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Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Eyelid surgery, also known as Blepharoplasty, is surgery which improves the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. Specifically, eyelid surgery can treat:

  • Loose or sagging upper eyelid skin that creates folds, or hides the natural contour of the upper lids.
  • Excess skin that hangs down from the upper eyelids, sometimes impairing vision.
  • Bulging fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the upper eyelids.
  • Droopiness of the lower eyelids, showing white below the iris.
  • Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelids.
  • Excess fatty deposits that appear as bags under the eyes.

If one is considering eyelid surgery, it is essential to disclose certain medical conditions including eye disease such as glaucoma, dry eye or a detached retina, thyroid disorders such as Graves’ disease and under or overactive thyroid, or circulatory disorders, such as diabetes, hypertension, or cardiovascular disease.

Technique: An incision is made within the natural crease of the upper eyelids to allow access to remove bulging fatty tissue, a small strip of eyelid muscle, and excess skin. An incision just below the lower lash line is used to allow access to remove excess skin and bulging fat. Another approach using an incision inside the lower eyelids (transconjunctival), allows fat to be removed or redistributed, and muscle modified to correct bulging lower eyelids. No skin is removed in this approach.

Although risks exist, Dr. Rasmussen makes every attempt to prevent these intraoperatively, and she asks you to follow her postoperative instructions to further minimize delayed risks from occurring. While the likelihood of success is good, and most patients are delighted with their “alert” and more youthful appearance, limitations exist. If drooping eyebrows/forehead are present, a browlift is necessary to give the best results. Fine wrinkles under the eyes and crows feet are not eliminated, and laser resurfacing can be used as an adjunct to refine these. Dark circles and festoons or malar bags will not be corrected either. As with all cosmetic surgery, realistic expectations are the key to satisfaction.

This surgery is generally performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia with sedation; general anesthesia may be recommended, especially if combined with other facial cosmetic surgery such as brow lift or facelift. Most people will have some element of swelling or bruising, the worst of this occurring during the first week, but usually the most visible subsiding within 2 to 4 weeks. While those physical signs are present, most people will experience symptoms of scratchiness, blurriness, and light sensitivity. During this time, use of eye lubricants are essential. Final results appear in 1 – 2 months, and incision lines continue to refine and fade for 6 months to a year. All aspects of blepharoplasty are discussed during a comprehensive consultation.

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