Eyelid lift (eyelid surgery)
Generally, the eyelids are the first areas of the face that show one’s age. The problem can be with the upper lids or the lower lids, but it is usually both upper and lower lids. The upper lids accumulate excess skin, which eventually can cover the actual upper lids and sometimes even the lashes. If this is seen in young people, it is hereditary, such as in the Asian population or people with distant Asian heritage. Whether it is from aging or congenital, it can still be corrected with eyelid surgery, the eyelid lift. An added benefit is often a better visual field, which means that your peripheral vision is better. Sometimes upper eyelid lifts may be covered by your insurance policy, but the problem must be severe. The youngest patient I have performed this procedure on is 22, and now 30 years later her eyes still looks beautiful. Eyelid lifts can be done under local or general anesthesia. My preference is local anesthesia with some mild sedation.
With the lower eyelids, the problem in the younger patients is “bags” under the eyes. These bags are actually fat pads protruding through the skin. Often these patients have an under-developed bony rim under the eye, which makes the fat protrude even more, but it can still be corrected. In the older patients, there is an accumulation of skin also causing wrinkling, especially when smiling, and usually this is in addition to the “bags.”
If the problem is just the protruding fat, the incision can be inside the eyelid, leaving no scar. This is called a transconjunctival incision. If skin must be removed also, the incision and scar are in the skin just below the eyelashes extending outward beyond the eyelids for about ½ inch. Extending the incisions laterally helps remove the “crow’s feet” which are the smile wrinkles lateral to the eyes. The anesthesia is the same as with the upper lids.
During the recovery period, ice packs are placed on the eyes for two days to minimize swelling, but there will still be some swelling and bruising. The sutures come out in five days, and most of the bruising and swelling has subsided enough for one to return to their daily routine in 7 days.
In my opinions, eyelids lifts rejuvenate the face more than anything else in most cases. People talk to your eyes, and beautiful eyes are wonderful to look at.