From the traditional full facelift down to non-surgical chemical peels and facial injectable treatments, there are literally dozens of different plastic surgery procedures that can be used to subtly improve the appearance of the face or to address the various signs of facial aging, and in the nearly thirty years that I have been a board-certified plastic surgeon and otolaryngologist specializing in facial procedures, I have had the opportunity to perform them all. In my recurring “Spotlight Procedure” blog feature, I will give my patients some insight into the specific details of these procedures, explaining exactly what they do and how they are performed. This month, I will focus on eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, the plastic surgery procedure performed most frequently on men and women over the age of 40.
As we get older, our skin gradually loses its elasticity and begins to sag and droop, causing wrinkles. This process can be particularly noticeable in the thin, delicate layers of skin that make up the upper and lower eyelids, where wrinkles and sagging make the eyes narrow and make the entire face appear tired, sad, or angry. In some cases, drooping eyelids may even partially impair peripheral vision. Eyelid surgery can be performed on the upper and/or lower eyelids to remove tiny amounts of excess skin and fat while tightening the miniature muscles that surround the eye to give the eyes a more youthful look.
How is Eyelid Surgery performed?
In an upper blepharoplasty an incision is made in the natural crease of the eyelid, allowing for the removal of excess skin and, if necessary, the tightening of underlying muscles. To address puffy under-eye bags and dark circles on the lower eyelids, I will frequently use a transconjunctival incision, created on the inside of the lower eyelid, to remove or reposition small fat deposits. In either case, the placement of the incisions helps to ensure that any post-surgical scarring that may occur is almost completely undetectable and that the results are subtle and natural looking.
What should I expect while recovering from Eyelid Surgery?
Eyelid surgery generally only takes from one and a half to two hours and patients can usually go home that same day. For the first three days after the procedure, a patient will need to keep his or her head elevated and eyes covered with cool compresses. After that point, they can usually return to work and light activity, although bruising and swelling will persist for seven to ten days and they should avoid bending over if possible. Every patient is different and individual healing rates can vary significantly, but recovery after a blepharoplasty generally requires less time than any of the more extensive facial plastic surgery procedures. In many cases, patients undergoing a mini-facelift or a brow lift to address to address facial aging in the middle or upper regions of the face also undergo a blepharoplasty at the same time to optimize their results.
If you are interested in learning more about any of the non-surgical facial rejuvenation, anti-aging, or cosmetic facial plastic surgery procedures that I perform, please contact my office so that we can schedule a full consultation and determine together exactly what procedures are right for you. Don’t forget to connect with me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.