As we age, eyelid skin stretches, lower eyelid skin sags and fat accumulates both above and below the eyes. On occasion the upper lid may droop excessively causing vision problems.
Some people have eyelid surgery to correct problems that are a result of aging, while others have inherited traits such as under eye bags that cause them to seek treatment in the 20′s or 30′s.
If the upper eyelid condition is accompanied by sagging of the eyebrows, then a forehead lift maybe recommended. The correct brow position helps determine if eyelid surgery is appropriate. Smoothing of crow’s feet may require chemical peeling or laser resurfacing procedures. Eye surgery will not correct crow’s feet or wrinkles around the eyes.
Dr. Wardle will ask if you have allergies and if so, how they affect your eyes. We will also need to know if you have been told that you have “dye eye” or any other eye problems.
The incision is hidden within the natural fold of the upper eyelid for upper eyelid surgery and it is through this incision that excess skin and fat are removed. Because the incision follows the natural contour of the upper eyelid, it will be well camouflaged when it is healed.
Circles beneath the eyes caused by dark pigmentation may be treated with a bleaching solution or chemical peel. Alternately, sinking around the bony orbit below the eye can be addressed with fat grafting.
For lower lid surgery the incision is usually hidden below the lower lashes. Through this incision, excess skin, muscle and fat are removed. Fat may also be redistributed to eliminate puffiness or bulges. Adjustments such as canthopexy (tightening and suspension of the outer corners of the lower eyelids) may be made to correct special problems such as muscle laxity.
Dr. Wardle will discuss two different approaches to lower lid surgery: one uses an external incision and the other is performed from inside the lower lid. Your age and the extent of the fatty deposits you have will determine which approach is used.
You and Dr. Wardle may decide that the best approach for removing excess fat is a technique that needs no external incision. This procedure is called transconjunctival lower blepharoplasty. While it is a good approach for younger patients, it cannot be used to remove excess skin so a laser may be used in conjunction with this method to tighten the skin under the eyes.
After your surgery, you may have a feeling of dryness or irritation in the eye. Mild swelling persists for several weeks in some cases while others see swelling resolve in just seven days. Bruising normally disappears in seven to ten days and you may use makeup with the first week to hide discoloration. The incision lines will fade over several months until they become barely visible.