A person’s eyes can say a lot about their age or health. As people get older, they start to notice signs of maturity like crow’s feet at the corners of their eyes and crepe-like skin on their eyelids. Festoons, the skin that develops under your eye, adds many years to the face, giving anyone a “tired” look or as if they don’t get enough sleep. Eyelid surgery, known as blepharoplasty, is performed by Miami facial plastic surgeon, Dr. Anthony Bared, M.D., F.A.C.S. to correct these issues and restore a youthful look to the eye area. Depending on the specific needs of the patient, Dr. Bared may recommend you be seen by a specialist and may refer you to another provider.
- What is Blepharoplasty?
- Why Choose Eyelid Surgery?
- Candidates for Eyelid Surgery
- The Blepharoplasty Consultation
- How Eyelid Surgery is Performed
- Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty
- Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty
- Eyelid Surgery Recovery
- Surgical Risks
- Why Should I Choose Dr. Bared?
- Frequently Asked Questions About Eyelid Surgery
What is Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, is a cosmetic surgery performed for eyelid rejuvenation and anti-aging benefits. In some cases, the surgery may also be performed for medical purposes if excess eyelid skin is affecting a patient’s vision.
An eyelid lift can treat either or both the upper and lower eyelid areas, which typically display different types of aesthetic issues. The upper eyelids tend to display wrinkles and extra skin, creating the effect of smaller, hooded eyes. Creases may be noticeable throughout the eye area. The lower eyelids typically are affected by too much or too little volume. The delicate fat pads below the eyes can become visible due to lax, thinning skin, leading to undereye bags, or the pads may migrate and shrink, creating hollows.
Why Choose Eyelid Surgery?
Patients often feel that their energy level is not reflected in their appearance due to the progression of the eye aging process. Over time, the tissues of the face weaken and can alter a person’s appearance, leading to visible signs of aging and changes in resting facial expressions.
Eventually, facial muscle tone weakens, which can cause the eyes to droop and appear tired. An eyelid lift can be the ideal aesthetic remedy for men and women who are bothered by these concerns because the procedure can provide long-lasting eye rejuvenation.
In some cases, patients may opt to undergo upper eyelid surgery because drooping skin is impacting their line of sight. Additionally, droopy eyelids can cause cumbersome blinking and might become irritated by the distortion of the eyelashes.
During this customizable surgical procedure, Dr. Bared can make changes to the eyelids based on the patient’s preferences, restoring the aesthetics of the area and/or improving eye function.
Candidates for Eyelid Surgery
Most people who are considering aesthetic eye revisions want to alter either drooping, loose skin in the upper eyelids, or bags underneath the lower eyelids. The lower eyelids also presents other forms of aging, such as dark, under-eye circles.
Blepharoplasty procedures can effectively correct:
- Impaired vision caused by loose upper eyelid skin
- Sagging eyelids
- Bags under the eyes
- Excess fat or fatty deposits around the eyes that create a puffy appearance
Ideal patients are those who have realistic expectations for surgery, understand the limitations of modern cosmetic medicine, and are deemed healthy enough to avoid unnecessary risks during and after the procedure. Dr. Bared assesses candidacy on a case-by-case basis.
The Blepharoplasty Consultation
Both first-time and returning patients will need to meet with Dr. Bared at Facial Plastic Surgery Miami for a consultation if they would like to learn more about their candidacy for different eye rejuvenation options.
During the in-office appointment, the doctor will go over the patient’s concerns and cosmetic goals with them and start to formulate a treatment plan based on their preferences.
Sometimes, this might include recommendations for an alternative or combination approach to facial rejuvenation, such as adding a facelift, brow lift, or laser resurfacing.
Dr. Bared will also inquire about the patient’s past medical history and any diseases or conditions that may preclude them from elective surgery. Some health-related concerns may require better management before Dr. Bared can safely proceed with surgery. The doctor may also request specific tests from the patient’s primary care physician to ensure a safe and effective eyelid procedure.
Patients can expect to discuss the following topics during their visit:
- Their motivations for seeking plastic surgery
- Expected results from the procedure(s)
- A detailed medical history
- Current health and lifestyle habits
How Eyelid Surgery is Performed
Upper and lower eyelid surgery typically do not require general anesthesia because the procedures can be completed safely using only local anesthesia. Dr. Bared may combine local anesthesia with oral medication or IV sedation to ensure patient comfort. Both versions of the surgery can be completed discreetly, with incisions hidden in the natural creases of the eyelid skin or inside the eyelids.
Patients will need to arrange for a ride home or to their hotel room as well as assistance for 1-2 days post-operatively. The medications necessary to perform the procedure and relieve discomfort during recovery can cause patients to feel tired, and the eyes may be swollen.
Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty
When Dr. Bared performs surgery of the upper eyelids, he can generally access the tissues through the eyelid crease. By following marked guidelines he will draw on the skin prior to surgery, Dr. Bared can skillfully cut away excessive skin and alter the eyelid muscle to create a more rested, alert, and youthful look.
Upper eyelid procedures are often combined with forehead lift surgery to readjust the position of the eyebrows and smooth out any forehead wrinkles. During this combination surgery, the forehead may be altered first, as there is typically some lifting of the upper lids due to tension created by the procedure.
Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty
When the lower lid is surgically altered, Dr. Bared may create an incision inside the mucous membrane of the eyelid. The incision will be hidden in the lash line, and the tissues can be accessed with limited disruption t o the surrounding areas.
During surgery, a fat pad that has migrated can be repositioned, which often addresses both excess bulk and a lack of volume in the undereye area. Dr. Bared can also perform a fat transfer to this area or use dermal fillers to improve the appearance of the eyes, which can re-contour the area and create attractive framing for the eyes.
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Eyelid Surgery Recovery
Following plastic surgery of the upper and lower eyelids, patients generally require a short recovery period. The day after surgery, bruising and swelling will be obvious. However, these side effects should dissipate within a few days or weeks.
For the first 48 hours, cold compresses like ice packs can help control any side effects of the surgery. Initially, bandages may be placed over the surgery site to protect the incisions from infection and other disturbances. These surgical dressings can be removed within days, though it can be a week or longer until the sutures can be removed.
If dissolvable stitches are used, patients will not require suture removal. In most cases, it will be about 10 days before patients can resume their normal schedules and return to work. Within two weeks following the procedure, any unwanted side effects should have subsided. Patients may be provided with medicated eye drops to use throughout their recovery and will be advised as to when they can resume wearing contact lenses.
For plastic surgery to be maximally effective, there are some lifestyle modifications that may be necessary following the procedure, like remaining smoke-free. Smoking can cause slower healing and can also contribute to visible wrinkles in the skin.
Post-surgery eyelid patents should also get into the habit of using sunscreen to protect their skin from sun damage. Sunglasses are also recommended throughout the year, especially in sunny South Florida cities like Miami and Fort Lauderdale.
While the risks involved with most modern facial plastic surgery procedures are low, they should be discussed to ensure that the patient is informed and understands that complications from surgery may occasionally occur. In addition to potential complications, there is also the possibility that negative side effects will come up.
Patient concerns can be addressed during the consultation with Dr. Bared at Facial Plastic Surgery Miami. Risks may include:
- Bruising and swelling
- Dry eyes
- Nerve damage
- Issues with eyelid closure
- Vision problems
- Asymmetrical results
Why Should I Choose Dr. Bared?
Anthony Bared, M.D., F.A.C.S. is an expertly-trained plastic surgeon in South Florida who specializes in plastic and reconstructive surgery of the face. He was one of just 43 recipients of a prestigious national fellowship through the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery which provided him with training that was demanding and comprehensive, ultimately preparing him for his current role in private practice.
Dr. Bared is board-certified by both the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology. You can Meet Dr. Bared online by looking over his qualifications before booking a consultation at his Fort Lauderdale-area office.
Frequently Asked Questions About Eyelid Surgery
During surgery, Dr. Bared alters the soft tissue around the eyes, including skin, fat, and muscle. He does not alter the bone structures that help form the shape of the eye. Most patients simply want to look like younger versions of themselves while appearing more awake and alert.
When there is a documented medical necessity for the eyelids to be repaired, the patient may receive financial assistance with the procedure from insurance. More often, however, the patient will be responsible for the total cost of the surgery. In the past, it was more common for insurance companies to cover at least some of the costs of upper eyelid surgery.
Ultraviolet rays can penetrate below the skin, damaging important cellular components of the epidermis. Collagen and elastin are two important building blocks of the skin. When they are damaged, irregularities and aging in the skin occur.
Upper and lower eyelid surgery are performed differently because upper eyelid surgery is performed to remove and tighten sagging skin in the upper eyelid, while lower lid surgery typically adjusts the fat pad and skin below the eye.
In some cases, muscles will be tightened to create long-lasting changes supported by the surrounding eye area. Changes in the skin and muscle contribute to many common signs of aging in the eyes. By removing excess skin of the upper lids, Dr. Bared can also improve a patient’s vision when the lids impair vision.
Patients often pair their eyelid surgery with other cosmetic procedures for enhanced results. When the eyes are refreshed, the rest of the face can sometimes appear older in comparison.
Generally, facelift surgery or variations like a mid-face lift or mini facelift are excellent companion procedures. Eyelid surgery will not create changes as high as the brow or as low as the cheeks, so a brow lift and cheek lift might be recommended instead of a facelift.
Laser skin resurfacing and dermal injections can also help to refresh a patient’s appearance. By creating smoother, softer skin with fewer lines and wrinkles and improved elasticity, patients will appear younger. Laser treatments can also improve the look of age spots, hyperpigmentation, and scars, leading to an even skin tone.
Dermal injections help to fill in areas that lack volume, like creases from aging or facial hollows. Lastly, neck lift surgery might be a beneficial add-on if the patient is uncomfortable with the look of his or her neck due to prominent vertical bands, skin laxity, and accumulated fat.
Links to External Resources
Some suggested sites for patients who are considering an eyelift include the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Mayo Clinic, and Web MD. There may be facts and statistics available to patients which can help them determine if this is the right procedure for them. Dr. Bared promotes patient education and provides very informative consultations.