Blepharoplasty: The Windows to the Soul

Healthcare Times

by Healthcare Times | August 16, 2010 @ 10:00AM

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It is a well described adage that the eyes tell all. And although there maybe truth to this proverb, often times a person may unfortunately be mistaken for tired, angry, or depressed based on the appearance of his/her eyes. As we mature, the eyes are usually the first features on our face to show age. In some families, tired appearing eyelids are inherited and may begin to show at a young age. Not surprisingly, many undergoing eyelid surgery are younger than those having other facial rejuvenating procedures. In others, asymmetric eyelids, droopy eyelids, or bulging eyes may be due to a medical condition. Additional changes that can be expected with aging include a puffiness around the eyes. Although this too can be a sign of certain medical conditions, or even seasonal allergies, more likely than not it is excess fatty tissues that has become recognizable from behind the eyelids. Occasionally, the upper eyelid skin may become so redundant that overhanging skin obstructs vision. But before it gets to that point, a noticeable cosmetic deformity appears. For most, however, the excess skin and puffy pockets of the eyelids are the inevitable fruits of the well-earned ageing process

If you are often questioned about feeling tired, angry, or sad when you know you are not, take a good look at your eyes.

If this is you, what are your options? Well, assuming the absence of a significant medical condition affecting your eyes, you may be a candidate for surgical correction (blepharoplasty). However, prior to pledging yourself to eyelid surgery, take a good look at your eyebrow position. Occasionally, a crowded upper eyelid may be due to laxity or descent of the eyebrows. If this is the case, in order to achieve the optimal outcome, you may want to consider an eyebrow elevation.

Surgical treatment of eyelids is a commonly performed and routine procedure today. It is the most commonly performed facial cosmetic surgery by Facial Plastic Surgeons and the number of blepharoplasties performed by plastic surgeons has increased 190 percent since 1992 (ASPS cosmetic surgery trends survey).

Upper eyelids are treated through a small incision hidden in the crease of the upper eyelid. Lower eyelids are also treated with a well-hidden incision placed just under the eyelashes. Some individuals are candidates for achieving improvement in the lower eyelids through an incision made on the inside of the eyelid. An examination by an experienced surgeon will help to determine which method is best for you.

Recovery from eyelid surgery takes about one to two weeks. Bruising and swelling are minimal and pain is highly unusual. Most return to their regular jobs or social activities within one week to 10 days. Following recovery, the results are impressive but subtle. It would be very unlikely for anyone to know you had a procedure performed. In fact, you can expect your acquaintances to ask "have you gotten more rest" or "have you been on vacation?" For the many who are disappointed with their appearance, unveiling their eyes may lead to the biggest improvement in their outlook.

Originally published in the January 2002 issue of HealthCare Times.

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