02 Jan Addressing the droopy, sagging skin around your eyes…consider blepharoplasty
Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) improves the area around the eyes. You may be an excellent candidate if you suffer from excess hanging skin covering the natural fold of your upper eyelid, have loose skin hanging over the eyelashes, suffer puffiness in upper or lower eyelids, have sagging skin (“bags”) underneath your eye, or have excess skin and fine wrinkles in the lower eyelid. All of these conditions can make you look unraveled, old, and tired.
According to a recent survey by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 71 percent of facial plastic surgeons identified patients getting blepharoplasty to look less tired as one of the top three trends they are seeing.
“My droopy eyelids were driving me crazy. I had always had very fleshy eyelids, and as I got older, they began to sag badly. Putting on makeup was difficult. My eyelids felt funny, too, like they were in my way. Without realizing it, I started keeping my brow muscles tensed upward all the time. I was shocked when I saw that I had developed permanent creases in my forehead from doing that,” says Agnes W., age 58.
This patient’s droopy eyelids could be improved through upper eyelid surgery. The incisions would be made in the natural lines and creases of the lids. Excess fat is removed or repositioned, and then the loose muscle and skin are removed. Fine sutures are used to close the incisions, thereby minimizing the visibility of any scar.
In lower eyelid surgery, Dr. Edds makes the incision in an inconspicuous site along the eyelash line and smile creases of the lower lid. Excess fat, muscle, and skin are then trimmed away before the incision is closed with fine sutures.
Eyelid puffiness caused primarily by excess fat may be corrected by a transconjunctival blepharoplasty. The incision in this case is made inside the lower eyelid, and excess fatty material is removed. When sutures are used to close this kind of incision, they are invisible to the eye. They are also commonly self-dissolving and leave no visible scar.
Dr. Edds can tackle both upper and lower eyelid surgery if you have the need. An example would be a patient with drooping upper eyelids and puffy lower eyelids.
Correcting both at the same time would result in smooth, firm, and younger looking skin around the eyes. A combined blepharoplasty usually requires from one to three hours and is done under local or general anesthesia. See the sidebar for the benefits of combining these two procedures.
Immediately following surgery, there will be some swelling and discomfort, which gradually decreases over time. Cold compresses, as well as head elevation when lying down, will enhance healing and relieve tenderness. Permanent stitches will be removed in three to five days after surgery. Self-absorbing stitches will dissolve on their own. Over the first seven to 10 days, you will clean the eye area and may need to apply eye drops. Dr. Edds will provide postoperative instructions for you to follow. The final results may take months to show; however, the revitalized, youthful results will be worth the wait.
If you are in good health and have a positive attitude with realistic expectations, make an appointment with Dr. Edds to discuss and decide what is optimal for you.
Advantages of Combining Procedures
Each patient has unique needs and goals. Dr. Edds will propose a comprehensive plan that may include various treatments, procedures, or a combination of the two. If combining surgical procedures or combining a surgical and minimally invasive procedure is part of the plan, you need to consider if it is right for you.
Advantages of combining surgical procedures:
* Less overall appointments
* Less time in surgery
* Overlap in recovery
* Less time off of work
* Less time to achieve desired results
* Less cost, due to less doctor, anesthesia, and facility fees
The ability to combine a surgical and nonsurgical procedure at the same time depends on the combination and may have similar benefits as mentioned. The AAFPRS survey showed this as a top trend in 2015. It is quite common to combine minimal invasive treatments; however, the advantages may not be as significant. For example, a patient concerned about laugh lines and wrinkles between the brows, may decide to have filler injections to treat the laugh lines and Botox, Dysport, or Xeomin injections to treat the forehead wrinkles. While it is more efficient to get them done at the same time, there may not be a cost advantage.