Upper Eyelid Surgery | Beverly Hills & Mission Viejo
Taylor R. Pollei, MD
Fellowship Trained Facial Plastic Surgeon offers upper eyelid surgery in Beverly Hills and Mission Viejo, CA
How do the eyes age?
Upper eyelid surgery from Pollei Facial Plastic Surgery of Beverly Hills & Mission Viejo can do wonders to bring about your desired look. That whole bit about the eyes being the window to the human soul might be a bit dramatic, but there is definitely some truth to the concept. Human behavioral research has demonstrated that when we initially interact with someone the first thing we look at is their face, and specifically their eyes. It is how we gauge one’s trustworthiness, kindness, age, gender, ethnicity, and attractiveness all within a first impression millisecond. It comes as no surprise that rejuvenation of the eyelids, both upper and lower is a very commonly performed facial plastic surgical procedure.
Because its skin is much thinner than that in other parts of the face, is often one of the first facial areas to exhibit signs of aging. This is aided by the help of gravity and overall skin thinning loss of elasticity. The eyelid skin is already nearly the thinnest on the body and further thins with age. It develops fine wrinkles and often shows through some bulging fat/muscle below. It is vital to distinguish the difference between a lid that droops independent of the skin changes, which is called “ptosis” and needs to be corrected via a different procedure. Since excessive lax skin is the bulk of the problem, this is the focus of the surgical treatment.
What can a Upper Lid Surgery do for me?
Blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid surgery or an eyelid lift, has the goal of rejuvenating puffy, sagging or tired-looking eyes by removing excess fat and skin from the upper eyelid. Since the procedure can also tighten upper eyelid tissues the outcome is a refreshed appearance without the hooding and weight of the upper lids that quickly ages you. A secondary result of a blepharoplasty is improved peripheral vision by lifting droopy eyelids, although it is typically done for cosmetic reasons.
Remember that there is an anatomic difference between a droopy upper eyelid and a droopy brow. The brow, where the eyebrow is located, is addressed separately through a brow lift. An upper blepharoplasty cannot raise the eyebrows. These two procedures are often performed together in patients where both the brow and eyelid are problematic. As with other cosmetic facial plastic procedures, the overall goal is to create a rejuvenated look and help you look as young as you feel.
Who Is A Good Candidate For A Eyelid Surgery?
The best candidate for a blepharoplasty is in good overall health, does not smoke, does not have serious eye conditions, and has healthy facial tissue and muscle. Age is not a factor, and I see patients in their 30’s to 40’s that would benefit from an upper eyelid blepharoplasty. Patients with underlying eye disease including severe glaucoma or retinal detachment should avoid eye surgery. Even chronic dry eyes patients need to be aware that blepharoplasty may make their dryness worse. As with all surgery, a patient with diabetes, thyroid disorders, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, or bleeding disorders may not be good candidates.
It is important for a patient to have realistic expectations before undergoing a blepharoplasty. Although it will definitely enhance appearance and improve self-confidence, it does not radically alter the look of the face.
How Is An Upper Blepharoplasty performed & with what incisions?
Upper eyelid blepharoplasty is typically performed as an outpatient procedure requiring local anesthesia and sedation. General anesthesia may be used for anxious patients. Typically this procedure is combined with other facial rejuvenation procedures, such as a brow lift or lower eyelid blepharoplasty. Surgery typically takes anywhere from 45 minutes to one hour.
An incision is placed along the natural crease of the upper eyelid, called the tarsal crease. This is usually 3-6 millimeters above the lid margin. The incision is then extended up on the lid to capture all the skin that needs to be removed. Your beautiful eyelashes are safe! The skill comes in calculating how much skin to remove… too much can lead to the eyelids not closing all the way and not taking out enough can lead to persistent redundancy and bunching of the skin. Once the incision is made tissue and fat deposits can be repositioned or removed, tissue and muscles are tightened, and excess skin is removed. To complete the procedure, the incisions are closed with incredibly fine sutures that are removed seven days postoperatively.
What Is Recovery From Eyelid Surgery Like?
After an upper lid blepharoplasty, patients are advised to avoid rubbing their eyes, use gentle compresses and ice packs for comfort, and keep their head elevated for a few days. If your eyes are dry, using artificial tear drops can be helpful. Although not very painful, since the eyelid skin is so thin swelling and possibly bruising are common. The very small sutures are removed at one-week postop, and most patients return to work within a few days to a week. Even though you may feel pretty good after a few days, you should definitely avoid exercise and strenuous activities for at least two weeks. By two weeks most of the swelling and other side effects typically subside. Contact lenses and eye makeup should not be worn for 1-2 weeks after surgery. Patients are advised to wear dark sunglasses outside or in bright light for 2 weeks to protect their eyes from sun and wind.
What are the Risks
Although there will typically be some swelling and bruising around the surgical site, they will subside on their own, and the eyelids will improve in appearance for up to a year. Uncommon side effects include infection, reaction to anesthesia, and double or blurred vision. Your eyes may be irritated and dry due to a temporary change in tear distribution. Side effects such as uneven healing and permanent scarring are rare but, if they occur, may require surgical correction. The scars from blepharoplasty are well concealed, and usually, fade with time until they are virtually undetectable.
How long do the effects of an Upper Blepharoplasty last?
Surgical effects last forever. Surgery is permanent, and although you will continue to age and possibly to a point of desiring a repeat surgical procedure, you will always notice the surgical improvement. I liken it to taking a few steps back on the “aging conveyer belt.” The goal is an overall rejuvenated appearance, with you looking as youthful and refreshed as you feel.
Improvement is seen immediately despite the swelling and bruising around the surgical site that subsides quickly. The thin pink incision scar fades with time and proper sun protection. Even though healing can take up to one year to be complete, after a few weeks to months there is often no visible evidence of the surgery except for the improved appearance.
Contact our practice to learn more about eyelid surgery where we serve the Beverly Hills, Mission Viejo, and South Orange County areas.