The eyes are the first thing we notice when we meet someone new. Beautiful eyes can make up for other features that are less than ideal. Likewise, eyes with “bags” and “dark circles” or look tired, droopy, or swollen may not reflect a vibrant inner self. The earliest signs of aging are around the eyes. You may feel that the eyes looking back at you in the mirror every morning are old and tired looking, or maybe people are always questioning whether or not you had a good night’s sleep because your eyes are swollen with bags. Fortunately, Dr. Vivian Schiedler in her Oasis Eye Face & Skin practice in Ashland, OR offers a cosmetic procedure that can give you dramatically younger-looking eyes through lower or upper eyelid surgery also known as blepharoplasty.
About Lower Eyelid Surgery – Lower Blepharoplasty
Lower eyelid surgery is usually performed because you have “bags” and “dark circles.” Eyelid “bags” are caused by fullness or relative fullness of the bottom eyelids caused by prolapsed or a herniation of the orbital fat (fat surrounding the eyeball in the eye socket). This is typically due to eyelid aging, but can happen in many younger individuals due to genetics. “Dark circles” are caused by relative hollowness under the eyes (below the bags) in the area of the tear troughs or orbital rim. The darkness is mostly due to a “shadow” phenomenon where the full area above the hollow area casts a dark shadow below.
The under eye hollowness (a.k.a. tear trough deformity) could be genetic or it could be due to loss of upper cheek fat and descent (fall) of the cheeks. Another important aging change is that the skin of the bottom eyelids loses elasticity and stretches, resulting in ‘excess’ lower eyelid skin and wrinkles.
How is Lower Eyelid surgery performed to improve the problems?
Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty is done to reduce a tired or sad appearance by smoothing out excess skin wrinkles and puffiness from protruding fat pads. This may require tightening loose and stretchy lids. Hollows under the eyes can be filled with a re-draping of the fat pads. To avoid complications, it is extremely important to take into consideration the position of the eye with relation to the midface (a prominent versus deep set eye), the health of the eye surface, and whether or not there is any pre-existing dry eye or weak blink. These are just some of the issues that Dr. Vivian Schiedler as a skilled ophthalmologist will be able to ascertain.
Who is a Candidate for Lower Blepharoplasty?
- If you have puffy fat pockets (bags) in the bottom eyelids that create a tired or aged appearance.
- If you have wrinkled, saggy, loose lower eyelid skin.
What to expect after upper or lower eyelid blepharoplasty?
Because the eyelid skin is so thin, the incision typically heals as a very fine line. It is placed in the natural crease hidden by the eyelid fold. In some people, the outer part of the incision may be visible, but typically blends well into smile lines or crow’s-feet.
Blepharoplasty can be performed with local and oral anesthesia in the office, or under sedation. To keep bruising and swelling at a minimum, patients should stay home for 2-3 days after the procedure in order to frequently apply soft, lightweight, cold compresses to the eyelids. Sleeping with the head elevated in a recliner chair also helps prevent additional swelling.
It usually takes 1 to 2 weeks for the bruising to disappear completely, although for some patients who regularly take blood thinners, it may take longer. It is important to stop blood thinners before and after surgery in order to reduce the risk of bleeding and potential for vision complications. Physical activity should be limited for the first week after surgery in order to prevent bleeding. Sutures are removed at one week.
Dr. Schiedler prefers using non-dissolvable sutures in order to minimize redness and bumps that occur with dissolving sutures.
Final results can be seen as early as 3-4 weeks, but in some patients may take 3-4 months, when the swelling fully resolves and the incision softens completely. If all four lids are done, it may cause some swelling on the surface of the eye, which typically resolves within a few weeks.
Healing progress depends a lot upon adherence to postoperative instructions as well as individual health status. Dr. Vivian Schiedler strives to create a smooth experience before, during, and after surgery by making sure her patients are well educated throughout the entire process.
If you have noticed that you tend to look tired or have had people tell you look tired have bags or dark circles around your eye, we recommend you contact Dr. Vivian Schiedler to schedule a personalized consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for upper or lower eyelid surgery. Call 541-708-6393 or contact us online today.