For many people, the first thing they notice about someone is their eyes. So what does it say if yours are hooded, droopy, or sagging? No matter what your mood or what you’re thinking, you broadcast a message of perpetual fatigue, standoffishness, or anger, and those are probably not the looks you’re going for.
Fortunately, there’s a procedure that can correct the problem and let you see others — and others see you — in a new light. It’s called blepharoplasty.
At Arizona Ocular and Facial Plastic Surgery, with offices in Scottsdale and Peoria, Arizona, Dr. Dustin Heringer and the rest of our team have the skills to make you look the best you can be, and that includes blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery). Whether you want to have your eyelids raised for cosmetic or medical reasons, our team can give you a fresher, brighter look.
The basics of ptosis
Eyelid drooping, medically known as ptosis, can be a consequence of aging. Production of collagen and elastin, the structural proteins that give your skin strength and flexibility, begins to decrease around age 25. Collagen and elastin production can also be impacted by environmental factors, such as smoking and the sun’s ultraviolet rays.
The loss of these proteins leads to fine lines and wrinkles on the face, and together with the constant pull of gravity, the skin on the upper and lower eyelids begins to droop. This can cause the upper eyelid skin to hang over the eyelashes, making your eyes look tired, or even worse, obstructing your vision.
Sagging skin can also cause skin on the lower eyelids to wrinkle and bulge, creating bags that have nothing to do with how tired you are.
In addition to the skin that protects your eyes, you have fat that cushions your eyeball from the bones of the skull. Unfortunately, the thin membrane holding this fat in place also weakens with age. The fat moves forward into the lids and causes them to puff up.
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, in 2018, more than 200,000 people chose blepharoplasty to correct the effects of aging on their eyelids, making it one of the top-five cosmetic surgical procedures.
Blepharoplasties can also be performed for medical reasons, but only on the upper lid. If your eyelids droop so much that they interfere with your vision, you may need the lids lifted to improve your sight. A visual field test, which determines the extent of your peripheral vision, helps Dr. Heringer decide if your drooping lids are impacting your ability to see.
The blepharoplasty procedure
You can choose to have blepharoplasty done on either the upper or lower lids, or both. Dr. Heringer gives you a local anaesthetic as well as some sedation and makes a small cut in the eyelid crease so the scar won’t be seen. Then he removes excess skin, muscle, and fat. He may also choose to move some tissues to other points around the eye for aesthetic purposes.
If you’re having a lower lid blepharoplasty, Dr. Heringer makes the incision along the lower lash line — again, to hide the scar. He removes the fat causing your undereye bags, as well as a small amount of skin. Then, he tightens the weakened underlying muscles and may reposition some of the remaining fatty tissue.
Who is a good candidate for blepharoplasty?
If you’re having blepharoplasty for medical reasons, one of the main criteria is that you have diminished vision because of the ptosis. In all cosmetic cases, you’re a good candidate if you’re bothered by the drooping eyelids or eye bags that mar your appearance.
Other criteria include:
- Excess upper and/or lower eyelid skin
- Bags under the eyes even when well-rested
- Droopy eyelids
- No major skin or eye conditions
- Realistic expectations for the outcome
It’s also important that you don’t have any serious medical conditions that would prevent you from healing normally.
If you’re bothered by the way your drooping eyelids make you look, or if you have impaired vision due to the droop, it’s time to schedule a consultation with Dr. Heringer to see if blepharoplasty is right for you. Give one of our offices a call or book online. You’ll find blepharoplasty will be a real eye-opener.