Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
An eyelid surgery, known medically as blepharoplasty and sometimes called an eyelid lift, can help patients diminish excess skin and tissue around the eyes. That excess tissue can have a variety of origins, but most often it slowly accumulates because of the normal effects of aging. As skin slowly loses its natural elasticity, and gravity exerts downward pressure, a collection of wrinkles, lines, and bulges may appear around your eyes. This can make your face appear older and fatigued.
While a procedure such as a facelift addresses lines and wrinkles across the face, blepharoplasty precisely targets the area of skin around the eyes and eyelids. It is a very delicate procedure, and it’s important to select a surgeon with specific expertise in this area. Newport Beach plastic surgeon Dr. Tenley Lawton’s vast experience provides her patients with confidence and comfort as they complete their journey.
If excess tissue around your eyes is causing lines, wrinkles or even constricting your vision, schedule a consultation with Dr. Lawton so you can discuss the best way to achieve your goals. An eyelid lift is a great way to look more youthful, vibrant and joyful. Contact us to get started as soon as possible.
What Happens During an Eyelid Lift?
Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, includes the precise removal of excess fat, skin, and muscle from the area around the eyes. An eyelid lift performed by a qualified surgeon, such Dr. Lawton, can help rejuvenate one’s overall look. Her Newport Beach blepharoplasty gently lifts away excess skin to transform tired, poorly defined eyes into ones that are more expressive. And because eyelid surgery opens the eyes gracefully, the iris color typically appears more vivid and bright as well.
The Eyelid Lift Procedure
Eyelid surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis. Dr. Lawton will discuss whether the best approach is to rely on a local anesthetic with a sedative or to use general anesthesia. The placement of incisions will depend whether you require an upper blepharoplasty, a lower blepharoplasty or both.
- Upper Blepharoplasty: The incision used during an upper blepharoplasty depends on how much excess tissue is present. It follows the natural folds and creases of your upper eyelid. The purpose of the incision is two-fold: to remove excess skin, and also to allow Dr. Lawton the ability to reposition fat and muscle or remove any other excess tissue as necessary.
- Lower Blepharoplasty: If you are experiencing problems with excess tissue or fat around the lower eyelid, Dr. Lawton may perform a lower blepharoplasty. In cases where excess skin is an issue, the incision will be made along the lower eyelid next to the eyelashes. If fat must be repositioned but there is no excess skin, Dr. Lawton may use a technique called a transconjunctival incision. This technique involves making an incision along the interior of the eyelid, making any resulting scar tissue impossible to see.
Whichever type of blepharoplasty you might require, the incision lines are intentionally placed in a way that typically makes them difficult to notice once healing has occurred. The upper eyelid incision is well-camouflaged in the natural fold and contour of the upper eyelid, while the lower-eyelid incision is concealed in the lash line.
Eyelid surgery usually takes about one hour. Most of Dr. Lawton’s eyelid-lift procedures are performed at her Newport Beach accredited surgery center.
What are the Benefits of an Eyelid Lift?
The saying “the eye is the window to the soul” may be a cliché, but it’s based on truth because the eyes are such potent-communicators. However, when they’re shrouded in excess skin, that communication can get cloudy. That’s why even though blepharoplasty is a relatively minor plastic-surgery procedure, it can produce significant benefits for patients.
One of the prime benefits of blepharoplasty is the improvement of the way your eyes can emote. Patients tend to look more youthful, more alert and more expressive after their eyelid-lift procedure.
Other benefits of blepharoplasty include:
- Improvement in field of vision (excess skin no longer presents an obstruction).
- Eyes appear more expressive and youthful.
- The face appears less fatigued.
- A potential boost in confidence and self-esteem.
- Eyes appear less “puffy”.
There are, of course, risks to any plastic surgery procedure. During your consultation with Dr. Lawton, you can discuss all possible outcomes before electing to move forward.
Recovery From an Eyelid Lift
Most patients return home the same day as their surgery, following a couple of hours of post-operative recovery. The eyes may be bruised and swollen following your blepharoplasty. Patients also will have stitches along their incisions lines (Dr. Lawton will discuss whether those stitches will need to be removed later or whether dissolvable stitches can be used for your procedure.)
If the stitches do need to be removed, that usually will happen one week after your procedure. Swelling and bruising typically diminish within one to two weeks, allowing patients to return to most normal activities.
Everyone heals at a different pace, so Dr. Lawton will give you individualized care instructions to follow after your blepharoplasty. These instructions are important because they protect both your comfort and your results.
The best candidates for eyelid surgery are men and women who are both physically and psychologically healthy, and realistic in their expectations about plastic surgery. Most patients who undergo a blepharoplasty are 35 or older, but if droopy, baggy eyelids run in your family, you may elect to have eyelid surgery at a younger age.
Are You a Good Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?
People who can benefit from eyelid surgery typically have one or more of the following characteristics:
- Excess skin around their eyes
- Wrinkles and lines around their eyes
- Looking older and more fatigued than they actually feel
- Obstructed vision caused by excess tissue around the eyes
- Areas of puffy skin caused by excess or out-of-position fat
In general, the results from blepharoplasty will be long-lasting. However, it’s important to note that like any plastic-surgery procedure, an eyelid lift does not stop the aging process. In other words, patients can expect the formation of excess skin to continue.
However, the visible results from eyelid surgery will last for a significant amount of time. Most patients who receive an upper blepharoplasty will enjoy a significant improvement for five years or more. Patients who get a lower blepharoplasty almost never have to have the procedure repeated—the visible results are quite long-lasting.
As with many plastic surgery procedures, the best approach will depend greatly on your desired outcome and the specific issues you would like to address. Blepharoplasty is an incredibly popular procedure because it can make drastic improvements in the appearance of the eyes—and, therefore, the face. If you have significant lines and wrinkles around your eyes, or if you’re struggling with excess skin that clouds your appearance and expressions, blepharoplasty can be a transformational procedure.
Would you like to learn more about a Blepharoplasty procedure? Fill out the “Request a Consultation” form on this page or call Tenley K. Lawton M.D. at 949-640-0999 to schedule your consultation with Board-Certified plastic surgeon Dr. Tenley Lawton serving Newport Beach and the greater Orange County, CA area.