching and obesity can cause the eyelids to droop and sag as the supporting tissues weaken. This area of the face is often one of the first to decline, as the skin of the eyelid is thinner than other areas of the face. Eyelids that droop or bulge can affect peripheral vision, making certain normal daily activities, such as driving, more difficult.
If the eyelids begin sagging into the field of vision, a functional blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, may become necessary. This procedure can be covered by medical insurance if it is visually significant. A determination of how much this condition affects vision is done by checking the peripheral visual field with an instrument called the Humphrey Visual Field (HVF) Analyzer.
An upper blepharoplasty will tighten the muscles and tissue as well as remove excess fat and skin from the upper eyelids. A blepharoplasty can eliminate the drooping of the skin into the visual field, improving peripheral vision tremendously.
Upper eyelid surgery is the most popular facial plastic surgery procedure in New York City after rhinoplasty. The popularity of this procedure reflects the importance the eyes have 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 blepharoplasty to improve your look and boost your confidence through a safe procedure with minimal downtime.
The best candidates for blepharoplasty are those individuals who meet the following conditions:
Are in good overall health
Do not smoke
Do not have any serious eye conditions
Have healthy facial tissue and muscle
If you have loose, sagging skin or puffy bags around 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 a blepharoplasty procedure in order to be satisfied with their results. While the 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 upper blepharoplasty procedure is performed under local anesthesia with sedation. General anesthesia may be used for anxious or nervous patients. The procedure can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
If the upper eyelid is being treated, an incision is made along the natural crease of the eyelid. Once the incision is made, the surgeon may reposition fat deposits, tighten muscles and tissue or remove excess skin in order to leave the eye looking younger and refreshed.
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 eyelid blepharoplasty procedure, your doctor may recommend applying lubricating drops or ointment and cold compresses to aid in the healing process and minimize side effects such as:
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 usually removed three or four days after the procedure. Swelling and other side effects usually subside within two weeks after surgery. Contact lenses and eye make-up may not be worn for two weeks after surgery. The doctor will give specific instructions on how to care for the eyes post-procedure.
Results of a blepharoplasty procedure are visible as swelling and bruising, but will subside and 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 blepharoplasty procedure are usually well-concealed and will fade with time until they are virtually unnoticeable. The incision is hidden in the crease of the eyelid in an upper blepharoplasty.