Why Do My Lids Droop?
The eyes are the focal point of the face. Years of harsh sun exposure, gravity and age gradually affect the thin, delicate skin around our eyes. Those factors, along with changes in the deeper fatty tissues around the eyes, may cause the eyelids and surrounding tissues to droop. The area around the eyes can also appear swollen which causes you to look tired or older. This extra fold of skin and soft tissue that sags over the eyelashes is known as “dermatochalasis” and might progress to the point that it begins to obstruct vision.
What is Blepharoplasty?
Every year, one hundred thousand men and women choose a quick, painless procedure called blepharoplasty to dramatically improve obstructed vision and the cosmetic appearance of the eye. Blepharoplasty can be both a functional and cosmetic surgical procedure that reshapes the upper eyelid by removing or repositioning surplus tissue as well as by reinforcement of surrounding muscles and tendons. When an excessive amount of upper eyelid skin is present, the skin may hang over the eyelashes and cause difficulty with activities such as driving or reading. In this circumstance, upper eyelid blepharoplasty is performed to improve peripheral vision. Patients with a less severe amount of excess skin may have a similar procedure performed for cosmetic reasons.
Am I a Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?
As with all facial plastic surgery, good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. Blepharoplasty removes excess fat, muscle, and skin from the upper lids. The results can be a refreshed appearance with a younger, firmer eye area. People with certain ophthalmological disorders, serious medical conditions and those who are on blood thinners should consult with their eye doctor and medical doctor to determine whether blepharoplasty is an option.
During the pre-surgical consultation, your eyes will be examined and you will be asked questions concerning vision, tear production, use of lenses, expectations of and desires for surgery. External digital photographs will be taken to document the position of your upper lids and to determine if they impinge into your line of vision. In addition, a formal visual field test will be done with your lids taped up and un-taped to demonstrate the effect droopy lids have on your peripheral vision. Your surgeon will explain what you can expect from blepharoplasty surgery and take a complete medical history. Factors to be weighed include age, skin type and degree of vision obstruction. Furthermore, you can expect an open and honest exchange between you and your surgeon which will establish the basis for a successful outcome.
The Surgical Procedure
Blepharoplasty is performed through external incisions made along the natural skin lines of the eyelids such as the creases of the upper lids. The surgeon first marks the incision site along the natural creases of the lids in order to keep the scars as invisible as possible. After the incision is made, excess fat, muscle, and loose skin are removed. Fine sutures are used to close the incisions, thereby minimizing the visibility of any scar. Initial swelling and bruising take one to two weeks to resolve but at least several months are needed until the final result becomes stable.
Immediately after surgery, your surgeon may apply tiny sterile bandages. A certain degree of swelling and bruising is normal. You will be asked to use an antibiotic ointment for about one week after surgery. Your surgeon will also list activities and environments to avoid in the weeks following surgery. Permanent stitches will be removed in three to seven days after surgery, depending on your healing rate. Self-absorbing stitches dissolve on their own.