Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
Blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery can be performed the upper or lower eyelids, or commonly both in the same procedure. Excess skin, puffiness, and eyelid sagging are all common complaints of patients, men and women inquiring about eyelid surgery. The eyes can be considered the window to the soul, and the eyelids are the shades. Blepharoplasty can open these shades giving a rejuvenated more youthful appearance.
What Are My Options?
Blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid surgery, is a surgical procedure that improves the appearance and function of the upper and lower eyelids by tightening muscles, contouring the eyelid, and removing or repositioning excess fat and skin. This procedure can be performed on men and women of any age and can be performed in conjunction with other facial procedures, such as a browlift, cheek lift, or facelift.
Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty
Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty involves removing excess skin and sometimes fat of the upper eyelid. It can improve vision if the upper eyelid skin obstructs the upper visual fields. In women it is commonly performed in conjunction with a browlift.
Upper Eyelid Ptosis Repair
Upper Eyelid Ptosis Repair is a procedure which can be combined with an upper eyelid blepharoplasty to raise a droopy eyelid.
Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty
Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty involves removing excess skin of the lower eyelid, repositions fat to reduce lower eyelid puffiness, and tightens muscle and tendons in the lower eyelid to smooth and re-contour the eyelid.
Lower Eyelid Canthoplasty
Lower Eyelid Canthoplasty is an adjunctive procedure which tightens the lower eyelid and raises the outer corner of the eyelid to help support and re-contour this area.
Blepharoplasty patients may have complaints about upper or lower eyelids, or both. Eyelid surgery can remove excess eyelid skin, reduce puffiness, and smooth the appear of the eyelid. Patients undergoing any eyelid procedure should be healthy without any recent laser eye surgery, changes in vision, or significant eye dryness. Upper eyelid candidates typically have excess skin along the upper eyelid which can in some patients obstruct vision. Visual field examinations by an ophthalmologist can help determine if there is a medical benefit to upper eyelid surgery. The droopy upper eyelid can be corrected with a ptosis repair done through the same incision as an upper eyelid blepharoplasty. Lower eyelid malposition or retraction, commonly termed an ectropion can be corrected at the time of a lower eyelid blepharoplasty. Dr. Trussler will discuss your options regarding your eyelid surgery.
Realistic expectations are very important in the blepharoplasty patient with defined goals in rejuvenating their upper and lower eyelids. Dr. Trussler will listen to your goals and evaluate your eyelids, cheek, and forehead in order to determine the eyelid procedure that is right for you.
The upper and lower blepharoplasty procedures performed together are typically performed under a general anesthesia with the procedure lasting between 1 to 2 hours. Upper eyelid blepharoplasty can be performed under local anesthesia in a short 30 minute procedure. This can be performed in the office in the right patient.
An upper eyelid blepharoplasty is performed through incisions in the natural skin creases of the upper eyelid. Excess skin is removed and occasionally excess fat is removed. A browpexy can be perforemd through this incision to define the male eyelid. Ptosis repairs can be performed through this incision as well. The fine upper eyelid incision is closed with stitches that are removed in 5 days after the operation.
A lower eyelid blepharoplasty is performed through an incision in the lower eyelid lash-line. The skin and muscle are separated in different planes with fat repositioned, muscle tightened and skin removed. Eyelid tendon tightening (canthopexy) or repositioning (canthoplasty) can be performed through this same incision. Lower eyelid incisions are closed with absorbable stitches.
All eyelid incisions are dressed only with ointment that is safe for the eye and cooling gel eye masks.
After Care & Recovery
After the blepharoplasty procedure, it is important to hydrate the eyes as the eyelids heal. Lubricating eye drops, ointments, and gel eye masks all help to maintain moisture on the eyes which can be prone to dryness secondary to the swelling around the eyelids. Swelling and bruising are common after eyelid surgery. Cold compresses and head elevation help to limit this. Eyelid surgery is more annoying than painful in its recovery.
Patients can usually return to work within two days after a simple upper eyelid blepharoplasty, but at least two weeks should be taken off after lower eyelid surgery. Strenuous activities and exercise should be avoided for at least three weeks after the surgery. Swelling and other side effects usually subside within two weeks after surgery. More prolonged recovery may be seen in patients undergoing combination type procedures like ptosis repairs and midface lifts. Dr. Trussler will give you specific instructions on how to care for your eyes after surgery.
Results of a blepharoplasty procedure are visible as swelling and bruising subside and will continue to improve for up to 6 weeks after the surgery. This procedure is designed to produce long-lasting results. While surgery cannot prevent your eyes from aging, secondary blepharoplasty is uncommon.
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, and just below the lashes in a lower blepharoplasty. Dr. Trussler may recommend lower eyelid stretching at the 3 week point of the recovery from a lower eyelid blepharoplasty to help reduce swelling and scarring.
- Trussler AP, Rohrich RJ. MOC-PSSM CME Article: Blepharoplasty. Plast. Reconstr Surg. 121(1s) MOC-PS CME Collection:1-10, January 2008
- Trussler AP, Schaub TA, Byrd HS. Endoscopic Management of the Difficult Lower Eyelid: A Review of 300 Cases. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2012 Sep;130(3): 690-699.
Whether you have a question or would like to setup a blepharoplasty consultation, Dr. Trussler and his staff are here to help. Please fill out our contact form, or call our office at 512-450-1077 to schedule an appointment. Start your journey to not only looking, but seeing better today!