People often refer to eyes as windows to the soul. In fact, our eyes do provide lots of information about our emotional state. According to Psychology Today, we can tell a genuine from a fake smile by looking at a person’s eyes. The mouth shape of a smile is easy to fake—we do it all the time out of politeness. But our eyes are usually the giveaway.
The area around our eyes (the periocular area) also plays a crucial role in how we express ourselves and communicate with others. Aging in this area can change how others see us and can mean the difference between being seen as “bright-eyed” or tired.
As we get older, our eyelid tissues become thinner and our skin loses elasticity. We may also notice more puffiness around our eyes, as well as dark circles and wrinkles. The good news is there are several options for rejuvenating the periocular area:
- Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)
- Hyaluronic acid fillers
- Fat grafting
Eyelid surgery for a younger, fresher look
Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a common procedure that can refresh the area around your eyes. Making tiny incisions along your eyelids (in the natural creases so the scars are hidden), your surgeon will remove any excess skin or fat from your upper and/or lower eyelids, and tighten the tissues.
Blepharoplasty is an outpatient surgery usually done under local anesthesia with sedation. This involves numbing the area around your eyes to prevent any feeling of pain during your procedure in combination with medicine to calm you. In some cases, your surgeon may recommend general anesthesia instead.
Either way, you can go home the same day.
Typically, you can expect a complete recovery in about two weeks. You will experience some bruising and swelling for a few days after your surgery, so you may not want to plan any major social events during that time frame. Use ice and anti-inflammatories (such as ibuprofen) to help with your swelling or any discomfort. You may also need to have stitches removed a few days after your procedure.
If you can’t or don’t want to have surgery, you still have options for refreshing your look. For hollowed eyelids (or deep, dark circles), hyaluronic acid fillers or fat grafting are effective, nonsurgical methods for plumping up the tissue around your eyes.
Hyaluronic acid fillers are temporary, but can be repeated as needed. Our specialists provide hyaluronic acid injections in the office using topical anesthetic to numb the area around your eyes.
Fat grafting is a more permanent solution, but since fat is partially reabsorbed, you may need more than one injection session. In this procedure, fat is taken from another area of your body and injected into hollow or drooping areas around your eyes. Because it’s your own tissue, your body won’t reject it – it’s your own natural filler. Fat grafting requires local anesthesia to numb the area where the fat is harvested and where it will be injected.
You can go home immediately after both procedures. There may be some bruising and swelling for a few days following your injection or grafting procedure, but you should experience a quick recovery. Ice is recommended to help with swelling and Ibuprofen can be used to help with any discomfort.