Surgical Eyelid Lift
The eyes are not only for sight. We communicate feelings and emotions with our eyes. Also, the appearance of our eyes goes a long way in shaping how people perceive us, especially in an American society where aesthetics rule.
An eyelid lift is a cosmetic surgery that aims to restore the youthful look of our face even when age takes its toll. If your eyelids are feeling droopy or baggy, maybe it’s time to see your plastic surgeon for blepharoplasty or eye life lift in layman language.
In this piece, we talk about everything you need to know about eyelid lifts.
What Is an Eyelid Lift?
An eyelid lift or eyelid surgery is a cosmetic procedure performed to remove sagging skin or fat from the eyelids. The aim of the operation is to eliminate or improve eye bags, droopy or hooded eyelids and enhance the natural folds of the eyelid.
Most people who go for an eyelid lift do so for cosmetic reasons. But the surgery can also help seniors improve sight if sagging skin in the upper eyelids obstructs their vision.
When considering an eyelid lift, consult your plastic surgeon and personal physician. However, the procedure is simple and has minimal downtime.
What to Expect from an Eyelid Lift
You need to set realistic expectations for an eyelid lift. While the procedure can improve your overall facial aesthetics, it cannot remove crow’s feet, dark circles beneath the eyes or facial wrinkles.
Who Is the Best Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?
The best candidates for a cosmetic eyelid lift are those who have no underlying health issues with their eyes and who don’t expect miraculous results from the procedure.
Regardless of the reason for doing this procedure, you need to set realistic expectations because a blepharoplasty cannot stop the effect of aging on your face. The surgery may improve your facial features, but it may also not result in the look you want to have when you opted for the procedure.
People who have excessive dropping and sagging skin around the lower and upper eyelids may consider an eyelid lift. It is beneficial if the skin is obstructing your vision or reducing the appeal of your face.
Note you may not be an ideal candidate for eyelid lift surgery if you smoke, have dry eyes problem, high blood pressure, diabetes and thyroid eye disease as these increase the risk of surgical complications.
People of Asian descent may also not be the best candidate for eyelid lifts because the morphology of their eyelids makes it difficult to perform the surgery. Before proceeding with an eyelid lift, it is important to discuss your aims and expectations with your plastic surgeon.
How to Prepare for Eyelid Lift
Because you may not have full control of your vision after the procedure, make sure there is someone to drive you home after the surgery. It is advisable to have someone stay with you overnight after the eyelid lift.
While you wait to recover, you need to stay away from the public to reduce the risk of infections, so to inform the office about your absence beforehand. Keep these essentials at home before going for your surgery:
- Ice pack or any other suitable alternative such as frozen fruits or ice-filled freezer bags
- Ice cubes
- Eye drops
- Clean towels or washcloths
- Painkillers as recommended by your doctor (or injection certified pharmacists).
What Are the Options of Eyelid Lift Surgery?
Eyelid lift surgery can be performed on the upper eyelid or lower eyelid or both. An eyelid lift often requires a local anesthetic or general anesthetic based on the scope and duration of the surgery. An upper eyelid lift can take up to one hour while lower lid surgeries can take about two hours.
Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty: This is a surgery to remove skin and fat from the upper eyelid. Upper eyelid surgery is ideal for people whose eyes always have a tired look that makes them appear unhappy or less alert.
If the skin on your upper eyelids are sagging, wrinkled or obscure your upper eyelashes, an upper eyelid lift can help correct the problem and give you a youthful and more alert look.
The procedure often involves making an incision along the eyelid crease in pre-marked areas of the eyelid’s natural skin fold. Next, the surgeon removes excess skin, muscle or fat. The last stage is the closing of the cut to hide the scar in the natural fold of the eyelid.
Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty: Lower eyelid surgery is a cosmetic procedure performed for people who have sagging or puffy bags under their eyes. This surgery can make you look younger by removing or repositioning the fat cells in the lower eyelid.
For lower eyelid surgeries, the surgeon makes a cut on the inside of the eyelid or below the lower lashes. The next step is to remove or move fat or skin from the bags beneath the skin. The last stage is to stitch up the incision.
If you need a brow lift procedure, the plastic surgeon lifts and tightens the skin above the eyes through an incision above the brow. There will be small but visible scars after the procedure.
The following are things to remember after your eyelid lift surgery for a full recovery.
- After an eyelid lift, it is best to stay at home for about a week to recover fully.
- You will have stitches in your eyelids for about a week before your surgeon removes it.
- The signs of the procedure may still be on your face for more than a week after surgery and it will be difficult to drive.
- There may be scars, bruises and redness on your face but they will disappear a few weeks after surgery.
- Support your head with a pillow while resting to reduce puffiness.
- Use recommended eye drops or ointment to clean your eyelids.
- For the first few days after the operation, apply ice packs to your eyes.
- If you need to go out, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun and breeze.
- You may feel a mild pain but you can suppress it with a prescribed painkiller.
- Avoid smoking during recovery
Potential Side Effects
Apart from the common culprits such as swelling, bruising and scarring, the following complications can occur in rare cases after an eyelid lift surgery.
- Dry eyes
- Abnormal folding of eyelid skin
If you have any of these complications, contact your surgeon immediately, especially if it comes with pain.