Known to medical people as blepharoplasty (“blephar" is the Greek word for eyelid), eyelid surgery is used to remove excess fat-often excess skin and muscle, too-from the upper and lower eyelids. This procedure is also used to correct drooping upper eyelids and puffy bags under the eyes. It can help people look younger and more alert, and (in some cases) help improve vision. But it can’t eliminate dark circles under the eyes, lift sagging eyebrows, or remove crow’s feet or other wrinkles. Sometimes, blepharoplasty is performed along with a facelift or brow lift.
Candidates for eyelid surgery include men and women who are physically healthy and are looking to improve a tired, aged or drooping appearance to the eyelids. The majority of patients are age thirty-five and older, though surgery can be performed at earlier ages, particularly in patients with droopy, baggy eyelids that are hereditary. Patients with certain conditions such as thyroid problems, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and glaucoma may be at an increased risk for complications. A consultation with trusted plastic surgeon Dr. Kapoor in his Beverly Hills office will help to determine if eyelid surgery is right for you.
Dr. Kapoor performs eyelid surgery onsite at the state-of-the-art AAAHC-certified facility, The Beverly Hills Wellness Surgery Center. Surgical times will vary, but eyelid surgery generally takes between one and two hours to complete. Local anesthesia is often used along with oral or intravenous sedation. In other cases, general anesthesia may be used. The incisions are typically located in the creases of the upper eyelids and/or just below the eyelashes of the lower eyelids, following the natural lines of the eyelids.
Working through the incisions, Dr. Kapoor will separate the skin from the underlying tissue and muscle. He will then remove excess fat and trim any necessary sagging skin and muscle. Ultra-fine sutures will then be used to close the incisions. Some patients with just excess fat beneath the eyes may undergo a less invasive procedure in which an incision is made on the inside of the lower eyelid and excess fat alone is removed. After completion of the surgery, a lubricating ophthalmic ointment may be used on the eyes and bandages applied.
may undergo a less invasive procedure in which an incision is made on the inside of the lower eyelid and excess fat alone is removed. After completion of the surgery, a lubricating ophthalmic ointment may be used on the eyes and bandages applied.
After eyelid surgery, patients may experience some discomfort which can be controlled with prescription pain medication. Bruising is common and will
begin to fade after the first week, though it may take two to four weeks to fully subside. Patients should apply cold compresses and keep the head elevated during the first few days after surgery to help reduce swelling and bruising. The eyes will need to be cleaned with eye drops or a special solution that will
be provided. Excessive tearing, blurred or double vision and increased sensitivity to indoor light, sunlight, wind and other irritants may occur during the
first few weeks.
The sutures are removed within three to seven days after surgery. Moderate activities should be avoided for three to five days, and strenuous activities that raise the blood pressure should be avoided for three weeks. Patients should also avoid alcohol for several weeks, and contact lenses should not be worn for at least two weeks. For most patients, work can be resumed within seven to ten days after surgery.
Q. Who are the best candidates, and what are the risks?
Most are healthy men and women, age 35 or older, who don’t want to look tired even when they’re not. If droopy, baggy eyelids are common in your family, and you’re younger than 35, you need not wait years or decades to have the problem corrected. But regardless of your age, be aware of the risks if you have a thyroid problem (e.g., hypothyroidism; Grave’s disease), diabetes, high blood pressure, dry eye (not enough tears), cardiovascular disease, a detached retina,or glaucoma.
Q. What’s the first step?
During your consultation at Dr. Kapoor’s office, your condition will be evaluated, your medical history will be examined, your vision and ability to produce tears will be tested, and you’ll be asked if you have any allergies, if you’re taking any vitamins or medications, and if you smoke. Any of these can affect the outcome of the operation.
Q. Where will the surgery be performed?
In most cases, Dr. Kapoor performs this type of surgery at a Beverly Hills surgical center or in one of the hospitals he’s affiliated with in Los Angeles, on an outpatient basis. Rarely does it require a hospital stay. Usually, a local anesthesia is administered to numb the area around the eyes, and an oral or intravenous sedative is also given. As the surgery is performed, you’ll be awake but feeling no pain-just some tugging or mild discomfort. If general anesthesia is administered, you’ll be asleep throughout the procedure.