Puffy eyes happen to almost everyone at some point, but when they become a chronic problem, puffy eyes and drooping eyelids can become more than a temporary annoyance. There are many reasons a person can have under eye bags, drooping eyelids, and other aesthetic problems of the eye area.
Aging in the eye area can have a huge impact on resting facial expressions, often creating a perpetually tired, bored, or even angry expression. Besides being misleading, a tired appearance in the mirror can be disheartening and have an impact on self-esteem. As a solution to this common problem, offers a popular procedure known as blepharoplasty (cosmetic eyelid surgery).
The aging eyelid starts to droop and sag as muscles weaken, skin loses elasticity, and fat starts to press against the thinning skin of the lower eyelids. Blepharoplasty's purpose is to reposition facial fat and remove excess skin for an alert, awake, and youthful expression.
There are two types of eyelid surgery: upper and lower. The two can be performed combined or as standalone procedures. They may also be performed with other procedures such as a brow lift or face lift as part of a comprehensive facial rejuvenation. Lower blepharoplasty is primarily used to address undereye bags and pockets of fat beneath the eye, while upper blepharoplasty is to correct drooping upper eyelids that affect expression and can even affect normal vision.
Candidates for eyelid surgery are healthy adults with excess skin, drooping skin, or puffy bags of fatty tissue around the eyes. Most patients are interested in blepharoplasty for cosmetic reasons, but there are some conditions that cause the upper eyelid to droop, impairing normal vision. In other instances aging may lead to malposition of the lower eyelid which can lead to drying of the eyes. Patients should have realistic expectations about the results of the procedure and be aware of the limitations of the surgery.
Typically, general anesthesia is not necessary for blepharoplasty, although the anesthesia used will be tailored to the patient's comfort level and the type of procedure(s) being performed. If only blepharoplasty is being performed, local anesthesia with oral sedation (or IV sedation for lower eyelid surgery) can be an excellent option, however if combined with other procedures - or if the patient prefers - general anesthesia is used. Eyelid surgery takes about 1-2 hours on average when performed as a standalone procedure.
A lower blepharoplasty is performed through small incisions hidden underneath the lower lashes within the moist lining tissue on the inside of the eyelid. The main goal of this procedure is removing or repositioning excess fat to smooth the area beneath the eyes and achieve a rested, youthful appearance.
Upper blepharoplasty usually involves the conservative removal of skin and fat of the upper eyelid and is performed through small incisions in the upper eyelid.
Scarring is minimal for both techniques, as the incisions are small and hidden within the eyelids and eyelashes. Major complications with blepharoplasty surgery are rare, and the procedure is considered very safe. The experienced surgeons in our Georgia office take care to avoid removing too much skin and fat for a very natural appearance and beautiful results.
The blepharoplasty recovery process is relatively easy, but patients should expect to spend about a week after the surgery focusing on healing. Some patients experience minor side effects like dry eyes and blurred vision temporarily as the area recovers from the surgery. The thin sutures used in the procedure are removed after 7 days, and bruising should be subsiding around that time as well. Any remaining bruising can be disguised with makeup after day 10.
Some swelling will take longer to resolve, but patients will be able to see preliminary results once the bruising disappears. The difficulty of the recovery period will depend on the type of surgery performed (upper, lower or both) and how well post-operative instructions are followed.