The Facts about Eyelid Surgery
Eyelid surgery, also known as an eyelift or its medical term of blepharoplasty, is simply a procedure to get rid of excess skin and fat from around the eye area. In fact, the term ‘eyelift’ may be deceiving because the eyelid is not in fact lifted at any point; the appearance of the eyelid is simply lifted by removing any additional skin or fat that may be causing a drooping appearance. It has become quite a popular procedure in recent years as having drooping, fatty eyelids is a big contributing factor to some people looking older and more haggard than their years.
There are two types of eyelid surgery – upper or lower blepharoplasty. The difference between upper and lower blepharoplasty depends on a patient to patient basis based on the individual problem areas. Upper blepharoplasty is the most common procedure, used to reduce excess fat and skin above the eyelid that may even contribute to vision problems. Lower blepharoplasty reduces the swollen look experience by some individuals with a build up of lower eyelid fat. By making small incisions around the eyelid, the surgeon can easily remove the fat and skin from either the upper or lower (or both) parts of the eyelid – depending on the individual’s problem area. In some cases, the surgeon will use an incision to create an eyelid crease. As blepharoplasty is minimally invasive, it can be combined with other procedures such as laser resurfacing to reduce additional lines and wrinkles that may add to the appearance of age.
When the two procedures are combined, this is referred to as double eyelid surgery and this approach has gained popularity in recent years especially in Asia. For this reason, it is sometimes referred to as Asian eyelid surgery. This procedure works to remove fat and skin from both the upper and lower parts of the eyelid which widens the general appearance of the eye. Sometimes referred to as a “Westernised” eyelift, this procedure is popular not only in Asia but amongst patients of a certain age or genetic predisposition who wish to widen and make the eye younger-looking.
Recovery time for blepharoplasty is relatively short, another contributing factor to why it has gained popularity in recent years. It is generally recommended the patient take two weeks off work, during which time mobility should be reduced but not altogether stopped. Stitches can be taken out 5 – 7 days after surgery and it is then only important to keep the area clean (e.g. no make up should be worn until two weeks post-surgery).
If you feel you are a candidate for blepharoplasty, discussion with your plastic surgeon will help determine this. Generally speaking, if your eyes appear small and/or haggard and your eyelids appear droopier then blepharoplasty should be able to help you feel more confident and young.