Oftentimes, the first place we begin to show some aging is around the eyelids. The eyelid skin is quite thin and stretches easily. Many people are born with “hooded” upper lids. For others, this hooding begins in middle age. The extra skin makes it difficult to wear mascara and shadow, as the makeup tends to get smeared. Sometimes the lid skin can stretch so much it can reduce your vision by overhanging your eyelashes!
Eyelid lifts remove the extra skin to “clean up” your eyelids. The removal of this skin gives your eyes an open, rested, and alert look. It makes it easier to wear makeup. Often people say they feel less tired at the end of the day, because their lids are no longer weighing down on their eyes.
Fat is also present beneath the eyelids. This fat acts as insulation around the eyeball, so that when you jump or take a fall, your eyeball is cushioned by the fat and isn’t injured. However, this fat sits very near your sinuses, and is affected by symptoms such as hay fever and sinusitis. This can make the fat swell, and the swelling has nowhere to go but to “pooch out” the eyelid! This swelling tends to come and go, but after a while, it tends to stay “pooched”, giving you permanent bags under the eyes. Blepharoplasty can remove the excess fat, or even reposition the fat to fill in abnormal depressions.
Eyelid surgery is done under local anesthesia with sedation. The surgery takes 1-2 hours to perform. We have you use iced compresses on the eyes to reduce the swelling and bruising. However, most patients look a little beady-eyed and bruised for a few days. Usually there is not much discomfort involved, but the eyes do feel tight and tender. Most patients describe the post-operative feeling as “annoying” rather than painful. Sutures are removed around day 5 after surgery. You are usually presentable to the public within 10-14 days. However, it may be 2-3 months before you start forgetting that you had it done. It takes a period of time before the tightness dissipates, the mild dryness of the eyes disappears, and the sensitivity to bright lights (keep your sunglasses nearby!) goes away.
While I try to get the eyelids as smooth as possible, I must also not pull things so tight that you can’t close your eyes completely, or the white below your pupil shows. If pulled too tight, your eyes can suffer from too much dryness and be very irritated. You will sometimes see celebrities with poor results after eyelid surgery, which makes them look a bit “pop-eyed”. My goal is to get you back into your normal activities as quickly as possible, and to have no one say “Oh, my goodness, you had your eyelids done!” I want you to return to your friends looking alert and rested, so that they say “You look great! You must have had a wonderful vacation!”