The eyes are the first feature that others notice about you, and convey a multitude of emotions and expressions. Droopy, saggy, or baggy eyelids can create the illusion of looking sad, tired, worried, or even angry, and addressing the eyelids provides a powerful rejuvenative effect with relatively quick recovery.
In some cases, droopy eyelids can be so severe that the vision is affected. Patients may have difficulty driving, reading, or simply getting around as the ability to look up is limited. In many cases, this surgery can be covered by your health insurance.
What causes droopy/baggy eyelids?
Droopy or baggy eyelids can be caused be several things – gravity and age, trauma, neurologic disorders, or even congenital errors in formation of the delicate muscles that lift the eyelid. In children, this can even lead to abnormal development of the eye.
Blepharoplasty, or surgery to sculpt the skin, muscles, and fat in the upper and lower eyelids, can address the drooping and sagging to remove excess tissue and restore youthful contours to the eyelids. This is often combined with ptosis surgery to lift the eyelids and make them more open, and eyebrow lift, to address the upper face as aesthetic unit.
How is the surgery performed?
Every patient is unique, and there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution. We will carefully listen to your concerns, and together, you will design a plan to address your distinctive anatomy. We encourage you to bring in old photos to study how your face has changed over time and target a more natural result. Asian patients have anatomically different eyelids which require different techniques, and Dr. Ramesh has superspecialized experience in treating these complex eyelids after training in South Korea.
Surgery may involve removal of excess skin or fat, tightening of the muscles, fat repositioning, or fat injection. In the upper eyelid, incisions are precisely hidden such that they are invisible to the naked eye. In the lower eyelid, incisions are hidden on the inside of the eyelid with no external scars.
For some patients, nonsurgical options such as laser skin resurfacing, fillers, or Botox, Xeomin, or Dysport, are even more powerful in addressing fine lines, wrinkles, under-eye hollows, or sun damage. These can be performed in the office with little to no downtime.
It is extremely important that surgery on the delicate eyelids be performed by a qualified individual as inappropriate or excessive surgery can lead to lifelong complications ranging from dry eye to total vision loss. As members of the prestigious American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons (ASOPRS), an elite society of only 500 members specializing in cosmetic surgery of the eyelids and face, we are dedicated to safely and elegantly helping you reach your goals.
Will I be asleep for the surgery?
We are typically able to perform these delicate surgeries under IV sedation, or twilight anesthesia. This avoids the risks of general anesthesia and being put to sleep completely, while still preventing you from feeling any pain. Twilight anesthesia also allows you to participate in the surgery in a way that allows a more symmetric result.
What is recovery like?
Surgery takes between 1 – 2 hours, and patients can go home afterwards. Usually, patients have bruising and swelling around the eyes for 1 – 2 weeks, and pain is minimal. Most patients are ready for social events in 2-4 weeks, and “wedding-ready” by 3 months. Strenuous activities must be limited for the first week, and patients may return to normal exercise and other activities after 7 days.
What can I expect afterwards?
No matter the approach, our goal is for you to look more youthful and refreshed, without any appearance of having had surgery. Eyelid surgery, upper or lower, generally does not cause visible scarring after surgical healing is complete. Complications after surgery are extremely rare, and patients are typically very satisfied after the procedure.
Most patients report better vision leading to improved driving, reading, or simply getting around, as they can see through more open eyes. Women are able to apply eye makeup to areas of their eyelid that had been covered by excess skin for years. Men and women often report increased confidence and self-esteem as they feel refreshed, rejuvenated, and ready to tackle their day.