Eyelids often show the earliest signs of aging. They can develop loose skin and excess fat deposits that cause the eyes to look chronically tired, angry, and puffy. In some individuals, upper eyelid skin becomes heavy and causes pseudoptosis (“drooping”). Excess skin can even hang over the eyelids and limit your full range of vision. Aging is not the only cause of eyelid problems; fat herniations in the lower lids can be genetic and require corrective surgery even in early adulthood.
Eyelid surgery is a plastic surgery procedure that rejuvenates the eyes through the removal of excess skin and fat. Eyelid surgery is often conducted simultaneously with other procedures like facelift surgery. While it is primarily a cosmetic procedure, you may be able to get insurance coverage for upper eyelid surgery if your vision obstruction is severe.
Ideal candidates for eyelid surgery may have one or more of the following issues:
- Sagging upper eyelids (especially if vision is obstructed)
- Drooping lower eyelids
- Puffy eyelids due to excess fat deposits
- Wrinkles around the eyes
Individuals from their early 20s to their 60s and beyond may qualify for eyelid surgery. You should also be free of serious eye conditions and other serious medical conditions. Medical clearance from your primary physician is highly recommended for all patients and may be required for older candidates.
Preparing for Eyelid Surgery
When you meet with the surgeon, you will be given specific instructions on how best to prepare for the procedure. You will need to find someone to drive you home afterward, and you will need to take several days off of work. As with most facial rejuvenation procedures, you will need to stop taking all medications containing aspirin, all non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and most supplements ten days before surgery because these can increase the risk of bleeding and complications after the procedure. If you are a smoker, you will need to stop smoking two weeks before surgery because smoking decreases circulation and, therefore, inhibits a healthy healing process after surgery.
On its own, eyelid surgery is conducted under local anesthesia with sedation. If performed with other facial or body procedures, eyelid surgery is conducted under sedation or general anesthesia. The doctor will make inconspicuous incisions along the natural creases of the eyelid to minimize scarring. During the procedure, the doctor will remove excess skin and fat to restore a fresh, alert, and youthful appearance to the eyes. Sometimes, fat from the lower lids is also removed, after which the skin can be treated with chemical peels or laser treatments to reduce wrinkles and dark circles. Often, the outer corners of the lower lids can be tucked upwards to create a more youthful look.
After eyelid surgery, patients return home to rest. Any pain is typically minimal and easily controlled with mild pain medications. You should apply a cold compress to your eyes for the first few days after surgery to reduce swelling and bruising. Bruising typically subsides within one to three weeks and can easily be disguised in the meantime with tinted glasses or makeup. If you were prone to dry eyes before surgery, this condition may be temporarily worsened for a few weeks after surgery. After a few days, you should be able to resume many normal activities, and within one week you should be able to return to work. Ultimately, the results of your eyelid surgery will provide you with a rejuvenated, alert, and more youthful appearance with no visual obstructions.
If you are interested in learning more about eyelid surgery and how it could benefit you, contact Cosmetic Surgeons of Naples at (239) 263-6766 or fill out our online contact form. We’ll set up a personal consultation for you with one of our experienced plastic surgeons, Dr. Rebecca Crane or Dr. Nalin Master.