Droopy eyelids can happen at any age, though they’re usually associated with aging. No matter how young or vigorous you feel, your “windows to the soul” may give the impression that you’re constantly tired or angry, and you may feel self-conscious about showing your face in public.
Dr. Nicholas Lahar of Lahar Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, California understands your concerns, and he stands ready to help you banish the droop with blepharoplasty, a procedure that trims the droop on both upper and lower eyelids, as well as removes the shifting fat that creates bulges and bags around your eyes. If you’re embarrassed about your droopy eyelids, here’s what you need to know about the procedure and what it can do for you.
The reasons behind the droop and bags
As your skin ages, it gradually decreases its production of collagen and elastin, two proteins that give it strength and resilience. Combined with the constant downward pull of gravity and the thinness of the lid tissue, the skin begins to droop, collecting on both the upper and lower eyelids. The excessive amount of skin is medically termed dermatochalasis.
On the lower eyelids, this skin leads to wrinkles and bulges. On the upper eyelids, the skin may hang over the eyelashes, making your eyes appear tired, or worse, obstructing your vision.
In addition, fat cushions your eyeball from the skull bones, but the thin membrane holding this fat in place also weakens with age. This lets the fat move forward into the lids, causing them to puff up. In the lower lids they’re called bags.
According to the American Academy of Plastic Surgeons, 206,000 people in 2018 opted to have blepharoplasty to correct their drooping eyelids, making it one of the top five cosmetic surgery procedures.
What the blepharoplasty procedure entails
Dr. Lahar can perform the Beverly Hills blepharoplasty on either the upper or lower lids, or both. If you’re having both done, he addresses the upper lids first. He gives you a local anesthetic as well as some sedation so you’ll be comfortable during the procedure. Then, he makes a small cut in the eyelid’s fold, which hides the scar, removing the excess skin, muscle, and fat before stitching up the wound.
For lower lid blepharoplasty, Dr. Lahar makes the incision along the lower lash line — again, to hide the scar. Next, he removes the fat contributing to your under-eye bags, as well as excess skin. Finally, he tightens the weakened underlying muscles, and he may reposition some fatty tissue to enhance your eye’s youthful appearance before stitching you up.
Recovering from blepharoplasty
Recovery from blepharoplasty takes less time than for many other surgical procedures, especially since the lid skin is so thin. You’ll need to rest for a few days post-surgery, and you may experience some swelling and pain during this time. OTC pain relievers will help make you more comfortable, and ice packs are great for reducing swelling. These effects can linger up to a week or two.
You may also experience some short-term side effects such as blurry vision and sensitivity to light. If they continue for more than a day or so, contact the doctor.
We send you home with a gauze covering to protect the area, but you won’t need to wear it during the entire recovery period. You’ll need to wash the area gently every day to keep it clean, and avoid wearing contact lenses until you get the go-ahead. We set you up with a follow-up appointment in about a week so Dr. Lahar can remove the stitches and make sure you’re healing normally.
What makes a good blepharoplasty candidate?
Most blepharoplasties are cosmetic procedures, so if you’re uncomfortable with your eyes’ appearance, this would be a good choice. For some people, though, they’re medically necessary. If the excess skin droops over your eye enough so it interferes with your vision, you may need the eye lift to improve your sight. A quantitative perimetry or “visual field test” can determine if the lids are encroaching enough on your peripheral vision that you can’t see as well as you should.
For all others, a good candidate should have no serious skin or eye conditions; you shouldn’t smoke or have any underlying medical condition that could affect your recovery; and you should have reasonable expectations for the procedure’s outcome. You can discuss your aesthetic goals with Dr. Lahar at your consultation to ensure they’re realistic.
If your self-confidence is drooping because of your drooping eyelids, a blepharoplasty procedure might be just what the doctor ordered. Give Lahar Plastic Surgery a call at 310-403-3514 to schedule a consultation, or book online with us today.