The eye area reflects so much about who you are. People can tell a lot about you, what you’re thinking and feeling, just by looking at your eyes. But, as people get older, it’s likely for the eye area to give away things that might not be true or that might not be what you want to share with the world.
Since the skin around the eyes is thin and delicate, it’s often one of the first areas of the face to show signs of aging. Puffy eyes, droopy lids and bags under the eyes all conspire to add years to your look or make you appear tired. Fortunately, there is a way to change your appearance and fight the signs of aging with surgery. An eyelid lift, sometimes called blepharoplasty, can transform your look as much or as little as you’d like it to.
Understanding the Eyelid Lift
One of the most important things to understand about an eyelid lift is that it is technically two procedures. Depending on your specific concerns, you can have an upper eyelid lift or a lower eyelid lift. Your surgeon can also perform an upper and lower eyelid lift at the same time, if that is what works best for you.
Like many other types of facial lift surgeries, blepharoplasty involves cutting away extra skin from the eye area and removing extra fat and tightening muscles Other times, the surgeon may add volume. Although the procedure might sound particularly invasive, it can be performed under local anesthesia and sedation, or under general anesthesia if that’s what the patient prefers. Depending on the complexity of the surgery, it typically takes anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours to perform. The incisions are usually made on the inside of the lid or inside of a crease, so visible scarring is limited or non-existent.
What it Can Do
The degree to which an eyelid surgery can change your appearance depends in part on what you want from the surgery and the skill level of your surgeon. As with many other procedures, it’s important to choose a surgeon who is board certified and who has ample experience performing the surgery.
Some people are justifiably concerned that an eyelid surgery will completely alter their appearance. Others might be hoping that is the case. The actress Renee Zellweger comes to mind when you think about people who have had dramatic changes in their appearance thanks to an eyelid lift. But, if that big of a change isn’t something you’re after, you can feel comforted by the fact that the surgery can also be done to simply make you look more alert and rested or to take a few years off and still appear natural.
Here are a few changes an eyelid lift can bring about:
- Less droopy eyelids: As you get older, gravity starts to work against you. The downward force of gravity makes your cheeks droop, your chin droopy, and can lead to droopy eyelids. Those droopy lids make you look sleepy or add years to your appearance. They can also make it difficult to see if they block your vision. During an upper eyelid lift, a surgeon can remove the extra skin and fat from the upper lids and tighten the muscles, decreasing droop and giving you a more awake look.
- Minimize puffiness and under-eye bags. Plenty of people have what look to be like bags under their eyes. Those bags are actually small deposits of fat that develop over the years due to gravity, changes in the body, and genes. During a lower eyelid lift, the surgeon will remove those fatty deposits to minimize the puffiness. He might also remove extra skin if it is causing bags.
- Correct hollowness. Surprisingly, an eyelid lift can also correct hollowness under the eyes. During the surgery, a surgeon might add fat to the under eye area.
- Create a double lid. In some cases, people might want an eyelid lift to create a crease in the eyelid. This is known as Asian eyelid surgery or double eyelid surgery. It gives the eyes a more Westernized look.
Along with the changes above, an eyelid surgery can also minimize crepiness in the skin beneath the eyes, reduce some fine lines, or smooth and increase the size of the upper lids so that it is easier to apply eye makeup.
Deciding if an Eyelid Lift is Right For You
Aside from a desire to change the appearance of your eyes, there are a number of factors that go into deciding whether an eyelid lift is the right call for you. Your health and your expectations for the surgery are two big factors. You should be in pretty good health before surgery. Your doctor will most likely ask you to have a number of blood tests and perhaps a heart exam before your surgery, just to make sure everything is in good working order.
It’s also essential that you manage expectations about the eyelid procedure. It can help you see better if sagging lids are interfering with your vision, make you look less tired, and even take years off of your appearance. But, it won’t change who you are as a person. It’s also very important that you have the surgery for yourself, not in an attempt to make someone else happy.
If you’re in Ohio and thinking about an eyelid lift, make an appointment to discuss your options with Dr. Stephen Smith. Dr. Smith is a fourth generation facial plastic surgeon with years of experience in performing blepharoplasty and other facial procedures. To schedule a consultation with him, call 614-245-4263 today.