You feel young inside, but your eyes tell the world a different story. Maybe it’s droopy eyelids. Or perhaps you’ve got dark circles or bags underneath that advance the clock. What would you give to be able to turn back time and look young again?
Well, it turns out you can turn back the clock. Dr. Dustin Heringer at Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery is a board-certified oculofacial plastic and cosmetic surgeon who can pick up the droop, lighten the circles, and eliminate the bags.
Oculoplastic surgeons are ophthalmologists who specialize in plastic and reconstructive surgery of the facial and periorbital tissues, which makes Dr. Heringer uniquely qualified to expertly transform the look of your eyes, whether you have issues above or below your eyes, or both.
Here’s a look at a variety of eye issues and our solutions.
What is ptosis?
Ptosis, also called blepharoptosis or a drooping upper eyelid, is a condition that may affect just one eye or both eyes, and it’s usually caused by a weakened or stretched levator muscle. If the eyelid droops too far down over your eye, it can impair your vision.
Ptosis typically arises with age, but it also can be caused by eye surgery — including cataract surgery — or an injury to the eye. Certain neurological disorders may also lead to drooping lids.
What causes dark circles?
Dark circles that appear under your eyes are rarely the result of a medical condition. Often, the darkened areas arise when you’re fatigued. Sometimes, the appearance of dark circles comes from shadows cast by puffy lower eyelids or hollows under the eyes that develop with aging.
Another possibility is hyperpigmentation — when your body produces more of the pigment melanin — as the result of sun exposure.
What causes bags under the eyes?
Bags under the eyes is the term given to a mild swelling or puffiness under the lower lid, and they’re also age-related. As muscles that support your eyelids weaken, the fat that normally helps support the eyes moves down into the lower eyelids, causing puffiness. Fluid, too, may collect in the space, adding to the swelling.
Bags under the eyes are generally considered a cosmetic issue, and they rarely indicate a serious medical condition.
Treatments that address ptosis, dark circles, and under-eye bags
Ptosis, dark circles, and under-eye bags can all be considered cosmetic issues, except when the upper lid droops down far enough that it impairs your peripheral vision. In that case, a surgical repair of the upper lid becomes medically necessary.
Dr. Heringer may perform one of two surgical procedures to repair drooping eyelids, depending on whether it’s for cosmetic or vision purposes — blepharoplasty or ptosis repair. With blepharoplasty, he trims away extra skin and muscle and either removes or repositions fat to reduce either top or bottom lid puffiness. The eyelid itself remains at the same height as before.
With ptosis repair, the surgeon shores up the weakened levator muscle to “lift” the upper eyelid and reveal more of the eye surface. This actually changes the height of the eyelid and the position where it rests on the eye. While most plastic surgeons can handle blepharoplasty reliably, oculoplastic surgeons have ophthalmologic background, so they’re better suited to perform ptosis repair.
Dark circles can be helped by certain prescription creams or treatments that reduce discoloration, such as laser therapy or chemical peels. Hollows under the eyes can be smoothed over using injectable fillers or fat grafting techniques.
You can also try some DIY techniques such as using cold compresses to make the blood vessels constrict, elevating your head while you sleep to prevent puffiness, and getting extra sleep to make any shadows less obvious.
Under-eye bags caused by bulging fat are generally treated surgically with a lower lid blepharoplasty. During the procedure, Dr. Heringer will address the bags by repositioning the fat or he may remove the bulging fat and graft fat into areas that are hollow to make a nice smooth transition from your eyelid to your cheek.
Got droopy eyelids, circles, or bags? We have solutions. Call Arizona Ocular & Facial Plastic Surgery at any of our locations in Scottsdale and Peoria, Arizona, or schedule an appointment online today.