The skin of our eyes is one of the first areas to show the signs of. Along with the lips, it is the thinnest skin on our body, making it especially vulnerable to damage. Oxidative stress from internal and external triggers can lead to signs of aging such as fine lines, wrinkles, lax skin and dark spots. When drooping eyelids and/or eye bags form, non-invasive treatments are often inadequate to correct these concerns. In such cases, a blepharoplasty surgical procedure may be appropriate. In this article, we share everything you need to know about blepharoplasty surgery, also known as an eye lift.
What causes drooping eyelids and eye bags?
The primary cause of skin aging, including sagging skin and uneven contours, is accumulative sun damage. Ultraviolet light damages the DNA of skin cells, disrupting the skin’s normal functions and renewal processes. Additionally, the inflammation from UV light leads to the degradation and weakening of the collagen fibres in the dermis layer of the skin. Collagen loss and weakened connective tissue causes the skin to become loose and fat tissue to herniate, leading to sagging, bags and/or bulges in the skin contours. It is important to consider that family history can also set a predisposition for drooping eyelids. This is why some people experience drooping eyelids while others do not.
What is a blepharoplasty procedure?
Blepharoplasty surgery, also known as an eye lift, is specific to the eye area and can address lax skin and uneven contours. Concerns with wrinkles, dark circles or pigmentation require other treatment methods that may include a brow lift or non-invasive medical aesthetic techniques. The procedure can encompass an upper blepharoplasty, which addresses drooping eyelids, or a lower blepharoplasty, which targets protruding or loose skin underneath the eyes. Both areas can be treated in one surgical procedure if so desired.
What is involved in a blepharoplasty procedure?
A local anaesthetic will be administered to ensure patient comfort throughout the procedure. In the case of correcting lax skin on the eyelids, a discreet incision is made along the crease of the eye to minimize the visibility of any scarring. The surgeon trims away excess skin and repositions adipose, muscle, connective and skin tissue for a flattering and natural outcome. In the case of treating eye bags underneath the eyes, the incision is made just below the lash line (to reduce visible scarring), in order for the excess fat, muscle, and skin tissue to be removed.
How long is the recovery from an eye lift surgery?
It is common to have stitches on the upper lids that remain for approximately one week after surgery. Bruising, swelling and redness are to be expected and should resolve within a few weeks. It is advisable to take time off from work and your regular activities during the healing process.
What are the complications associated with blepharoplasty?
Patients often experience dry eyes after surgery, which should resolve after a few weeks, but may persist. Other possible complications can include:
- Skin discolouration
- Abnormal eyelid fold
- Eyelids not closing fully
- Lowered lash line
What can be done about other signs of aging around the eyes?
Further treatments with IPL Photorejuvenation, neuromodulators and dermal fillers and SELPHYL® (platelet rich plasma) may be desired to correct wrinkles and brown spots from sun damage, which cannot be addressed through surgery. In order to maintain the results of both surgical and non-surgical procedures, it is vital to subscribe to a consistent skincare regimen that includes twice daily cleansing, use of an antioxidant serum, an eye cream, broad-spectrum sunscreen and sunglasses. These steps are vital to care for, and maintain, youthful skin around the eyes.
To learn more about blepharoplasty surgery and to receive a professional assessment, consultations with Dr. Nancy de Kleer, plastic surgeon, are available for a nominal fee, which can be applied towards your surgical procedure. For patients who have been diagnosed with ptosis, the consultation and procedure are often covered by OHIP. Visit your family physician to request a referral. Non-surgical consultations are complimentary. Call (905) 901-9545 or email [email protected] to request an appointment.