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.