The first feature that is often noticed about a person is their eyes. Unfortunately, it is also one of the areas that is most frequently affected by aging. Sagging skin, puffy bags, and wrinkles at the corners of the eyes all contribute to making a person look tired and older.
Eyelid surgery, commonly referred to as blepharoplasty, is a cosmetic surgery that is performed by our board certified plastic surgeon on either upper or lower eyelids, or both. It improves the appearance of the eyes by reducing the wrinkles and removing the puffy bags, resulting in a more youthful, rested, and alert appearance.
Types of Blepharoplasty
Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty
This procedure is done to eliminate excess skin hooding and puffy bags in the upper eyelid, resulting in a more youthful and healthier appearance.
- If there is excess droopiness of the lid, occasionally a muscle repair is performed at the same time.
- The incision is made along the natural skin crease, making the scar virtually undetectable.
Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty
This is an excellent option for lower eyelids if your main concern is bags under the eyes creating dark shadows and a tired appearance.
- Dr. Jonathan Lee frequently repositions fat in addition to removing excess skin in the lower eyelids to create a smoother and less puffy contour.
- The incision is hidden just under the eyelashes making the scar inconspicuous
- Occasionally, Dr. Lee will recommend a transconjunctival blepharoplasty where the incision is made inside the lower lid leaving no visible skin scar.
Good Candidates for Eyelid Surgery
Blepharoplasty is a common procedure in both men and women who have eyelid hooding and puffiness that makes them look older and more tired than they actually feel. Good candidates are typically age 30 and over and are generally physically fit and healthy without any serious eye or medical conditions. Smokers are advised to cease smoking, at least, two weeks before the scheduled operation.
Because sagging skin on the forehead and around the eyebrows may contribute to drooping eyelids, a forehead or brow lift, is occasionally required to slightly elevate the eyebrows. This reduces creases on the forehead and gives a more rested appearance to the face.
If significant hollowing is present in either the upper or lower eyelids, Dr. Lee will occasionally perform fat transfer or dermal filler injections in these areas to restore volume. Fat is harvested from either the abdomen or flank area.
Fine lines at the side of the eyes, often called Crow’s feet or smile lines, are often best treated with BOTOX® or Dysport® injections following the surgery.
Dr. Jonathan Lee (MD, FRCSC) is an experienced, Canadian and New York fellowship-trained Plastic Surgeon based in Calgary. Well-established, he is board certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and specializes in both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.
Before the Procedure
During your initial consultation, Dr. Lee will evaluate both the bone and soft tissue quality surrounding your eyes as well as the position of your eyebrows. Based on your results, he will make a recommendation tailored to your specific needs. Pre-treatment photos will be taken and any potential risks and complications will also be discussed.
Eyelid Surgery Procedure
Upper and lower eyelid surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia and patients are usually given an oral sedative for added comfort. Occasionally, general anesthesia may be required for the lower eyelids depending on your specific needs.
Upper eyelid surgery is usually completed within one hour while lower eyelid surgery may take longer. Both procedures are frequently done at the same time.
Most patients are able to go home right after the procedure and it will be necessary for someone to drive you home. You will also be given a detailed post-op instruction list to follow during your recovery.
Following the operation, it is not uncommon for patients to experience the following:
Mild pain or a slight burning sensation along the incision. Dr. Lee will prescribe you a pain reliever. After several days, Tylenol is usually sufficient for any discomfort.
The eyes may be sensitive to light and excessive tearing may be present temporarily. Patients are encouraged to bring a pair of dark sunglasses to wear immediately after the surgery. Wearing these will also help to protect the eyelids from wind and sun in the first several weeks after surgery.
Swelling and bruising is normal and will usually resolve over several weeks. Cold compresses in addition to Arnica pills can be used to speed the process.
Your incision will usually take about 1 week to heal. It will initially be red and visible but will then fade to a fine white line hidden within the skin creases.
Dr. Lee will typically see you 5-7 days after the surgery for stitch removal. At this time he will also provide you with detailed scar care instructions. The next visits will be after 6 weeks, 3 months and 1 year.
The Long Term Results
Most people ask how long will the results of eyelid surgery last. This cosmetic surgery is long lasting, but it cannot stop the aging process. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and skin care regimen are strongly recommended to help patients get the most longevity out of their surgery results.