The eyes are not only a window to the external, but also to the inner world of people. They are one of the most expressive facial features that show vitality, emotion, and character.
Many factors such as age, heredity, skin type, sun exposure, etc can affect the eyelids and cause them to sag or make them swollen and heavy.
You don't have to live with eyes that look sad, tired, and old. In these modern days, there is an easy way to fix this problem. The solution is eyelid surgery called blepharoplasty. It can be done on the lower eyelid, upper eyelid, and both at the same time.
Blepharoplasty aims to "open" and refresh the look of the face. During the procedure are removed excess skin, fat tissue, and in some cases muscle tissue from the eyelid area. Blepharoplasty is divided into two separate procedures - upper blepharoplasty and lower blepharoplasty, which means it corrects lower and upper eyelids. Very often both procedures are performed together. In addition to treating certain conditions like drooping eyelids or ptosis, Asian blepharoplasty is also being used for the creation of double eyelids.
Here we will focus on lower blepharoplasty eyelid surgery.
What does a lower blepharoplasty do?
Lower eyelid surgery can rejuvenate puffy and tired eyes by removing excess fat, correcting the eyelid skin and muscles in the lower eyelids. The operation can remove the bags around the eyes and create a smooth contour of the face. As a result, the eyes look better and more youthful.
What can you achieve with lower eyelid plastic surgery?
Lower blepharoplasty is ideal for the correction of:
- Loose, excess or wrinkled skin on the lower eyelids;
- Bags under the lower eyelids;
- Hanging lower eyelid;
- Excess skin on the lower lid;
- Fine wrinkles on the lower eyelid.
Blepharoplasty cannot raise the eyebrows and reduce the appearance of deep wrinkles, or dark circles under the eyes, but it can be combined with other procedures, such as forehead lifting and Botox.
How is lower blepharoplasty performed?
It is performed under local anaesthesia. The duration is about an hour or two, depending on whether the plastic surgery is made, only on the lower eyelid or both together, upper and lower. The operation can be also performed under general anaesthesia. In the lower eyelid surgery, the incision is around 2 millimetres below the lash line. The procedure includes removing the excess skin, fat tissue, and in some cases, muscle tissue.
There are two options for the incision - external (transcutaneous) and internal (transconjunctival). The first type of incision removes the fat under the eyes, as well as cuts the excess skin from the external incision, beneath the eyelashes. The second is normally used in cases when there is a minimal amount of excess skin.
Both procedures work to reduce the puffiness of the eyelids and remove bags under the eyes. The results are long-lasting and achieve a refreshing look, youthful appearance, and expressiveness.
The traditional (transcutaneous) surgery is performed in the following steps:
- The surgeon will make sure that your eyes are nice and numb;
- Making a small incision under the eyelashes;
- Finding the fat pocket;
- Removing the excess fat;
- Closing the incisions by using sutures.
Transconjunctival blepharoplasty is more gentle and is suitable for people who don't have too much excess fat under the eyes. The incision is not made in the skin of the eyelid but it is made in the conjunctiva. In general, this method is used to remove excess fat under the eyes. It is only suitable for young patients when the skin still has sufficient elasticity.
Transconjunctival blepharoplasty has a number of significant advantages. The operation does not require general anaesthesia, it is enough to use it locally. In this way, many side effects associated with systemic anaesthesia can be avoided, so the recovery time will be faster and easier. The procedure is quite fast and takes around an hour.
However, if there are deep wrinkles and sagging skin, this method will not work and the doctor will have to use the transcutaneous method.
What is the recovery process like after a lower blepharoplasty?
There is no downtime. In the first days after the operation, swelling and bruising under the eyes are observed. Cold compresses can help these symptoms to go away faster. Discomfort and pain are affected by the most common painkillers. The sutures are removed on the 4-5th day, but for complete recovery and disappearance of discomfort, it is good to be off of work for two weeks.
The scars should not be exposed to direct sunlight or if this happens, they should be covered with a high sun protection factor. It is recommended to wear glasses for the first 7 days.
Complications and risks of blepharoplasty
After the operation, you may experience tearing, itching, burning in the eyes, dry eyes, sensitivity to light, and blurred or double vision that may persist for several days. Eye drops and ointments can very successfully affect these symptoms.
In very rare cases, bleeding may occur. Another rare complication is lower eyelid drooping after blepharoplasty. It is possible because in many cases the nerves that go to the muscles of the lower lid are stretched during the surgery. It can take about 6 weeks to get better and nerve to start working again. Drooping eyelids after surgery can be also associated with other eye problems. If you have any of these complications it is important to consult with your surgeon.
To avoid complications, it is necessary to follow simple recommendations. For a quicker recovery, drinking alcohol, exercising, lifting weights, and stress are not recommended. It is not desirable to tire your eyes, watch TV, and read books. It is necessary to protect the area around the eyes from direct sunlight by wearing sunglasses for at least two weeks after the operation.
With choosing a good plastic surgeon and proper technique, complications can be minimized.
Preparation for the operation
The first step is to go for a consultation.
What to expect during the examination?
- A photo of your eyes will be taken, reflecting their current condition.
- Your surgeon will decide if this procedure is right for you.
- You will discuss the results you want and how it can be achieved.
- You will be shown where the incisions will be made, as well as before and after photos of the surgeon's past work.
- You will be informed about the recovery period and about the possible risks and complications related to the upcoming procedure.
- You will receive instructions on what to do before the operation and what tests you will need.
What is expected of you during the consultation:
- Ask the surgeon if you have any questions about the upcoming procedure.
- Inform your doctor if you have any illnesses, as well as if there are any medications you are currently taking.
- You can avoid or reduce the risk of complications by choosing a plastic surgeon with the appropriate experience and qualifications.
How long does a lower blepharoplasty last?
Is it going to be one year, six months, ten years? When you are doing surgery, you are looking at five-ten years even longer than that. But the truth is that it has to do with your lifestyle. If you are someone who is very active and you are constantly rubbing your eyes, you are pulling on things, and given your genetic makeup (some people just age a little bit differently), that will affect the results. But in the big picture of things whenever we talk about surgery, we are looking at five, ten years, or even longer for that.
You can do little things like using the right skin products to make sure your results last longer, avoiding sun exposure, wearing a sun hat, SPF protection. Protecting your skin and taking care of it with some procedures like facials micro-needling, skin resurfacing, and so on, will allow the results to last longer.
Lower blepharoplasty and other procedures
Blepharoplasty treats problems of the upper and lower eyelids, but not deep wrinkles on the sides of the eyes. Very often blepharoplasty is performed together with other surgical procedures on the face, most often with a facelift, brow lift, or laser skin resurfacing. If several procedures are performed at the same time it will achieve a more complete rejuvenation of the face.
These options should be discussed with your surgeon during the consultation to choose the best one for you.
Most common questions
Is lower blepharoplasty good for someone with under-eye hollowness?
The procedure can be a very useful technique to fill the under eye hollowness in a long term natural fashion. If there are enough fat bags there they can be repositioned to be filed the hollow part underneath.
Does blepharoplasty help dark circles?
The procedure typically removes fat deposit and excess skin around the eyes but it does not necessarily lighten dark circles. If the circles are due to fat deposit blepharoplasty will help to get rid of them.
How safe is lower blepharoplasty?
Lower eyelid surgery is a delicate operation because the area around the eyes is really sensitive. In good surgeon hands, blepharoplasty is an effective and safe procedure.
Does lower blepharoplasty change your eye shape?
You shouldn't expect drastic changes. The eye shape will change slightly with blepharoplasty. The procedure has very good aesthetic effects such as age-reducing, more youthful eye shape, more rested look, no loose, and wrinkled skin.
Can eye bags return after blepharoplasty?
If you don't take care of your eyes and the skin around them, it is possible eye bags to return after surgery. Procedures like fillers, facelift, lasers can be very useful if you want to avoid this problem.
Whenever you choose a plastic surgeon, make sure that he has the necessary education. Ask him to show you his certificates if they are not displayed in his office. Be careful not to fall into the hands of a pseudo-surgeon or one who does not have the necessary qualifications to perform the procedure you want.
A positive change in the look of the face affects the overall vision and appearance. The results of blepharoplasty are impressive and long-lasting. The scars are small and become invisible over time.