They say that the eyes are the windows to your soul. Are your eyes betraying what your soul is feeling? Are you looking older than you should for your age? Is it becoming more difficult to put on eye make-up as you get older? Maybe your vision is being affected by droopy eyelids. Is it time for eyelid surgery? Our experts here at Metairie Plastic Surgeons in Metairie, LA, can help you find a solution for any one of these problems. In fact, it’s what we do best!
Why an Eyelid Lift?
As we all know, skin loses collagen and elasticity with age, while genetic predispositions and environmental factors can speed up the process. This can cause the skin to begin to droop or sag and hang over the upper eyelids or eyelashes, impairing vision. This can happen on the bottom eyelids, as well as underneath the eye area, creating wrinkles and puffy bulges, often referred to as eye bags.
Deposits of fatty tissue form a type of cushion between the eyeball and the skull. The fatty tissue is encased by a thin membrane that can stretch and weaken with age. When this begins to happen, the fat can deform the membrane and herniate, falling forward into the eyelids. This can often impede vision if the folds of bulging skin fall below the pupil area.
When our eyes begin to betray our true age and energy inside, or when our vision becomes impaired, it is time for an eyelid lift, to brighten up the eyes — the windows to the soul. There are several different types of surgery, in addition to alternative treatments, than can help minimize these problems.
What Is an Eyelid Lift?
We’re all familiar with the terms face lift, jaw lift, neck lift, butt lift, and eyebrow lift — but an eyelid lift? An eyelid lift is not a proper medical term, though some use it interchangeably with either Blepharoplasty or a ptosis repair surgery. Blepharoplasty is excising or repositioning any excess skin, fatty tissue, or muscle of either the upper or lower eyelids. Alternate methods are often used for tightening the skin under the eye, such as laser resurfacing, chemical peels, etc.
Ptosis means a drooping of the upper eyelid and can be congenital from birth or acquired with age. Sometimes the eyelid can droop down past the pupil, impairing vision. It can also be caused by other eye surgeries such as cataract surgery, or even from a stroke or trauma. Surgery is usually the only remedy for this condition.
A ptosis repair surgery involves lifting the upper eyelid by repairing the muscle and tendon. This is often accomplished by manipulating or repositioning the muscle, which has aged and is no longer providing ample support for the upper eyelid. This procedure can usually be performed internally, leaving behind less scaring for an added benefit.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?
Any healthy individual who desires to:
- Look younger
- Improve their facial appearance
- Boost their confidence, or
- Improve their vision
Is likely to benefit from eyelid surgery—aka Blepharoplasty. The recommended age is at least thirty years old or above, but exceptions are made for extreme or emergency circumstances. The client should also be free of any serious medical conditions, especially any eye conditions or diseases.
Another thing to consider is that of expectations from the client. Many clients often expect unrealistic results, causing disappointment or depression following the surgery. While Blepharoplasty can certainly enhance your look cosmetically or improve your vision medically, the transformation it can achieve is limited, outside of various other types of treatment. Some clients choose more than one type of treatment for this reason, to enhance the outcome of the look they are trying to achieve.
Overall, most clients are very satisfied with the surgical outcome and do not regret their decision. When vision is impeded by significant changes in the eyelid, surgery is almost always required, usually resulting in a very favorable outcome as well. It is recommended that clients discuss expectations with their doctor before making a final decision on eyelid surgery. If expectations are unrealistic, their doctor may guide them in a different direction or perhaps, recommend additional types of treatment for a result closer to what the client expects.
Eyelid Surgery Results
Results for an Upper Lid Surgery
Surgery for the upper eyelid usually consists of either cutting away or repositioning any excess skin, fatty tissue, or muscle. An extra incision will be made for a double—aka Asian— Blepharoplasty, to create a crease in the upper eyelid. Lifting the upper eyelid tends to open the eye, making it appear much larger and brighter, taking years off the clock.
While it doesn’t remove wrinkles, removing excess skin and herniated fatty deposits, along with muscle repositioning, can often help smooth out the skin of the surrounding area, especially if additional treatments are involved. An eyebrow lift can also make a huge difference in the newly formed shape of the eye and can be so impactful than it can often replace a required eyelid lift.
Results for a Lower Lid Surgery
Correction for the undereye lid usually consists of cutting out fatty tissue to alleviate those under-the-eye bags, making one look older, tired, or unhealthy from the dark circles and puffiness. The incision is usually made just underneath the bottom eyelashes, or sometimes may even be performed on the inside of the lower lid. For some clients, the doctor may even tighten loose, sagging skin by attaching it to a skeletal bone.
Additional or alternative treatments are often used for under the eye, which can often achieve the same results as Blepharoplasty for the bottom lid. This depends on how severe the bulging pockets of fat are, however, in addition to the extent of loose skin. Some clients choose both: lower eyelid surgery, along with additional treatments such as dermal fillers, laser resurfacing, or chemical peels. These additional treatments can enhance the surgical results, for a more satisfactory outcome.
Results for Both Upper and Lower Lid Surgery
If both lower and upper lids are being worked on, the doctor will usually begin with the upper lids first, then proceed to the lower lids. As excess skin is cut away and fat deposits are removed or manipulated, muscles are repositioned and smoothed out for greater support of the surrounding tissue of the eye area. This helps to alleviate any droopiness of the upper eyelid and any puffiness associated underneath the eye — often referred to as eye bags.
Contrary to what many clients think, Blepharoplasty will not eliminate crow’s feet, facial wrinkles, or dark circles under the eye, unless they are caused by shadows from puffiness, which is often decreased with surgery. It will, however, provide a more youthful appearance, while brightening and opening those windows to the soul. Re-sculpting the eye is akin to masterful art. You will definitely want to choose a skilled surgeon with many successful surgeries in his portfolio to enhance your look or improve your vision.
Increased Vision With Functional Blepharoplasty
A Functional Blepharoplasty is when surgery is required for medical reasons to improve vision, relieve forehead muscle strain from lifting eyes to see, or irritation from excessive loose skin. The surgery is most often performed by either an ophthalmologist or oculoplastic surgeon, though an ENT, oral and maxillofacial surgeon or general plastic surgeon can perform this surgery as well.
Insurance will often pay for a functional blepharoplasty or ptosis repair surgery for the upper eyelid, as vision is often affected by hooded or droopy upper eyelids. It is unusual for them to cover surgery for bottom eyelids, however, as they are almost always for cosmetic purposes only. On the other hand, there are rare occasions when this may be necessary, such as emergency situations due to traumatic accidents.
Many clients choose additional services alongside Blepharoplasty, to enhance their final look. There are numerous treatments that can enhance eyelid surgery. Some, but certainly not all, of these treatments include:
- Juvederm filler
- Restylane filler
- Radiesse filler
- Belotero filler
- Chemical peels
- Laser resurfacing
- Eyebrow lift
- Forehead lift
Following surgery and the healing process, it’s a good idea to abide by some healthy and preventative rules to both maintain and prolong the surgical results. One very important rule is to always wear a sunscreen on your face to protect your skin, and especially the eyes, from sun damage. Wearing a hat to block out even more sun is also beneficial.
Some of the more common rules of facial skin care equally apply here. Now that the skin around the eye area has been tucked and tightened, avoiding any behaviors that might cause rubbing, pulling, or stretching of the skin around the eye area is vital. The skin following surgery is especially vulnerable and super-delicate, requiring proper care and attention for continued healing and protection.
Practically any type of cosmetic treatment with positive results can boost both self-confidence and self-esteem for the client: some having a greater impact than others. Though many are self-conscious about their entire body — especially women — it would be safe to say that most clients tend to focus more on the face, than anyplace else. This is probably because our face is seen more often than any other part of our body, with exception of summertime. Even then, bodily exposure is usually limited.
Transforming the eyes to be bigger and brighter, however, has a way of sliding that window wide open — illuminating the soul. When you look at someone, you look straight into their eyes. The eyes can often convey an entirely different message about someone, especially when they tend to look tired and aged. Eyes that are big and bright communicate a much more positive vibe and appear to be like magnets, demanding attention from across a room.
Many people today are business-minded and career-driven, wanting not only to look the part but also to perform their best in the workplace. Quite often, our modern society expects it. Beauty and success tend to go hand-in-hand in the business world. This is the same reason you don’t see tired or aged faces on mainstream news or media. Gaining that little bit of extra confidence can make a world of difference in how a person performs in the big leagues of corporate America.
Rejuvenate Those Eyes!
Can you relate to one or more problems mentioned above? Do you desire to have youthful, bright eyes again? Has your confidence in your career taken a downhill turn lately? Call one of our experts at Metairie Plastic Surgeons in Metairie, LA to begin your journey back to your younger self and regain that confidence you need to boost your career and self-esteem! We are just outside of New Orleans, located on the banks of Lake Pontchartrain, where food, fun, and flair can be found in any direction. We look forward to helping you achieve your goals.