Unfortunately, the skin around the eyes eventually begins to show the effects of the elements, gravity, and the aging process. This can result in prominent under eye bags and heavy, overhanging upper lids. At Jefferson Plastic Surgery in Philadelphia, we perform eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, to remove or smooth out fatty tissue and tighten the delicate skin that surrounds the eyes.
Eyelid Surgery Candidates
Ideal eyelid surgery candidates are between the ages of 40 and 70 and are unhappy with the appearance of the upper or lower lids due to:
- Bulges of fat beneath the eyes
- Deep under eye creases due to puffiness
- Skin wrinkling on the upper and/or lower lids
- Loose skin on the upper lids
- Obscured vision as a result of sagging skin on the upper lids
Candidates for eyelid surgery should be non-smokers (or willing to quit smoking for several weeks), and be in good health.
Eyelid Surgery Techniques
Our Philadelphia plastic surgeons perform the upper and lower eyelid surgery techniques. Some patients may require upper or lower eyelid surgery, while others will undergo both upper and lower eyelid surgery.
- Upper eyelid surgery: Upper eyelid surgery involves a curved incision that runs along the natural crease of the upper lid. This enables our surgeons to evenly distribute excess fat, pull the upper eyelid skin tight against the underlying anatomy, and excise excess skin.
- Lower eyelid surgery: In lower eyelid surgery, the incision runs along the outside of the lower lash line. Our surgeons can then access the structures beneath the skin to spread out or remove fatty tissue, tighten or remove muscles, and smooth and remove any excess skin.
Eyelid Surgery Procedure
Upper and lower eyelid surgeries each take about two hours to perform. The procedures involve the following stages:
- The hair is pulled back, and a surgical pen is used to mark the incision points
- Our board-certified anesthesiologist puts the patient under general anesthesia
- The incision is made in the upper or lower lid
- Fatty tissue is dispersed and any extra fat is removed
- In the case of lower eyelid surgery, the muscles are tightened or removed
- The eyelid skin is pulled over the lid to produce a smooth contour
- Excess skin is removed
- The incision is closed with sutures
- The area is cleaned and steri-strips are applied
Eyelid Surgery Recovery
During your recovery from eyelid surgery, we recommend that you keep the head elevated and rest for a few days. During this time, you may experience bruising, swelling, and discomfort around the eyes. An ice compress can be used to reduce the severity of these side effects. You may also want to use eye drops to keep the eyes lubricated and comfortable.
Patients can return to our office one week after surgery so we can carefully remove the steri-strips; patients should not attempt to remove them on their own.
For the first two weeks after surgery, patients should avoid wearing contact lenses and avoid any strenuous activity or heavy exercise.
Eyelid Surgery Side Effects
The side effects of eyelid surgery may be uncomfortable for the first two or three days after the operation, but they fade quickly. Most of the after effects have subsided completely two weeks after surgery. Eyelid surgery side effects include:
- Itching or a numb sensation at the incision site
- Nausea from the anesthesia or pain medication
Eyelid Surgery Risks
Like all surgeries, eyelid surgery is associated with some risks, which include:
- Dry eyes
- Blurry vision
- Trouble closing the eyes
- Skin discoloration
Eyelid Surgery Results
The results of eyelid surgery are visible to patients one week after surgery when the steri-strips are removed. However, patients should realize that there will be some remaining swelling at this time. In fact, it may take three months for most of the swelling to go down.
Philadelphia Eyelid Surgery Consultations
Contact our practice in Philadelphia to schedule your eyelid surgery consultation with us.