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Mytien Goldberg, MD, FACS

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What is Involved in Eyelid Surgery

Posted August 15, 2013 in Eyelid Surgery

It should come as no surprise that eyelid surgery is becoming one of the most popular procedures performed by American plastic surgeons. Much as our face is often the first place to display the signs of aging, our eyes are often the first part of our face to start looking its age. The skin of the upper and lower eyelids is some of the thinnest and most delicate facial skin, and is also subjected to more movement than skin elsewhere on the face.

It’s the skin around the eyes that conveys much of the emotion of our facial expressions, and between the demands placed on it by those expressions, the ravages of time and weather, and the depredations of gravity, it’s the skin in this area that really takes a beating. Eyelid surgery, often performed in combination with other procedures, can help tighten sagging eyelids and give your face a younger, more alert appearance.

The upper eyelid has a naturally occurring crease where the incision is usually made. Excess skin and fatty tissue are then removed to form a tighter, younger looking eyelid. For the lower eyelid, the most common incision placement is just below the eyelashes. After making this incision, the surgeon can remove excess fat and skin, and tighten the muscles that surround the eye as necessary. In both cases the incision placement along natural creases helps keep noticeable scarring to an absolute minimum.

This type of eyelid surgery, sometimes called an eye lift, will result in tighter eyelids and can help with age induced eyelid sagging, but cannot remove the wrinkles, crow’s feet, and laugh lines that can also plague this area. In order to remove these surface blemishes, an eye lift is often performed in conjunction with skin resurfacing. In cases where a patient is suffering from excessive sagging of the eyelid skin, or where a first eye lift was less successful than desired, a forehead lift is sometimes also performed.

This type of eyelid surgery is usually performed as an outpatient procedure, using local anesthetic and occasionally an oral sedative. The procedure takes between one and two hours, depending on whether it is the upper, lower, or both eyelids being operated on, and recovery generally takes one to two weeks. You will likely find that your vision is slightly blurry for a few days after the procedure as your eyes adjust to the new tension being placed on them, and some patients experience drier than normal eyes for a week or two.

If you are experiencing sagging, or puffy eyelids and would like to explore your options, call to book a consultation.


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