As people get older, the appearance of the eye changes. For the upper eyelid, the skin may loosen and obscure part (or, in severe cases, all) of the lid. Some eyelids may even rest on the eyelashes. There may be heaviness seen on either side of the nose as the fat which surrounds the eyeball becomes more prominent. For those with a heavy upper eyelid, called dermatochalasia, an upper eyelid lift may be indicated.
Sometimes, the excess skin of the upper eyelid may be caused by drooping of the eyebrow, called brow ptosis. In this case, a browlift would be indicated. Depending on the amount of excess upper eyelid skin, a surgical procedure known as an eyelid lift in Troy may or may not be needed in addition to a browlift.
For the lower eyelid, fat is often responsible for the tired and puffy look of the lower eyelid. Some of the deep structures around the eye relax with age allowing the fat to protrude. Prominence of the tear trough (the groove from the middle corner of the eye which follows the bottom of the lower eyelid ) can also be seen as the fat appears to rest above it, like a hammock.
How the Eyelids Are Lifted
For an upper eyelid lift, an incision is planned along the natural crease of the eyelid. The excess skin is marked and removed. Through this incision, the excess fat is identified and carefully removed. The scar hides inconspicuously in the eyelid crease and out towards the smile lines around the eyes.
For a lower eyelid lift, several techniques may be used. In the fat redraping technique, an incision is made underneath the lower eyelash line. The excess fat of the lower eyelid is contoured and draped over the lower orbital rim to blend the lower eyelid and cheek skin. Excess skin is removed as needed. Another technique is to remove the fat via a transconjunctival incision (inside the lid) and skin through an incision below the lash line if skin removal is needed.
Eyelid lifts, both upper and lower, give the eyes a refreshed look. For those with a significant amount of excess upper eyelid skin, this operation often improves peripheral vision. People report looking as good as they feel when previously they looked tired despite being well-rested.
The tradeoff to facial surgery is always downtime. For the first two weeks at least, the eyelids may appear swollen. Bruising for some may also last up to several weeks. This may be difficult to conceal when out among others. Initially the eyes may feel dry, irritated, or sensitive. If both upper and lower eyelid surgery is done at the same time, those side effects are more likely. Some patients require prescription drops in their eyes for relief. Moisturizing drops and ointments are recommended for everyone. Color of the lower eyelid skin and wrinkles in the eyelid are not usually improved by a blepharoplasty.
Who Pays for this Surgery?
For some patients with loss of peripheral vision due to excess upper eyelid skin, health insurance may cover a portion of the procedure. It almost always requires precertification, meaning there is a list of qualifications that must be met in order to meet criteria the insurance company puts forth to meet medical necessity. A visual field test will be required and can be performed by an ophthalmologist. At this time, Dr. DeLuca-Pytell is no longer accepting insurance for upper blepharoplasty operations. Lower eyelid lift surgery is always considered cosmetic.
What to Expect from a Blepharoplasty
Length of Operation
1 – 4 hours (depending on the extent of procedure).
Upper eyelids: Can be done under local (in select patients) or general anesthesia
Lower eyelids: General anesthesia, you will be asleep and monitored the entire time.
In or Outpatient?
This is same-day or outpatient surgery.
Time Until Final Appearance
2 – 3 months for swelling to resolve. Scars will take 6 – 12 months to fade.
Length of Results
Long lasting, but varies from patient to patient.
Temporary bruising and swelling, pain, incomplete eyelid closing.
Risks of Procedure
All surgery carries risk. I recommend patients carefully weigh the benefits of having surgery against the potential risks which may arise. Pain, bleeding, infection, damage to surrounding structures, need for other operations, recurrence, incomplete eye closing, sensitivity to sunlight, asymmetry, incomplete improvement, loss of vision, double vision, scarring, corneal exposure, dry eye, dissatisfaction with the result. A complete list of risks will be discussed with you before surgery.
Speak with a Skilled Troy Surgeon about Eyelid Lifts
If you are considering an upper or lower eyelid lift, do not hesitate to schedule a consultation with Dr. DeLuca-Pytell. She is Your Girlfriend the Plastic Surgeon, and can walk you through your choices in a comfortable environment and help you determine whether this procedure is right for you. Call today to learn more about eyelid lifts in Troy.