The Basics of Bleph: All About The Eyelid Lift
"The eyes are the window to the soul." -William Shakespeare
Our eyes are one of our most powerful physical attributes, helping us to communicate a range of emotion from elation to sadness. But as we age, our eyes may begin to say things about us that don’t necessarily reflect how we feel. Over time our lids get heavy and bags form underneath our eyes, making us appear tired or grumpy and aging us in a way that is unappealing. For those looking to freshen up their eyes and restore youth to their expressions, upper or lower blepharoplasty is an excellent way to turn back the hands of time.
Eyelid surgery, or eyelid lifts, have been incredibly popular throughout Asia for many years, and amongst celebrities here in the United States. Recently, blepharoplasty has become even more mainstream as patients discover the benefits of this rejuvenating procedure. There are 3 main types of blepharoplasty and it is key to seek out the advice of an experienced Oculoplastic Surgeon to help you determine which procedure is best for you:
Upper blepharoplasty is used to remove excess hooding (skin) of the upper lids. It is not uncommon for patients to have trouble seeing properly or to have their eyelashes completely covered when too much skin is present in the upper lids. Correcting this can restore a proper field of vision and can also make the patient’s eyes look more open, awake, and rounded, if desired. The incision and scars for this surgery are hidden in the natural crease of the eyelid and is barely detectable when healed properly.
Lower blepharoplasty is used to remove and correct wrinkling or sagging skin under the eyes, as well as to remove or reposition fat pads that have moved out of place over time. These fat pads around the eyes are present from birth but can herniate or slip out of place because of gravity, causing unsightly bags or puffiness. This procedure can be done one of two ways, with either a posterior approach (behind the lid), or anterior approach (from the front of the lower lid, along the lash line), and the method is best determined by your specific aging concerns and the expertise of your surgeon.
Lastly, Asian eyelid surgery, or “double eyelid surgery” is one of the most popular forms of Blepharoplasty. It is incredibly common for Asian anatomy to have an unpronounced or non-existent crease in the upper eyelid and this procedure creates a new, distinct crease where one did not previously exist. The Western beauty aesthetic has become increasingly popular throughout Asian countries, making this procedure one of the most highly requested. The overall appearance of the eye is larger, more awake, and rounder.
The recovery from Upper and Lower Blepharoplasty is relatively quick in terms of healing time from plastic surgery. Bruising and swelling is typically present from 7-14 days, with some patients resolving both as early as 10 days. The procedure itself can be done under local anesthetic, saving patients the time and money it normally takes to go to a surgery center. Depending on skin tone, sutures can either be dissolvable or will be left in for 1 week before removal. Surprisingly, there is very little pain or discomfort associated with these procedures, and most patients do not take anything stronger than over the counter medication for the first 24-48 hours. While side effects beyond bruising and swelling are minimal, in some cases they can include eye irritation, tearing, or scarring.
Choosing an Oculoplastic Surgeon
The anatomy and function of the eyelids in relation to the eyeball and position of the brows is very complex, and it is crucial to ensure that your surgeon has extensive knowledge of the entire area so as not to cause complications. Taking too much skin in an aggressive blepharoplasty can cause an inability for the patient to properly close their eyes, which can lead to tearing or corneal damage in the long- term. Additionally, not having proper knowledge of the position of the brows and how they impact the eyelids can also cause a surgeon to perform a blepharoplasty when the real underlying issue is a mispositioned brow. When selecting a surgeon to work on your eyes, find one with years of experience with the entire orbital area, and preferably one with specific oculoplastic training. A properly trained surgeon can save you years of horrible complications to your very delicate eye area!
Blepharoplasty is continuing to grow in popularity as the results of a customized eyelid lift can shave decades off your appearance for many years to come. With proper technique and a few weeks’ time, you too can restore the windows to your soul!