Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery that removes excess skin present on the upper and lower eyelids. A blepharoplasty can be done to open the eye to reveal a more awake and youthful appearance or to improve a patient’s field of vision. It is often the single most dramatic change available to achieve a more youthful appearance and energized look. The removal of sagging skin on the upper eyelid can eliminate the appearance of hooded eyes, while a lower eyelid lift can eliminate “under-eye bags” and reduce puffiness that often make us look more tired and older than we really are.
Candidates can choose to undergo this procedure for both functional and cosmetic reasons. A good candidate for an eyelid lift should be in good overall health, lead a healthy lifestyle, and have a realistic outlook on the results of the procedure. Our plastic surgeon will review your medical history and previous surgeries to ensure that plastic surgery is right for you. Eyelid surgery can often be combined or performed in place of a brow lift to lift sagging eyebrows depending on Dr. Fichadia’s professional recommendation.
A candidate for an upper eyelid lift may have:
- Excess skin on the upper eyelids that droops past the natural crease of the eyelid. Sagging eyelids can make the eye look more closed, and in some cases, can obscure one’s vision. If there is medical evidence of visual obstruction due to excess upper eyelid skin, an eyelid lift is often covered by insurance (individual insurance coverage varies)
- The excess skin on the upper eyelids may also cause the skin to wrinkle and fold. Wrinkles and folds that result from excessive skin can only be corrected with surgical treatment such as an eyelid lift.
A candidate for lower eyelid surgery may have:
- Excess skin that is thin and crepey and creates lower lid wrinkles.
- Excess skin and protruding fat deposits that create puffy bags under the eyes which make one look more tired and sometimes older than they are.
- Dark circles or droopy eyelids that pull away from the eye, causing dryness.
Eyelid surgery can be performed on the upper lid, lower lid, or both. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, under either local or general anesthesia depending on what Dr. Fichadia sees fit for your specific condition. Based on your initial consultation and your pre-operative appointment, Dr. Fichadia will mark the areas you would like to have excess skin removed.
For upper eyelid surgery, Dr. Fichadia will make incisions within the natural creases of your upper eyelid in order to provide the most inconspicuous scars. Through these incisions, Dr. Fichadia will remove excess skin, muscles, and fat to improve the appearance of drooping upper lids. This is often done as an office procedure under local anesthesia, leading to a quicker recovery and lower cost.
There are two main methods for correcting excess skin or under-eye bags in the lower eyelids. These two techniques differ in the type of incision used. For excess skin, Dr. Fichadia will place the incision just below the lower lash line, and the sagging skin will be trimmed and repositioned to a tighter position. For lower eye bags or puffiness, Dr. Fichadia will make the incision from inside the lower eyelid skin. This allows Dr. Fichadia to remove excess fat without removing excess skin. Sometimes a combination of incisions is needed for full correction.
For eyelid surgery under general anesthesia, you will be released the same day as the procedure, with your designated friend or family member that will be helping you get home and situated. The first few days after the procedure, you will need to rest at home with your head elevated and use cold compresses to help minimize any swelling or discomfort. During the first few weeks, you will not be able to wear contact lenses and may have blurred vision. Dr. Fichadia will recommend eye drops to help support tear production. Some patients also experience light sensitivity and it can be helpful to wear dark sunglasses. Bruising and swelling take about 2-3 weeks to completely resolve.
Dr. Fichadia will provide you with specific aftercare instructions before you are sent home. In general, most people won’t be able to tell what you’ve had done; rather, you will look noticeably younger and more rested, with a reduction in fine wrinkles, dark circles, drooping eyelids, and loose skin.
If you are interested in learning more about eyelid surgery from Portland, OR double board-certified plastic surgeon, contact Dr. Fichadia’s office today to schedule a consultation.