Eyelid surgery, also called blepharoplasty, is a procedure performed to rejuvenate aging changes of the upper and lower eyelids. Sun exposure, gravity, and even hereditary factors contribute to excess wrinkling and sagging skin of the upper and lower eyelids. Puffy bags under the eyes are common findings, as are droopy upper eyelids, a condition called eyelid ptosis. These changes often convey a tired appearance and can even interfere with full vision.
To reverse these changes, board-certified plastic surgeons like Dr. Brian Braithwaite and Dr. Lorri Cobbins can remove excess skin, fat, and even muscle to restore eyelid shape and contour. And because overcorrection can be as undesirable as no correction, our doctors address these changes in a very precise manner. Dr. Cobbins and Dr. Braithwaite can also repair droopy upper eyelids during the blepharoplasty procedure, correcting several problems in one surgery.
Like face lift surgery, blepharoplasty can be combined safely with other surgical procedures. When performed correctly, eyelid surgery can often produce dramatic results, providing patients with many years of more youthful eyes and a well-rested appearance.
To determine if you are a good candidate for eyelid surgery, your doctor will review your health history and perform an examination during your consultation. Chronic conditions such as high blood pressure, dry eye syndrome, glaucoma, and thyroid abnormalities require thorough discussion. Your doctor will carefully examine your upper face, assessing brow position, skin laxity, fat deposits, and eyelid tone and position. To help understand your goals, we recommend that you bring photographs of your younger self to the consultation. We will also take preoperative photos during your visit. At the time of the consultation, your doctor will acquire an understanding of your goals and desires, as well as review available techniques and incision sites that can most effectively help you achieve your goals with beautiful, natural-looking results.
Dr. Braithwaite and Dr. Cobbins can perform eyelid surgery in the office under local anesthesia, or as an outpatient procedure under sedation or general anesthesia, depending on simultaneous procedures. Common incision sites include the natural creases in the upper and lower eyelids, with scars healing in a most favorable fashion. During the procedure, excess skin, fat, and muscle tissues will be removed as needed, and any sagging skin can be tightened to create an ideal look and contour. Based on your unique needs and goals, blepharoplasty generally takes about one to two hours to complete.
Following eyelid surgery, we usually recommend eye drops or ointments to prevent dryness. Some temporary swelling and/or bruising may occur, but these symptoms should subside relatively quickly. Rarely described as anything more than mild, any potential discomfort can typically be alleviated with medication. Patients can usually wear contact lenses and makeup within two weeks when bruising and swelling resolve, and most individuals may drive and return to work once they discontinue narcotic pain medicine. Strenuous physical activity and/or intense exercise should be avoided for at least several weeks to ensure optimal healing.
For more information about eyelid surgery, or to schedule a consultation at our Chicago plastic surgery practice, please contact us via email or call (312) 361-8108 today.