Have you noticed the aging process has started to take effect? Maybe the skin around your eyelids has started to sag, or your eye bags have grown more noticeable and you feel it is aging you beyond your years? Maybe you’ve already looked into blepharoplasty and believe it could be your solution? At Mountain State Cosmetic Surgery, Beckley WV, we understand that deciding to have cosmetic surgery can be overwhelming and we consider it a privilege to help guide clients on their journey.
Eyelid lifts have been growing in popularity over recent years and are now ranked as one of the most popular cosmetic surgery procedures across the globe. It is ranked in the top five in many countries including the United States and the United Kingdom. With this in mind, we have put together this guide to discuss everything that happens during the blepharoplasty procedure.
What Is This Procedure?
As we age, the skin around our eyes can begin to droop, the eyelid skin can stretch, muscles weaken and fat pockets can start to bulge, becoming more prominent. The cosmetic procedure that can correct this is called blepharoplasty, also known as an eyelift or eyelid lift. It is a form of eyelid surgery that is performed to remove baggy, puffy skin from underneath the eyes and also get rid of sagging, excess skin from the upper eyelids whilst tightening muscles and supporting tendons. The results bring a more youthful, energized, and attractive appearance.
In 2018 more than 200,000 individuals in the U.S alone underwent this cosmetic procedure and the numbers are still growing. Its popularity may be due to the fact that as we age, our eyes are often the first to show signs, with some beginning to notice a fatigued and aged appearance as early as their thirties. With our eyes being the first thing people tend to notice, it comes as no surprise that a growing number of people want to reverse the signs of aging and restore their eyes to their former glory.
What Happens During the Blepharoplasty Procedure?
Performed by a qualified surgeon, the procedure is usually carried out with local anesthetic and the patient under sedation, it can also be performed under general anesthetic and can last around two hours. There are three different types of procedures; upper eyelid surgery focuses on delivering tone and tightness of the skin between the eyebrows and the upper eyelashes. Lower eyelid surgery helps to correct drooping skin, puffiness, and eye bags. Double eyelid surgery is a combination of both upper and lower eyelid surgery.
Generally starting with the upper eye, the surgeon will cut along the natural lines on the fold of the eyelid and remove excess fat, muscle, and, or skin, before closing the incision and starting the process on the bottom lid if required. A reputable surgeon will reshape and re-sculpt the look of your eyes to meet your aesthetic goals and leave you with a younger and well-rested appearance.
The benefits can be unique for each individual dependant on their reasons for having the treatment. As it removes excess skin, wrinkles, and bags and can tighten the surrounding skin, the results can give a more youthful appearance. Eyelid surgery can build confidence and can have tremendous benefits to a client’s self-esteem and body image and results can last the rest of your life.
Severely sagging skin around the eyes can reduce peripheral vision, blepharoplasty can reduce or even eliminate these types of vision problems. It can be done as a stand-alone procedure or in conjunction with other cosmetic surgery such as a facelift, browlift, or skin resurfacing.
Who Does It Work For?
Good candidates for eye lifts are individuals in good general health and have realistic expectations of the results they want to achieve. If you have excessive sagging or drooping of the skin around the eyes from aging, hereditary reasons, or other conditions such as edema or allergies, then this procedure could be an option for you.
Candidates should be non-smokers, otherwise, their doctor may ask them to stop smoking one month before the surgery takes place, and should be free of any medical condition which could affect the body’s ability to heal. Although more women than men undergo blepharoplasty, it is still considered one of the top five cosmetic procedures that men undertake.
You’ve thoroughly researched the procedure and given it a lot of thought to how it will affect your life and you think it is the right option for you. So what happens after you’ve made that decision?
Choosing Your Doctor
It is important to do some thorough research in order to find the right surgeon for you. With this type of procedure, it is important to find a surgeon who specializes in facial plastic surgery so that you can minimize scarring and achieve beautiful, natural-looking results. Your surgeon should make you feel comfortable and in safe hands. They should have a wealth of experience in this and other cosmetic procedures as well as professional accreditations.
Dr. James Paine Jr MD is a triple board-certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery and has over 25 years of experience in these specialty surgery areas.
Once you have found your surgeon, a consultation will be scheduled. During this consultation, you will discuss your cosmetic goals and have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have. Your surgeon will perform a physical and visual examination and your eyes will be photographed from a number of different angles. They will then go through your medical history to determine whether or not blepharoplasty is the most appropriate procedure for your individual circumstances.
Together, you will create a treatment plan that best serves your unique body and aesthetic goals. Your doctor will also inform you about financial costs, any associated risks, pre-procedure preparations, and what to expect after the surgery and your recovery.
Now you have met with a reputable surgeon, have been approved for the surgery and your surgeon has booked a procedure date. What exactly happens from here?
After meeting with your surgeon you have been deemed healthy and cleared for surgery, they will have given you a list of instructions and ensure you have a clear understanding of what is to come. Patients will be asked to stop smoking one month pre-surgery and to stop using aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and any other medication or herbal supplements that are associated with increased bleeding.
As this procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis, it is recommended to arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery and plan to have someone stay with you for the first night post-surgery.
Your surgeon will make small incisions in the natural folds of the eyelid. For the upper eye, this is usually in the crease of the eyelid and in the lower either just beneath the lashes or behind the lower eyelid. By cutting in these spots it means the incisions are barely, if at all, noticeable once healed. The excess tissue, fat, and skin is then removed and your surgeon will restructure and smooth the treated area before closing the incisions.
The procedure can take around one to two hours, depending on the individual. Once completed you may have an ointment and a cold compress applied to the area to keep it moist. You will be monitored before being sent home, and most patients can return home the very same day. You will be given specific recovery instructions unique to you and your procedure and it is important you take these seriously and follow them to the letter in order to see optimum results.
Your doctor will give you a detailed time-schedule concerning your recovery period and should have a scheduled follow-up appointment booked in. It is recommended to apply ice or cold packs for ten minutes each hour you are awake and to apply them during the first night also. Sleeping with your head raised higher than your chest for the first few days is also recommended.
Patients are encouraged to get plenty of rest in the days following the procedure and avoid strenuous activities. During the first week or so the eyes may become tired quickly and regular naps should be taken to allow rest. Makeup should be avoided for at least two weeks and darkly tinted sunglasses work well to protect the eyelid skin from the sun and wind when outside. There is a very short recovery period associated with this type of procedure. After one to two weeks, patients will feel well on their way to being fully recovered.
You may be recommended to follow a liquid diet for the first 24 hours following the procedure. During the recovery period, you should prioritize eating healthy and nutritious foods that will promote a balanced and fast healing process, this can include green vegetables, raw fruits, and whole, unprocessed foods. Alcohol is not recommended during the healing process.
Smoking should be stopped at least one month before the surgery as it can slow the body’s healing process and it is not advised to get back into the habit. Smoking is known to be one of the biggest accelerators in the aging process due to the chemicals that damage collagen and elastin, the fibers that give your skin its strength and elasticity.
Will There Be Scars?
Typically, after the healing process is complete, scarring is non-existent. Because the incisions made during surgery are made along the eye crease on the top lid and the lash line on the bottom, any scarring that does occur should blend in with the natural fold of the eyelid, making it invisible to the untrained eye.
Are Results Long Lasting?
Although this procedure can not stop the aging process altogether, the results you achieve are generally considered permanent and are designed to be long-lasting, with you reaping the benefits for years to come. To maintain your results for as long as possible it is recommended to avoid rubbing the eyes and protect the surrounding skin, this can be done with routine moisturizing and using sun protection daily.
Blepharoplasty can be a life-changing procedure and is a serious decision with a lot of information to consider. If you think this procedure could benefit you, then Dr. James Paine Jr can help guide you in your decision with professionalism and compassion. Contact Dr. James Paine Jr MD of Mountain State Cosmetic Surgery in Beckley, WV to schedule a consultation appointment and learn more about your options in blepharoplasty. Our staff is ready to assist you in every step of the process.