Eyelid surgery ranks in the top five most common cosmetic surgical procedures in the U.S. The approach has become very popular due to its effectiveness in eliminating the initial signs of aging, thus restoring an individual’s youthful appearance. While results vary from person to person, cosmetic surgery on the upper eyelid traditionally lasts five to seven years; conversely, procedures performed on the lower eyelid rarely need to be repeated.
Blepharoplasty is a type of surgery that removes excess skin from the eyelids. Over time and as we age, eyelids stretch while the muscles supporting them weaken; as a result, excess fat and skin can gather above and below the eyelids, causing droopy upper lids, sagging eyebrows, and those unbecoming bags under the eyes. Beyond the aging factor, severely sagging skin around the eyes can reduce peripheral (side) vision, notably in the upper and outer parts of the visual field. Blepharoplasty can reduce or sometimes eliminate these vision problems while yielding eyes that look younger and more alert.
During blepharoplasty, the creases of the eyelids are cut into by the surgeon to trim sagging muscle and skin and remove excess fat. Once complete, the surgeon rejoins the skin with minuscule stitches that dissolve.
Blepharoplasty may be an option for:
- Baggy/droopy upper eyelids
- Excess skin on the lower eyelids
- Bags under the eyes
- Excess skin of the upper eyelids, which partially blocks peripheral vision
What to Expect from Blepharoplasty
After the procedure, the eyelid may feel sore and tight, while the eye may exhibit itchy, sticky, dry, watery, or sensitive-to-light characteristics. Vision may be blurry for a few days, and doctors can administer medication to help with any discomfort or pain. Additionally, some patients find that their lid doesn’t lower as much when they look down or that the lid doesn’t fully close when they sleep due to the eye being swollen for the first few weeks following a blepharoplasty procedure.
While results vary, individuals can expect brighter, tighter, and more open eyes after cosmetic upper eyelid surgery. The results can be subtle but impactful, rendering the individual natural-looking yet more alert, rested, youthful and vibrant.
Factors Influencing the Longevity of Blepharoplasty Results
Patient’s Age and Skin Elasticity
The results of cosmetic blepharoplasty are designed to be long-lasting; however, over time, the skin’s elasticity and quality of underlying facial muscles will continue to change in response to aging and other environmental factors.
Genetic Predisposition and Individual Healing Process/Lifestyle Choices and Habits
Many doctors point out that smoking and classic genetics can play a role in hooded or heavy upper eyelids, not just the passage of time or gravity. When it comes to an individual’s healing process, different factors come into play, from sun exposure to genetics and lifestyle choices.
Skincare Routine and Post-Procedure Maintenance
After the procedure, the first four to five days should be spent resting and recovering before the stitches are removed. Makeup can be applied a few days later, and normal daily activities can resume within seven to 10 days. Planning nutritious meals, finding someone who can help with household duties/child care immediately following the procedure, and tying up loose ends before going in for blepharoplasty are all important.
Understanding Long-Term Benefits
Immediate Postoperative Effects and Recovery Period
After surgery, the following can be temporarily experienced:
- Blurred vision from lubricating ointment applied
- Watery eyes
- Double vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Pain or discomfort
- Swelling and bruising
- Puffy, numb eyelids
Bruising and swelling generally decrease slowly in about 10 to 14 days; scars from surgical cuts may take months to fade.
Long-Lasting Improvement in Appearance and Self-Confidence
Many people who go through blepharoplasty report feeling more self-confident and younger-looking/more rested. For some people, surgery results can last a lifetime; for others, droopy eyelids can return.
Potential Enhancement in Peripheral Vision and Eye Functionality
Blepharoplasty eliminates skin drooping into the visual field and significantly improves peripheral vision – even while performed primarily for cosmetic reasons. If the eyelids begin sagging into the field of vision, a “functional blepharoplasty” may be needed.
Maintaining the Results of Blepharoplasty
Tips for Postoperative Care and Proper Wound Healing
Following the procedure, patients may be advised to apply lubricating drops/ointment and cold compresses to aid healing while minimizing side effects. Exercise and strenuous activities should also be avoided for at least two weeks. Contact lenses and eye makeup should not be worn for two weeks following the procedure, and patients are typically advised to wear dark sunglasses outside or when exposed to bright light for two weeks to protect eyes from sun and wind.
Skincare and Lifestyle Recommendations to Prolong Results
While the micro-incisions heal, nothing other than doctor-recommended cleaning products and water should even come close to the eyelids. Foundation, mascara, and even sunscreen will inhibit the healing process and prevent the best results out of the surgery. Depending on the surgeon, eye drops and cold compresses are supplied during healing to keep eyes clean, disinfected, and free from swelling.
Regular Follow-Up Appointments and Communication with the Surgeon
Sutures (stitches) will be removed at two appointments between two and seven days after surgery. Also, contacting the surgeon is essential if anything out of the ordinary pop up.
Understanding the Long-Lasting Benefits of Blepharoplasty
Many people who undergo the procedure report feeling more self-confident and looking younger and more rested. For some individuals, surgery results may last a lifetime, while for others, droopy eyelids return. Some other benefits include an improved field of vision and, ultimately, more positive social interactions.
Consulting with a Qualified Professional for Personalized Advice
If you are interested in a Blepharoplasty in Maryland, contact Cosmetic Plastic Surgery and Laser Center of Maryland for a consultation today. Dr. Ashruf is a board certified plastic surgeon with over 20 years of aesthetic surgery experience.