As people age, the eyelid skin stretches, muscles weaken, and fat accumulates around the eyes, causing “bags” above and below
Before surgery, the surgeon marks the incision sites, following the natural lines and creases of the upper and lower eyelids
The surgeon closes the incisions with fine sutures, which will leave nearly invisible scars
Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a common procedure used to improve the appearance and function of both the upper and lower eyelids. Excess skin, muscle and fat can either be removed or reshaped to achieve a more energetic, less tired and more youthful look. Functional problems, such as visual impairment from drooping upper eyelids, may also be addressed.
Upper eyelid surgery often may be performed safely even in an office setting, but this will depend on the comfort of the patient and the amount of work that is required. Removal of skin and small amounts of fat can be accomplished under simple local anesthesia safely and comfortably.
Before your surgery, Dr. Shannon will carefully mark out the limits of the skin, muscle and fat in the upper eyelids. He will then use these marks during the procedure to carefully sculpt and shape the result. An incision is made precisely through the skin and fine electrocautery is used to ensure minimal bleeding and swelling. Careful attention is paid to addressing each layer, including skin, muscle and fat, and to carefully shaping and sculpting each layer. Fine dressings, called Steri-Strips, may also be used to protect the skin edges for the ‑first several days after the procedure.
Procedures for lower eyelids may also be performed under local anesthesia in the office. Removal of external creases can be accomplished through fine incisions which can be hidden in eyelid creases and folds. In this way, external rejuvenation of the droopy skin and even muscle may be accomplished.
Sutures will be removed after a week, although tightening of the lower eyelid may require very fine permanent sutures to improve the position and laxity of a lower eyelid in specific cases.
Recovery from eyelid surgery is usually relatively painless. Recovery from upper and lower eyelid surgery may be as little as several days, and most swelling and bruising should be gone by two weeks. Fair-skinned patients may have bruising present for longer periods of time although this is uncommon. Patients may return to normal activity such as a desk job or other non-strenuous activities in as little as several days but may need to wait one or more weeks to resume heavy physical activity or working out to keep the swelling down.
Blepharoplasty is a commonly performed procedure and is typically quite safe. However, common risks do exist and are similar for all physicians and centers which perform the procedure. These include bleeding, infection, pain, damaged nerves and vessels, dry eye, difficulty with the eye opening or closure, scarring and unhappiness with the final appearance or outcome.
During your consultation, Dr. Shannon will review the specifics and details about your individual case. Be sure to bring a list of medications you are taking and other medical treatments you have received. Also be sure to tell the doctor about any contact lenses or corrective glasses you may require and any problems or complaints of eye allergies, irritations, infections, especially dryness.