Blepharoplasty – Eyelid Surgery
What is Blepharoplasty?
Your eyes are the focal point of the face. The vast majority of people say the eyes are what they notice first when meeting a new person. The question is — what are your eyes saying about you?
The eyes feature some of the thinnest skin on the entire body. Plus, they are exposed to the elements all the time. The combination is not kind, as the skin on our eyelids and the surrounding areas is some of the first to show lines, wrinkles, and sagging. This can dramatically age your face.
Blepharoplasty, the clinical term for eyelid surgery, with Dr. Schaffer addresses your aging eyes. By removing excess sagging skin, repositioning fat, and possibly tightening loose muscles, eyelid surgery can take a decade or more off the age of your face. Eyelid surgery can be performed on either the upper or lower eyelids (or both), and Dr. Schaffer often performs this surgery in conjunction with a brow lift to elevate sagging brows.
Eyelid Surgery vs. Brow Lift
Many times a brow lift may completely correct the appearance of excess upper lid skin and significantly improve the visual field without the need for actual eyelid surgery itself. During your thorough informative consultation with Dr. Eric Schaffer will evaluate your goals and physical attributes and perform a detailed analysis with recommendations.
The recommendations may include a brow or an upper eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) or combination of the two. The role of laser, Botox, fillers, and/or skin care products will be reviewed as needed. Together, we will develop a plan specific to you.
This is extremely important as an inappropriately selected procedure may preclude a subsequent optimal result. For example, when only eyelid skin is removed, and sagging of the brows (brow ptosis) is not recognized and corrected as well, generally too much skin will be removed from the lid with blepharoplasty. At best, the brow position will not be corrected. At worst, this may tend to pull the brow down even further.
Either way, rejuvenation of the periocular area will be incomplete. This may preclude subsequent ideal correction of the brow position as proper brow elevation may prevent adequate lid closure if too much skin was initially resected. This may render a brow lift inadvisable under the circumstance.
Who Is an Ideal Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?
Blepharoplasty is one of the few cosmetic procedures equally popular with women and men. This is because there is no gender difference in the way our eyes age. Obviously, people who have spent more time outdoors, squinting and dealing with the sun’s UV radiation will have more aging around their eyes than others. Same if you’ve smoked. Others have a genetic predisposition to forming under eye bags. But the reality of it is this — most people over the age of 40 would benefit from eyelid surgery.
What is Upper Eyelid Surgery?
Patients can opt to have Dr. Schaffer perform upper or lower blepharoplasty or address both eyelids at once. Upper blepharoplasty mainly addresses the sagging that is prevalent in the upper eyelid. Incisions are made to allow for removal of excess skin and some fat. Dr. Schaffer often repositions fat, rather than removing it.
While upper blepharoplasty is usually a cosmetic procedure, sometimes a patient’s sagging is extreme enough that the skin is impacting vision. In these cases, this is called functional upper blepharoplasty, and the procedure is usually covered by insurance.
Upper Blepharoplasty Procedure
The sagging upper eyelid is the focus, and the goal is to remove excess skin and fat. This may be necessary to improve the field of vision. Dr. Schaffer makes the incision in the natural crease of the upper eyelid. This effectively conceals the scar. Excess skin is removed, fat repositioned or removed, and the underlying muscle tissue tightened.
What is Lower Eyelid Surgery?
If lower lid bags are your primary concern, Dr. Schaffer may suggest transconjunctival blepharoplasty. This procedure removes excess fat bags through a hidden incision on the inner part of your lower lids. Lower eyelid surgery is best for patients who have lower lid bags and no significant skin excess. This procedure only removes the fat bags and it does not correct loose redundant eyelid skin. If excess skin with or without bags under your eyes is your problem, then we may recommend a lower blepharoplasty.
Lower Blepharoplasty Procedure
With this procedure, we make a small incision just below the eyelashes (near the area where one would apply lid liner) with a small extension to the side in a natural skin crease. This incision usually heals in excellent fashion and many times, even with magnification, is almost impossible to see.
With this approach, we can remove excess skin from the lower lids in addition to the bags. Dr. Schaffer will examine you carefully and discuss with you in a thorough fashion which procedure is most likely to help you achieve your goals.
A great thing about eyelid surgery, beyond its obvious changes in your facial age, is that the recovery is not difficult. After your surgery with Dr. Schaffer, you will return home with a cold compress and lubricating eye drops. If you are diligent with the compress you can mitigate the amount of bruising and swelling quite a bit. Swelling and bruising is the worst on the day after surgery, but begins to quickly run its course. Light activity such as walking helps to speed healing. Your stitches will be removed in one week. Most people can return to normal activity in a week or so after surgery. In two weeks, the majority of your bruising and swelling will resolve.
When Will I See my Results from Eyelid Surgery?
Not only is recovery relatively easy, but you will see your results very quickly, usually in just a couple days after your initial swelling resolves. From there, your eyes will continue to improve for the next two weeks. In two weeks, you’ll be thrilled with your younger eyes, and they will improve somewhat for another two weeks or so. Your improved eyelids will make your face appear roughly 10 years younger.
That’s another great thing about eyelid surgery — it’s subtle. People who don’t know you had this surgery with Dr. Schaffer will notice something about your face and that you somehow look more refreshed and younger. But they’ll have no clue as to why. This contrasts with more obvious procedures such as facelifts or breast augmentation.
How Long will Blepharoplasty Results Last?
Your results are permanent. The excess skin and fat removed are gone for good. Yes, your eyelids will continue to sag with aging, but they will do this from a younger starting point. Your results will last the rest of your life.
Eyelid Surgery Before & After
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There are the potential risks and complications of any surgery: infection, bleeding, and poor wound healing. There can be some eyelid specific complications such as dry eye, entropion or ectropion, and problems closing an eyelid, but these are very rare. Blepharoplasty with an experienced surgeon such as Dr. Schaffer is a safe, satisfying procedure.
Schedule a Consultation
If you are interested in our blepharoplasty procedures, call 210-227-3223 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Eric Schaffer. Our practice serves San Antonio, Austin, and surrounding areas in TX.