Eyelid Surgery in Orange County
The eyes are a central aesthetic feature of the face and have historically been referred to as the “window to the soul.” Our eyes enable us not just the ability to see, but also allows us to express emotion and connect with others.
Unfortunately, due to the delicate nature of the eyelid skin, this is one of the first areas that display visible signs of aging. Age, genetics, gravity, and environmental factors all play a role in aging of the eye. This results in a number of changes including: drooping or sagging of the skin, the development of dark under eye circles or eye bags, wrinkling, hollowing, and over time obstructed vision. A youthful eye conveys energy and alertness and strong eye contact is associated with high self-confidence. As anatomical changes that take place, the eye can convey discordant emotions to those around us including fatigue, stress, and anger.
What is a Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)?
A blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid lift, is an outpatient surgical procedure designed to correct age related changes of the upper and/or lower eyelid. When correctly performed the patient is left with a rested and rejuvenated appearance to the eyes.
What Can a Blepharoplasty Correct?
- Heavy upper eyelid skin
- Difficulty of make up application to the upper eyelid
- Tired appearance to the eyes
- Obstructed vision
- Excessive lower eyelid skin and/or wrinkles
- Lower eye bags and dark circles
- Creation of a lid crease
Who is a Candidate for Blepharoplasty?
Patients concerned about the appearance of the eyes due to excessive skin or fullness may be candidates for blepharoplasty. The best candidates are healthy individuals with typical signs of eyelid aging. Patients with certain eye diseases such as: excessive dry eyes, untreated thyroid eye disease, recent eye surgery (e.g. Lasik, cataracts), as well as, patients unable to avoid anticoagulants or uncontrolled hypertension are not good candidates for the procedure.
The consultation process is important to determine candidacy for the procedure. The eyelids and surrounding areas must be evaluated to ensure the best treatment is selected. Some conditions may mimic normal eyelid aging, and if not recognized prior to surgery may result in limited benefit or predispose to possible complications. These conditions include: brow ptosis, blepharoptosis (dysfunction of the upper eyelid levator muscle), and laxity of the lower lid tendon.
Upper Blepharoplasty Technique
The upper blepharoplasty is a relatively simple outpatient procedure usually performed with local anesthesia and light sedation. When performed alone the surgery takes 1-2 hours, but can take longer if performed with other procedures (e.g. facelift) It is most commonly used to correct excessive skin or fact around the upper lid. When left untreated, this redundant tissue leads to the illusion of a tired eye, even when one has had a full night's rest.
The incision is placed in the natural upper eyelid crease so once healed, it is virtually imperceptible to the naked eye.This incision allows the surgeon to remove excess skin, muscle, and/or fat to restore a more youthful, rested upper eyelid appearance.
Once complete, patients are discharged home with instructions to use ointment along the incision line and cool compresses are placed over the eyes to minimize bruising and swelling. Sutures are removed the following week at which time the majority of patients are ready to return to work.
Lower Blepharoplasty Technique
A youthful lower eyelid is one where the observer has difficulty determining where the eyelid stops and the cheek begins. As the lower eyelid ages we can develop wrinkles, excess skin, eye bags, and dark circles. These changes are the result of several changes that take place in the orbit which give the observer a tired appearance. Unfortunately, as aging progresses, under eye creams and skin care products can only go so far to camouflage these changes.
The lower blepharoplasty procedure is frequently performed to eliminate lower eyelid skin redundancy, eliminate eye bags, and to tighten lower eyelid muscle. The lower blepharoplasty can be performed using incisions along the inside (transconjunctival) or outside (transcutaneous) of the eyelid. This allows for removal and/or repositioning of the excess fat of the lower eyelid, excision of redundant skin, and correction of the dark circles (a.k.a. tear trough deformity) to create a youthful, rested eye. This is a delicate procedure that must be performed with meticulous care and attention to detail in order to achieve a natural, refreshed, rested appearance. Most patients are treated under general anesthesia for maximum comfort during the procedure.
Double-eyelid Surgery (Asian Blepharoplasty)
One of the defining features between an individual of Asian decent and someone of Western descent is the presence of an upper eyelid crease. Approximately 50% of Asians do not have an upper eyelid crease. While tremendous differences exist between different geographic regions in Asia, the main differences in the appearance of the upper eyelid is the 1) absence of an upper eyelid fold/crease, 2) increased upper eyelid fat, and 3) the appearance of the epicanthal fold (medial eyelid skin).
Double-eyelid surgery (also termed Asian blepharoplasty) refers to surgery designed to create an upper eyelid crease and is one of the most common procedures requested by Asian Americans. However, the goal is not to Westernize the eyelid. As such, it is critical that the surgeon understand Asian’s perception of a beautiful eyelid and to be familiar with the anatomical differences in and techniques in order to obtain the desired result. With careful planning, execution, and appropriate postoperative care, the Asian blepharoplasty procedure results in high patient satisfaction while preserving the patient’s ethnicity.
Frequently Asked Questions
In preparing for eyelid surgery, all patients will be advised to:
- Avoid smoking/vaping/nicotine
- Avoid aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs, and herbal supplements to minimize bleeding and bruising
- Take certain medications (eye drops, antibiotics)
- Obtain lab testing or a medical evaluation (if necessary)
What is the recovery from blepharoplasty?
Recovery time varies depending upon the type of blepharoplasty procedure performed. All patients experience some degree of minor bruising and swelling following blepharoplasty. Patients are instructed to keep their head elevated for the first 3 days following the procedure. Applying intermittent cool compresses to the eyes helps to minimize swelling and bruising.
Most patients can resume work and/or social events following upper blepharoplasty in one week when sutures are removed. Lower blepharoplasty is generally associated with slightly more swelling and bruising which can take several weeks for all the swelling to resolve. There is minimal pain following eyelid surgery. Any feelings of tightness or discomfort are easily treated with pain medication.
Can I exercise after blepharoplasty?
Patients are instructed to avoid exercise for the first 2-3 weeks following the procedure. After 3 weeks, patients are able to steadily increase activity back to normal.
Will blepharoplasty change the shape of my eyes?
The blepharoplasty procedure can have a dramatic impact on the perception of the face without changing the shape of the eye. The majority of patients report feeling their eyes feel lighter and get comments on how rested they look.
When can I wear my contacts after a blepharoplasty?
Patients are instructed to avoid contact lens use for 3 weeks following blepharoplasty.
Expert Eyelid Surgeon in Orange County
Dr. Jacob Boeckmann is a double board certified Facial Plastic Surgeon respected for his surgical skills and natural results. He and his Orange County staff are dedicated to patient health, safety, and comfort. Dr Boeckmann has dedicated his practice exclusively to facial restoration and rejuvenation. and is frequently sought after for his natural results in Orange County. To learn more about the blepharoplasty procedure in Orange County, contact the office for your consultation with Dr Boeckmann.