Aging around the eyes is a complicated process involving changes to the skin, laxity (looseness) of the fibrous tissues around the eyes, and descent (drooping) of the soft tissues of the cheeks. The end result is excess skin and tissue of the upper eyelids, excess skin of the lower eyelids, with the development of bags/fullness around the lower eyelids, and hollowing and dark circles where the eyelids meet the cheek (the so-called “tear trough” depressions). Descent of the eyebrows can also contribute to a heavy appearance of the upper eyelids. These changes often occur with age, but can also be hereditary and occur in younger patients.
Dr. Cynthia M. Gregg provides upper and lower blepharoplasty surgery for patients in Cary, Raleigh, the surrounding areas of North Carolina, and across the country. Call today to schedule your consultation and take the first step towards a better looking you.
Upper Blepharoplasty (Upper Eyelid Lift)
Excess skin and soft tissues of the upper eyelid can result in a sensation of heavy eyelids, may make application of eye makeup difficult, and in some cases may limit peripheral vision. When the issue is related to excessive skin, muscle or fat, an upper blepharoplasty (upper eyelid lift) may be performed to remove the excess tissue and rejuvenate the upper eyelid. In many cases the eyebrows are also ptotic (droopy) and further weigh down the upper eyelids. When this is the case, a brow lift (forehead lift) [insert link to brow lift] is often performed either alone or in combination with upper eyelid blepharoplasty.
Lower Blepharoplasty (Lower Eyelid Lift)
The fine, thin skin of the lower eyelid begins to have a characteristic appearance, often described as crepe-like. The soft tissues of the cheek descend down, which results in exposure of the underlying inferior orbital rim (the bone of the eye socket). This causes a hollowed appearance where the lower eyelid meets the cheek, resulting in tear trough formation. As the fibrous sling surrounding the eye (the orbital septum) weakens with time or due to heredity, the fat pads that naturally surround the eyeball begin to bulge forward and form lower eyelid bags. There is loss of a smooth transition from the lower eyelid to the cheek, replaced by the “double convexity” of the lower eyelid bags and droopy cheek tissues. The end result is that the lower eyelids appear “tired” and aged. Lower blepharoplasty can be performed to remove excess skin, muscle, and fat as necessary in order to sculpt the lower eyelid and restore a more youthful contour.
How are Upper and Lower Blepharoplasty Surgeries Performed?
Surgery is performed in our fully accredited surgery center under intravenous sedation, allowing us to offer the highest level of care in a safe, comfortable, and private setting. When performing an upper or lower blepharoplasty, Dr. Cynthia M. Gregg will precisely mark the areas needing treatment on each eyelid.
For upper blepharoplasty (upper eyelid lift), the incisions are hidden the existing upper eyelid creases, making them barely visible after surgery in most cases. Excess skin, muscle (if necessary), and fat (if necessary) are removed and the incisions sutured closed, restoring a youthful contour to the upper eyelids.
Lower blepharoplasty (lower eyelid lift) may be performed using incisions made behind the eyelid (transconjunctival) or just under the eyelashes (subciliary). When incisions are made behind the eyelid, no visible scar will exist. When making an incision under the eyelashes, a faint nearly imperceptible scar will be present. The fat compartments of the lower eyelid are sculpted and occasionally repositioned to add volume to the tear troughs. Excess skin and muscle are removed if necessary. The end result is the restoration of a more youthful contour to the lower eyelids.
This is an outpatient procedure, and once surgery is complete patients are sent home to the care of their significant other, family member, or trusted friend. If external sutures are used, these will remain in place for 5 to 7 days. Patients can expect swelling and bruising around the sites of the surgery, which usually resolve after the first one to two weeks. Temporary numbness of the eyelids and cheeks (with lower blepharoplasty) is common. This generally subsides over a period of a few weeks. Rest, cool compresses, and pain medication taken as needed are very helpful in the recovery period. Scar formation is minimal; Dr. Cynthia M. Gregg uses the most advanced techniques to hide all incisions and limit the size of the incisions. Makeup and skin care regimens can be resumed approximately ten days after surgery. Patients usually have minimal downtime of 1-2 weeks before returning to work or school.