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Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery (also called an eye lift or blepharoplasty), reduces bagginess from lower eyelids and removes excess skin from the upper eyelids.

This surgery is usually done for cosmetic reasons. It's also an effective way to improve sight in older people whose sagging upper eyelids get in the way of their vision.

An eye lift will not eliminate dark circles under the eyes, crow's feet, or other facial wrinkles. It is often done along with other procedures such as laser resurfacing, filler injections, or forehead lifts.

The Eyelid Aging Process

As skin ages, it gradually loses its elasticity. A lack of elasticity plus the constant pull from gravity causes excessive skin to collect on the upper and lower eyelids.

Excess skin on the lower eyelid causes wrinkles and bulges. On the upper eyelids, an extra fold of skin can hang over the eyelashes and get in the way of seeing.

The fat that cushions the eyeball from the skull can also cause bulges in the upper and lower eyelids. The thin membrane that holds the fat in place weakens with age, letting the fat jut into the lids.

Who Is a Good Candidate For Eyelid Surgery?

The best candidates for an eye lift are people who are in good health and who have realistic expectations. Most are 35 years or older, but if baggy eyelids or droopy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have the surgery done sooner.

Eyelid surgery can enhance your appearance and help build your confidence. However, it may not result in your ideal look or alter your facial structure. Before you decide to have surgery, think about your goals and discuss them with your surgeon.

Will the Results of Eyelid Surgery Be Permanent?

Upper eyelid surgery can last at least five to seven years. Lower eyelid surgery rarely needs to be repeated. Of course, your eyes will still age after the procedure.

If your lids sag again, a forehead lift rather than another eye lift is often the proper procedure.

How Should I Prepare for Eyelid Surgery?

You will need to arrange for another person to drive you home after your surgery. You should also have someone stay with you the night of the procedure.

Expect and plan to stay home from work and limit your activities for several days after surgery while your eyelids heal. Some people have dry eyes after surgery, but that rarely lasts more than two weeks. If you have dry eyes lasting more than two weeks, contact your doctor.

At home, you should have the following items ready:

  • Ice cubes
  • Ice pack (or you can use freezer bags filled with ice, frozen corn, or peas)
  • Small gauze pads
  • Eye drops or artificial tears (ask your doctor to recommend the proper type to meet your particular needs)
  • Clean washcloths and towels
  • Over-the-counter painkillers (which your doctor can recommend)

Advil, Motrin, Naproxen, Aleve, and aspirin should not be used due to the increased risk of bleeding.

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