Blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery is carried out to eliminate the outward signs of aging on the face, which usually begin to appear around the eyes. Blepharoplasty brings back the youthful look to the area around the eyes through a combination of procedures. The procedures involved are, removing excess skin and fat from the upper eyelids, removing or repositioning excess fat in the lower eyelids, removing the excess skin, and using a chemical peel to smoothen the skin texture of the lower eyelid. Besides these, procedures such as eyebrow lift and removal of the muscles that cause vertical furrows between the eyebrows can be done.
In the case of upper eyelid surgery, the scars remain hidden in the eyelid crease. Excess fat pouches without loose skin that are found in the lower eyelids can be removed successfully through a transconjunctival approach. In such an approach, the incision is placed inside the lower eyelid. To remove the loose lower eyelid skin along with the fat pouches, an incision is placed under the eyelash line.
Botox injection is beneficial in treating individuals who have deep vertical furrows in between eyebrows, and heaviness of the inner eyebrows. This is believed to be caused by the over activity of the corrugator muscles over a long period of time. Though the injection is expensive, painful and has to be administered once in every six months, it is a quick solution to attain temporary results. For a permanent solution, surgical removal of these muscles is the ideal option. The procedure can be done at the time of eyelid skin removal.
Removal of the muscles doesn't result in any impairment or have any adverse effect; on the contrary it contributes to a natural look.
An upper eyelid surgery and a browlift can treat hooded eyelids caused by sagging eyebrows. The procedure demands an incision above the hairline within the scalp on either side. Plastic anchors are then attached to the bone through the incisions to hold the lifted skin of the forehead in place. In the course of time, these plastic anchors dissolve. Browlift is an endoscopic technique and doesn't require the removal of any hair.
For individuals above the age of sixty who tend to have substantial sagging of the forehead and/or deep horizontal lines, an open browlift can produce exemplary results. In this case, a long incision is made from the top of the head to a region between the ears. To raise the forehead, a strip of scalp skin is removed. Again, plastic anchors that dissolve over a period of time are used to stretch the skin in place. This procedure is not recommended for individuals with high forehead or thinning hair. For those with high forehead, a different variant of browlift is opted. In such a case, the incision is made at the hairline as the latter will not rise further.
Auxiliary procedures can treat conditions associated with the eyelids. Botox injections can treat "crow's feet" (wrinkles near the outer corner of the eyes). Similarly TCA (Trichloroacetic acid) can treat wrinkles appearing under the lower eyelid skin. It removes the top layer of the skin and a new epidermis is regenerated which is softer and smoother. The skin will exhibit light crusting and may remain pink in color after TCA peel is undergone. Application of make-up will hide the coloration till it is completely healed. Chemical peel can treat dark circles in some cases though normally it is difficult.
Weak lower eyelids could cause symptoms of dry eyes, as they reduce the natural protection the eye receives. This can be treated by removing excess skin and fat from the eyelids, along with providing a tightening process.
Surgery is not recommended for those who have less tear production since they run the risk of developing chronic eye irritation after surgery. Depending upon the gravity of the case, those who have dry eye symptoms may require upper and lower eyelid surgery.
Blepharoplasty Procedure at bodySCULPT®
At bodySCULPT®, the procedure is performed on an outpatient basis at our all-inclusive plastic surgery practice in Manhattan. Eyelid surgery normally takes about an hour and a browlift takes an extra forty five minutes. Complex cases may take longer time. Local anesthesia is administered in most cases.
Pain medication is not required as only slight discomfort is experienced. The eyes are not bandaged. For a few days, vision may be slightly blurred. Ice compression on the eyelid is applied after surgery and administered for a period of 24 hours. Browlift surgery causes more discomfort compared to eyelid surgery. Numbness of the scalp, swelling of the forehead and tightness of the scalp may be experienced, but will disappear with passage of time.
Sutures are removed in a period of five days. It takes about two weeks for the swelling and discoloration to disappear. If chemical peel has been undergone, a light cover-up may be needed for the lower eyelid for two weeks. Work and normal activity can be resumed one week after eyelid surgery and two weeks after browlift or chemical peel. Outdoor activities such as cycling, jogging and non-ball sports can be resumed three weeks after the surgery. Ball games can be played after six weeks.
Complications and risks arising from blepharoplasty and eyebrow surgery occur only very rarely. Irritation of the eye and infection if it occurs at all, are temporary. Blindness or permanent nerve injury through blepharoplasty or browlift is again very rare. Hair loss resulting from open browlift incision is minimal. Skin darkening is not a permanent feature. Bleaching cream can treat skin darkening that might be caused by chemical peel.
Brow lift surgery need not be repeated. The effects of eyelid surgery last for decades. Many undergo only one surgery, but a few may require a second one if he/she tends to develop small amounts of excessive upper eyelid skin over the years.