Aging Eyelids: What to Expect with Blepharoplasty

As skin loosens and muscles weaken around your eyes, your upper and lower eyelids can begin to drop. The unsightly bags and sagging eyelids that happen as a result are not only a bothersome sign of aging, they can interfere with your vision.

But aging is not the only cause of baggy or drooping eyelids — it can also be hereditary. If your mother, grandmother or aunts had excessive skin around their eyelids or dark circles, you may be more likely to experience the condition as well.

Blepharoplasty tightens the skin around your eyes, creating a younger, refreshed appearance and improving your vision. Learn more about this popular surgical procedure, including what you can expect before, during and after surgery.

Am I a good candidate for blepharoplasty?

In general, as long as you’re a healthy adult, you are a good candidate for cosmetic surgery. You may want to consider talking to a cosmetic surgeon about blepharoplasty if you have:

  • Bags under your eyes
  • Drooping or baggy skin on your upper lids
  • Excessive skin that impacts your vision
  • Sagging skin under your eyes

Your surgeon may also recommend other procedures, such as brow lifts or facelifts, in combination with and at the same time as your blepharoplasty.

How is upper blepharoplasty done?

With a small incision made in the natural crease of your eyelid, your surgeon will remove the excess skin in your upper lid. And, if you have excess fat as well, your surgeon can take out a small amount (but not too much since it can make your upper lid look hollowed out).

How is lower blepharoplasty done?

Most commonly, an incision is made just below your lashes. Then, fat is moved from your lower lid to your upper cheek to help enhance volume. Or, if you have a groove between the inside of the lower lid and the nose (sometimes called a tear trough), the excess fat can be used to fill that groove instead. With this approach, if excess skin is creating an aged appearance for you, your surgeon can remove a very modest amount.

If you don’t have an issue with excess skin, you might also consider an incision on the inside of your eyelids lids instead. Just like the other method, fat can be moved to your cheeks or tear trough.

Your surgeon will discuss these surgical approaches with you before your procedure, and make an expert recommendation as to which method is best for you.

What else impacts the appearance of my upper lids?

Many factors can affect your current appearance and your results after surgery. To create a plan that best addresses your specific needs, your surgeon will assess your eyelids for:

  • Abnormal placement of your upper eyelids
  • Bags or dark circles beneath your lower eyelids
  • Cheek volume
  • Condition of your lower eyelid
  • Drooping or sagging above your eyes
  • Positioning of your eyebrows
  • Tear troughs

After your examination, you and your surgeon will determine the procedure, or combination of procedures, that is just right for you.

What can I expect as far as recovery from blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty is a common procedure, but you should plan for up to a week of healing. You may experience dry eyes, blurred vision and bruising as the area heals. But generally, these temporary side effects subside after the first week.

Your sutures will be removed after seven days, and any remaining bruising can be covered with makeup after 10 days.

Emory Aesthetic Center

Learn more about upper and lower lid blepharoplasty at the Emory Aesthetic Center. Our highly qualified staff is committed to helping you bring out your very best. Schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our expert cosmetic surgeons today.

About Vincent Zubowicz, MD

Vincent Zubowicz, MD, assistant professor of Surgery, division of Reconstructive Surgery at Emory University, is a renowned leader in the Atlanta medical community where he has practiced for over 35 years. He is triple board-certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners, the American Board of Surgery, and the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Zubowicz is not only a leader in Plastic, Reconstructive, and Maxillofacial Surgery, but also a leader in patient communication. He is one of the Top 50 Contributors on Real Self, the nation’s premier online communication resource for patients, where he serves on the national media committee. As an advocate for open patient communication, Dr. Zubowicz has written over 18,000 individual answers to patients seeking insights on both surgical and non-surgical procedures. Dr. Zubowicz is a prevailing voice of medical expertise for the Atlanta media, most recently appearing on CNN to discuss the selection and safety of free-standing aesthetic surgery centers.

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