Facial aging is often most evident in the areas under and around the eyes. As facial skin begins to loosen over time, fatty deposits and lax skin can congregate around the upper and lower eyelids and cause them to droop. When the upper eyelids experience skin drooping, the common result is a “hooding” effect that not only contributes to an aged aesthetic, but can also impair or partially obstruct vision. In the lower eyelids, a youthful appearance can be compromised by excess skin and fat that leads to puffiness, under-eye bags, or hollowed tear troughs. With an eyelid lift, medically referred to as blepharoplasty, the eyelids can be rejuvenated for a younger-looking and well-rested appearance, as well as an unimpeded field of vision. Depending on your unique concerns, our Boston plastic surgeon, Geoffrey Leber, MD, FACS, can perform eyelid surgery on the upper and/or lower eyelids to achieve a natural-looking, refreshed aesthetic.
What Can an Eyelid Lift Do for Me?
Eyelid surgery can dramatically improve the mechanisms that may be causing a perpetually tired, sad, or aged appearance in men and women. The eyelid lift procedure is designed to provide a revitalized facial appearance by removing excess skin, smoothing out the remaining skin, and extracting or repositioning fatty deposits that may be causing eyelid droop. For patients with upper eyelids that sag into their line of sight, an eyelid lift can be utilized to restore the full scope of vision.
Who is a Candidate for an Eyelid Lift?
Ideal candidates for an eyelid lift are in good health and have realistic expectations for what can be achieved by the procedure. Individuals who would benefit from an eyelid lift typically exhibit common signs of facial aging and exhaustion around the eyes, including:
- Excess fat in the upper or lower eyelids
- Drooping upper eyelids that can negatively affect vision
- Puffiness below the eyes
- Bags under the eyes
- Hollowed tear troughs
- Lower eyelid laxity that exposes concealed tissue underneath the iris
- Excess skin or fine lines in the lower eyelids
During a consultation, Dr. Leber will examine your aesthetic concerns and suggest treatment options that can help you reach your cosmetic goals. Sometimes, drooping of the upper eyelids can be a result of lax forehead skin and sagging eyebrows—in this case, a brow lift is likely the most effective procedure to attain the desired outcome. Patients also have the option of combining both enhancement procedures to maximize their results.
How is an Eyelid Lift Performed?
Eyelid surgery uses varying techniques, depending on whether an upper or lower eyelid lift (or both) is being performed. Depending on the nature of your treatment plan, an eyelid lift by Dr. Leber takes approximately one hour to complete. This surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure and utilizes a local anesthetic and sedation. Dr. Leber takes great care to make incisions along the natural folds and contours of the eyelid region to allow a natural-looking cosmetic outcome.
Upper Eyelid Surgery
For an upper eyelid lift, an incision is placed along the eyelid’s natural crease. From here, fat deposits are removed and repositioned, muscles are tightened, and excess skin is excised to eradicate a drooping appearance. If loose skin is drooping into your line of sight, this can effectively restore your full field of vision and yield a more youthful aesthetic.
Lower Eyelid Surgery
Dr. Leber’s unique approach to lower eyelid surgery is performed with the goal of avoiding complications characteristic of the traditional method of lower lid rejuvenation, such as lower lid malposition and dry eye. While traditional blepharoplasty in the lower eyelids aims to remove and reposition the orbital fat pockets under the eyes, this technique can sometimes create more of a hollowed, skeletal, and aged appearance. To prevent this cosmetic outcome, Dr. Leber utilizes facial fat grafting to add volume where the lid meets the cheek (termed the lid-cheek junction) under the orbital fat pockets. Volume is also restored in the lateral cheek and tear troughs to further emphasize an aesthetic of youthful fullness, as well as to blend the lid-cheek junction. Lax skin under the eyelash line is then removed, and the remaining skin and underlying muscle is tightened. Because the orbital fat pockets are unaltered, there is usually less scarring, bleeding, and bruising.
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What is Recovery Like for an Eyelid Lift?
Recovery from an eyelid lift can be surprisingly short, with some individuals returning to regular activities within a few days. Patients can expect mild bruising or swelling after surgery, which can be alleviated with ice packs. Oral pain medication can also be used to manage discomfort. An ointment is usually prescribed to prevent excessive dryness, and patients should cleanse their eyes daily during their recovery period. Most people return to work or their normal daily activities within seven to ten days. While the results of an eyelid lift can be noticed immediately, the final outcome generally improves as swelling subsides. After surgery, patients can enjoy a more alert and rejuvenated appearance around their eyes for more distinguishable eyelid contours. The cosmetic outcome from eyelid surgery can be extremely long-lasting, but patients can prolong their results by limiting unprotected sun exposure.
For more information on eyelid surgery, or if you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Leber, please contact us today.