The eyes are the focal point for facial expression and can easily reveal a person’s mood or feelings. Excess bags under the eyes, wrinkled skin, and sagging eyebrows contribute to a sad, tired appearance. Cosmetic eyelid surgery is designed to remove excess fat and extra skin to restore a more youthful and brighter facial appearance. The procedure is often combined with a facelift, forehead lift, fillers and laser skin resurfacing, thus improving all aspects of the aging face at once.
The procedure is performed by making incisions in the natural contour lines of the upper and lower lids. Excess fat is removed from selected areas as well as the skin. The skin is then redraped and tightened to produce a more youthful appearance. It may be necessary to combine this with a brow lift in order to lift the sagging eyebrows as well.
Often the lower eyelid incision can be performed behind the eyelid and the excess fat is removed. The external skin is then resurfaced and tightened with a chemical peel or laser skin resurfacing. This leaves no external scars to be seen.
The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis either in the office or at an outpatient surgery center. The operation can be done under local anesthesia with deep sedation or general anesthesia. Surgical time is usually 1 to 2 hours.
After the operation, you may experience swelling and discoloration. This is variable and will disappear. You may experience excessive tearing or sensitivity to the sunlight for a short period of time. Some patients wear sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun and wind. The stitches will be removed in 3 to 5 days. One can begin wearing makeup after the stitches are removed. You can usually return to work in 10-14 days. Strenuous activity is limited for three weeks.
Rarely, one may experience complications after surgery. Bleeding and drainage from under the skin may occur. Infection is rare. The patient may experience a turning outward of the eyelid (ectropion) or an inward turning of the eyelid (entropion) shortly after lower lid surgery. These can usually be corrected with simple massage therapy. This complication is minimized with the behind-the-eyelid incision and a chemical peel or laser skin resurfacing because no external scarring occurs.