Technically called blepharoplasty is a procedure to remove fat, usually along with excess skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids.
Eyelid surgery can correct drooping upper lids and puffy bags below your eyes – features that make you look older and more tired than you feel, and may even interfere with your vision. However, it won’t remove crow’s feet or other wrinkles, eliminate dark circles under your eyes, or lift sagging eyebrows.
While it can add an upper eyelid crease to Asian eyes, it will not erase evidence of your ethnic or racial heritage. Blepharoplasty can be done alone, or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a facelift or browlift.
- Upper eyelid surgery can remove excess fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the upper eyelids.
- Loose or sagging skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid, sometimes impairing vision, can be treated by eyelid lift surgery.
- Lower eyelid blepharoplasty can remove excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid.
- Bags under the eyes can be corrected by blepharoplasty.
- Lower eyelid surgery can correct droopiness of the lower eyelids, showing white below the iris (colored portion of the eye).
As people age, the eyelid skin stretches, muscles weaken, and fat accumulates around the eyes, causing “bags” above and below. Before surgery, the surgeon marks the incision sites, following the natural lines and creases of the upper and lower eyelids. In a transconjunctival blepharoplasty, a tiny incision is made inside the lower eyelid and fat is removed with fine forceps. No skin is removed, and the incision is closed with dissolving sutures. Underlying fat, along with excess skin and muscle, can be removed during the operation. The surgeon closes the incisions with fine sutures, which will leave nearly invisible scars.
The best candidates for eyelid surgery
The best candidates for eyelid surgery are men and women who are physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in their expectations. Most are 35 or older, but if droopy, baggy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have eyelid surgery at a younger age.
A few medical conditions make blepharoplasty more risky.
They include thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism and Graves’ disease, dry eye or lack of sufficient tears, high blood pressure or other circulatory disorders, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. A detached retina or glaucoma is also reason for caution; check with your ophthalmologist before you have surgery.