Upper and Lower Eyelid Surgery: One or Both?


The delicate tissues around the eyes change greatly during the aging process. As collagen levels decline, the skin and muscles weaken, causing the eyelids to droop. At the same time, fat deposits around the eyes decrease in size and slide downwards. This can cause hollows and pockets of loose skin to form above the eyes. Below the eyes, as remaining fat deposits clump together, under-eye bags become puffier.

Not only do these changes cause cosmetic problems, but they can also worsen eye strain and lead to a loss of peripheral vision. In extreme cases, this vision loss can impair a person’s ability to drive. Because our eyelids are responsible for evenly distributing tear film, poor eyelid contours can lead to the development of either chronically dry or watery eyes. To ease this discomfort and create a more youthful-looking appearance, patients may be advised to have upper eyelid surgery, lower eyelid surgery, or both.

What is Upper Eyelid Surgery?

During upper eyelid surgery (formally known as upper blepharoplasty), a small incision is made within the crease of the upper eyelid. This type of incision creates a very thin scar that’s easily hidden within the fold of the lid after the patient has healed.

After making an incision, your surgeon will carefully remove loose skin from your upper eyelid. Sometimes, the levator muscle that supports the upper eyelid must also be shortened, as it tends to loosen with age. Making these corrections eliminates fine lines around the eyes, makes the folds above the eyes less “heavy” looking, and shapes the upper lid so that it sits evenly over the eye.

What is Lower Eyelid Surgery?

Lower eyelid surgery (lower blepharoplasty) is sometimes performed using different techniques than upper eyelid surgery. If your primary problem is under-eye bags, your surgeon may make a tiny incision on the interior of your lower eyelid, rather than the exterior. From there, he or she will remove a portion of fat from below your eyes in order to smooth out your under-eye bags. If you have drooping lower eyelids as well as pronounced eye bags, your surgeon may need to make an exterior incision instead to permit the removal of loose skin.

Most patients choose to have upper and lower eyelid surgery performed at the same time, but this isn’t always necessary. If you just want to have your under-eye bags removed, lower eyelid surgery is probably all you need. If, on the other hand, your upper and lower lids have both started to sag, you should consider having combined upper and lower blepharoplasty. Typically, younger patients (those between the ages of 35 and 50) make good candidates for eye-bag removal. Patients over the age of 55 usually require both types of eyelid surgery because they have more advanced skin laxity.

To learn more about eyelid surgery and determine what you need, contact Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery and Medspa to arrange a personal consultation. We’ll be happy to help you restore your vision, your confidence, and your comfort with a personalized blepharoplasty procedure.



How to Get Younger Looking Eyes

Many of us know the feeling of getting told we look tired even when we aren’t. Under eye bags, wrinkles, and dark circles can give the eyes a tired and aged appearance. Rejuvenation treatments to the eyes are a commonly sought out treatment. We all have a desire to look rested and youthful. There are a variety of treatments in the toolbox that can offer you younger looking eyes in our North Chicago medical spa located in Vernon Hills.

Get Younger Looking Eyes with Injectable Fillers

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As we age we lose volume under the eyes and in the cheeks that can cause hollowness, bags, dark circles, and flat cheeks. Some are genetically prone to hollowness or bags. Hyaluronic acid injectable fillers are made of a gel substance we naturally have in our bodies and are commonly used to add volume to the under eye and cheek area. There are several different types of fillers that can be used such as Restylane® and Juvéderm® depending on the individual. The injections themselves are quick, virtually painless, and offer results you can see instantly. There is a risk of bruising and swelling that typically resides within one week. Results last approximately 1-2 years. The injectors at Ritacca Cosmetic Surgery & Medspa are national trainers for injectables. They also use the innovative microcannula technique which is a safer method and offers less risk of bruising.

Laser resurfacing and Microneedling for Eye Rejuvenation

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Microneedling is performed with a small portable device that uses tiny needles to painlessly puncture the skin. This stimulates collagen and improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. DermaPen® microneedling is typically done in a series of 6 treatments spaced every 2 weeks and offers minimal downtime; often a mild sunburned appearance for a couple of days. Laser resurfacing also improves wrinkles and can be customized as a mild or aggressive treatment depending on individual need and goals. Laser resurfacing removes a layer of damaged skin leaving new rejuvenated skin in its place. Downtime can range anywhere from 1 day to 1 week depending on the treatment. Fractora skin resurfacing is another treatment that uses advanced radiofrequency to tighten the skin on a deeper level with ablated skin that heals very quickly. Fractora offers results comparable to laser resurfacing without the downtime. Fractora is typically performed in a series of 1-3 treatments depending on individual need. Growth factors can be added to any of these treatments to give the skin a boost in collagen stimulation, nutrients, and to speed up healing.

Glytone Eye & Lip Peel for Younger Looking Eyes

chemical peel for eyes

This in office peel uses a combination of Lactic Acid and Trichloroacetic acid also known as TCA. This TCA peel benefits skin firmness, fine lines & wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and dark circles. It is typically done in a series of 3-4 treatments and offers minimal downtime vs standard peels.

ThermiSmooth and Ultherapy Skin Tightening for Non-Surgical Eye Rejuvenation

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ThermiSmooth and Ultherapy are both skin tightening treatments. They can be used to rejuvenate, lift, and tighten the lower and upper eyelids. The Thermismooth uses advanced radiofrequency technology that uses controlled heat for collagen remodel. Ultherapy uses advanced ultrasound technology to penetrate deep into the skin with precise heat and imaging. Thermismooth offers patients no downtime and typically a series of 3-6 treatments is recommended. Ultherapy is a single treatment with optimal results seen 3-6 months after treatment with long lasting results. Some individuals experience swelling or bruising after treatment that typically reside within 1 week.

Blepharoplasty Surgical Eye Lift

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A blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that offers the most dramatic results. A blepharoplasty can be done on the upper eyelids or lower eyelids to remove excess skin and fat. The treatment only takes about an hour and there is minimal downtime. It can be performed under IV sedation and local anesthesia. Sutures remain in the area for about 1 week so there may be some restrictions such as strenuous working out until the sutures come out. Post care is given by your physician based on individual need. Some blepharoplasty surgeries can be covered through insurance.

Ready to Get Younger Looking Eyes in North Chicago?

There is no shortage of eye rejuvenation treatments available. We offer complimentary consultations and based on individual need, goals, and result expectations one of these methods may be the perfect fit! Call us at (847)367-8815 to schedule your appointment.

What to Expect During an Eyelid Surgery

Whether it’s done for aesthetic reasons or to restore functionality, eyelid surgery is a simple, outpatient procedure with a relatively short, easy recovery period. Eyelid surgery, which is technically known as blepharoplasty, can be performed on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both. If you’re interested in this type of surgery, you’re probably curious about what to expect. By learning the basics now, you’ll be more fully prepared for the procedure when the time comes.

The Surgery

To ensure that you stay comfortable throughout the procedure, anesthesia will be administered. While you may undergo general anesthesia, it’s more likely that IV sedation will be used.

During eyelid surgery, the surgeon may do one or more things to achieve the desired results. Before he can do anything, though, he must make an incision. For the upper eyelids, it’s usually made along the natural crease. For the lower eyelids, it’s typically made just below the lower lash line. Sometimes, a transconjuctival incision, which runs along the inside of the lower eyelid, is made.

From there, the surgeon may remove excess skin, reposition, redistribute or remove fatty deposits and/or tighten muscles. You will know exactly what will be done before your surgery begins.


Most patients recover quickly following eyelid surgery. You may experience bruising or swelling near the affected area. Your eyes may be dry or otherwise irritated. To keep you comfortable, your doctor may prescribe medications, ointments or cold compresses. You may have to briefly keep gauze loosely over your eyes, and you will need to shield your eyes from direct sunlight for several days.

Once recovery is complete, you will be the proud owner of more attractive, more functional eyes.