The eyes are a very important feature of the face. As the upper eyelid ages, there is typically laxity in the skin covering the eyelid. This extra skin creates folds on the upper eyelid and can even push the lid down or hang over the lid, impinging on the field of vision.
As the lower lid ages, the membrane that holds in the fat surrounding the eyeball begins to weaken, allowing the fat to bulge out underneath the eye. Additionally, excess skin may also accumulate under the eye. These changes in both the upper and lower eyelids typically lead to a very sleepy, unenergetic look.
Before and after photos of some of Dr. Ondik’s eyelid surgery patients.
Upper and lower eyelid surgery, called blepharoplasty, can correct the aging changes of the eyelids. Upper eyelid surgery is mainly aimed at removing the excess skin on the upper eyelid. The incisions are carefully hidden in the natural upper eyelid crease. Sometimes a small of amount of bulging fat may be present at the inner corner of the eye–this fat can be removed at the same time through the same incision. The procedure may take up to an hour and is preferably done in the office under local anesthesia.
Lower eyelid surgery in mainly aimed at correcting the bulging fat beneath the eye. Dr. Ondik typically uses a tranconjunctival incision (an incision made on the inside of the lower eyelid) to either remove or reposition the bulging fat so that it no longer visible. Sometimes, a “pinch” of extra skin may be removed at the same time–this “pinch” incision is made right under the eyelashes and heals extremely well. The entire procedure may last between 1-2 hours and is done with either general or twilight anesthesia.
Recovery will vary depending on the type of procedure you have, however, most patients will need about 7-10 days to recover from upper eyelid surgery and from 1-3 weeks to recover from lower eyelid surgery. During this time you will be able to perform most daily activities as long as they do not involve strenuous activity or heavy lifting. Contact lenses can typically be used after 1-2 weeks.