Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lift)
Have you ever come across people whose facial expression continually looks tired or sleepy? Or perhaps you are the one who always looks like this, and you are tired of the “Are you feeling sleepy” comments. Sleepy or tired facial expression is a common condition caused by excessive skin tissue either, on the top or below the eyelids. Excess fat deposit in these areas causes your eyelids to constantly look baggy and droopy which results in the sleepy or tired appearance your face gets. This condition can be a substantial cosmetic nuisance which some people find very demoralizing and annoying.
Droopy and baggy eyelids can either be due to old age or a genetic problem. As we age, our skin naturally loses its elasticity becoming loose. The skin will hence fold, and one of the areas affected by this is the eyelid region. Some people experience this condition at an even earlier age. It is somewhat common to come across a teenager with droopy and baggy eyes. In such cases, the problem is due to hereditary factors. Inheriting baggy eyelids is very annoying because it can affect patients who are as young as 16 years old. Furthermore, such individuals will start to appear older than they are.
If you have this condition, then Blepharoplasty is the surgery that will help you to reclaim the youthful appearance your face needs and deserves. Blepharoplasty is a delicate surgical operation used to correct cosmetic problems around the eyelids. These problems could be in the form of puffiness around the upper eyelids, bags beneath the eyes, wrinkles, excess skin and droopiness around the lower eyelid, and folds caused by sagging skin. Blepharoplasty works by rejuvenating your eyes through the removal of excess fat and skin tissues which are causing sagging and hollowness of the skin. A lot of people underestimate the impact of an eyelid operation just because it is a minor operation done on a small part of the face. The truth, however, is that blepharoplasty can completely change how you look. This operation has moved people from a tired and sleepy appearance to a rejuvenated and enthusiastic look. That is why you have to be keen on your choice of surgeon.
Types of Blepharoplasty
Blepharoplasty operations can be broadly categorized into three groups:
- Lower eyelid surgery
- Upper eyelid surgery
- Transconjunctival surgery
- Lower Eyelid Surgery
This procedure as the name suggests tackles baggy eyelids by correcting the lower eyelid. In this operation, the surgeon will reduce and redistribute fat tissues deposited in your lower eyelid. If the condition is too severe marked excessive skin then trimming of the unwanted skin may be necessary to achieve a youthful and firmer skin surface.
Lower eyelid surgeries are sometimes done together with injectable procedures inserting fillers in the area below the eyes. This is usually done on patients that are looking for a bolder and drastic change.
In some cases, drooping that is witnessed on the lower eyelids is not due to fat deposits or excess skin but is caused by the weakening of the muscles underneath. Through lower eyelid surgery, the surgeon will also gain access to the loose muscles and tighten them to restore a more jovial look.
- Upper Eyelid Surgery
Blepharoplasty that involves the alteration or removal of skin or fat tissue on the upper side of the eyelid is known as the Upper eyelid surgery. In this operation, the surgeon gets rid of the unwanted tissues through a tiny incision done along with your natural creases. The surgeon will also, through this incision, trim your skin and underlying tissues until the desired amount is attained.
Tightening of weak muscles causing the tired look of the eyes is also possible in the upper eyelid surgery. Once the surgeon is done, the incision will be closed smoothly using fine sutures.
- Transconjunctival blepharoplasty
This is a unique type of eyelid surgery done without making any external incisions. It is a less invasive procedure meant for young patients. This particular operation is ideal for people with puffy eyelids caused by genetic factors. In such patients, skin elasticity is not a problem, and hence the surgeon is solely focused on reducing fat deposits. In transconjunctival eyelid surgery, there is no any removal of skin tissues, and neither are muscles tightened up.
In this surgery, the incision is usually done inside the eyelids. The surgeon will carefully extract just enough periorbital fat from this incision to achieve the perfect look. Since the incision is done inside the eyelids, there won’t be any visible scars from the outside. People will notice a significant change in how your eyes look, but no one will be able to tell that it was achieved through a surgical procedure. This is why this type of blepharoplasty is a favorite to many. The method is also popular because with your skin elasticity the skin will softly pull into place on its own and the results look more natural. In some rare cases, surgeons try to perform skin tightening with this procedure. Peels or lasers are used to make sure that this tightening does not interfere with the already achieve results.
Recovery is also faster with this operation, and you won’t even need to use sutures! The surgery itself will take 30 minutes if it’s done on the lower eyelid alone or more if both eyelids are involved. Most patients that undergo transconjunctival blepharoplasty resume their regular routines within a week.
Types of Eyelid incisions
There are two main types of eyelid surgery incisions:
- Full Incision – Full incisions are most used especially for patients that need massive removal of skin and fat tissues. With full incisions, the surgeon has more space to remove, tighten and rearrange as much tissue as possible to give you the results you want. Another good thing about these incisions is that the technique delivers permanent results. Full incisions will rejuvenate your eyelids and also get rid of any signs of aging around your eyes. When done by an expert, complete incision eyelid surgeries will ensure that droopy eyes are never an issue again.
- Partial-Incision – With this approach, the surgeon will make small incisions from which limited amount of loose muscle and adipose tissue can be removed. Partial incisions also make it possible for the tightening and suturing of muscles to create a new youthful crease.
Other eyelid surgery techniques
Lower eyelid resuspension (canthopexy) – This method is used to reposition the eyelids that drop off due to poor skin tone or aging. The method helps to restore the natural tension and shape of the lower eyelid. Canthopexy can be performed together with both upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty in older patients.
Laser resurfacing – This technique utilizes laser beams to resurface the eyelids providing an energetic and delighted appearance that’s hard to find in the damaged and old skin.
Eyelid Surgeries Anesthesia
Blepharoplasty is limited to patients in their late adolescence to other older ages. Every patient may need a unique type of surgery depending on his/her specific needs, kind of skin and age. The operations are performed on an outpatient basis and take between 30-60 minutes. If it’s only the lower pair that’s being operated on then the time of the surgery is likely to be shorter while full four lid surgery will take more time.
Sedation anesthesia is utilized in these operations. The patient will hence be drowsy and pain-free throughout the surgery enabling the surgeon to perform the delicate procedure undistracted.
After the surgery, the patient is monitored for a 1-2 hours before they are discharged. In the first several hours it is recommended that the given ice compresses stay on your eyelids. These will assist in reducing bruising and fastening the recovery period. Bruising fully disappears within 10 days.
Pain medication is also prescribed after the operation. Any swelling present shouldn’t last more than three weeks. Patients should, however, resume standard lightweight work within a week.
Due to the swelling and bruising involved telling what the final results look like will be quite tricky in the first few weeks. After blepharoplasty, therefore, you will need to be patient for at least two months before you can see the final results.
Potential eyelid surgery complications
Blepharoplasty is indeed a sensitive surgery; it does, after all, involves operating close to the eyes. It, therefore, goes without saying that choosing the right surgeon equipped with the right equipment and anesthesiologists will go a long way towards saving you from severe side effects. Some of the rare complications that can be as a result of poorly done eyelid surgery include loss of vision, hematoma or clotting of blood in the eye, infections, asymmetrical eyelids and damaged eyeballs.
A few of the commonly reported complications include dry, itchy eye, bleeding, sensitivity to light, discomforts, and swelling.
Eyelid Surgery Insurance Information
Eyelid surgery costs will not be reimbursed by most insurance covers unless an ophthalmologist recommends that this surgery will assist in solving an eye vision problem you are experiencing. Even then, you will still have to contact your carrier to know whether such a case or any other form of blepharoplasty will warrant reimbursement.