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A blepharoplasty, or eye lift, refreshes the area around the eye by removing extra skin and puffines. If people ask if you are tired when you feel alert and rested, the extra skin above the eyelid or lower eyelid “bags” may give a tired appearance. Women and men usually have a genetic predisposition for extra skin and fullness around the eye, with either their mother or father having the same characteristic eye appearance. Diet and exercise will not change the upper and lower eyelid appearance. Cosmetic surgery is usually the only option to improve the appearance of the eye area.


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Candidates for Blepharoplasty

Changes in the skin around the eye usually happen gradually. At some point, you might begin to notice on a daily basis that the skin of your upper eyelid is touching your eyelashes. Your upper eyelids might even feel heavy. Women may notice that their upper lid make-up gets smeared throughout the day. The heaviness of the upper eyelid is often a combination of extra skin and herniated fat pockets from the supporting fat that cushions the eye. In the lower eyelid area, the puffiness of the herniated fat makes for a tired appearance. If you notice these changes, you might want to explore whether a blepharoplasty procedure would benefit you.

Blepharoplasty Goals

The goal of a blepharoplasty is to improve the appearance of your eyelid area, so you have a smoother contour with less excess skin and puffiness. The eyes are the first point of contact when anyone looks at you so it is important that you look like yourself after the procedure. It is expected that the results of surgery will give you a refreshed, but not different, appearance. Often the eyes look brighter, as the eye color of the pupil is more visible and noticeable. Eyelid surgery gives a rested look to the upper and/or lower eyelid and a smoother contour. During your consultation with Dr. Baldwin, you will be guided on whether you would benefit from a procedure on the upper, or lower eyelid, or possibly both eyelids.

Blepharoplasty Incisions

The incision to remove excess skin from the upper eyelid is camouflaged in the natural crease of the lid. Because there is often extra skin that extends beyond the outer corner of the eye, the line goes into the crow’s feet area beyond the lid. The herniated fat is removed from the same incision as is used to remove extra skin. Fortunately, the eyelid skin heals very quickly and with minimal scarring. The incision is often barely visible within eight to 10 weeks.

Removal of herniated fat in the lower lid can be done from inside the lower lid or from an incision just below the lash line. If extra skin is visible in the lower eyelid, the incision under the lash line is required to remove the excess skin. With the fat pocket trimmed or repositioned, the contour is smoother and flatter. Again, sometimes the incision needs to continue into the crow’s feet area but heals quickly.

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Blepharoplasty Procedure and Recovery

Dr. Baldwin performs eyelid surgery at an accredited, outpatient surgical center connected to a hospital or at a full-service hospital. Blepharoplasty is an outpatient procedure and takes up to two hours if both upper and lower eyelids require treatment.

After surgery, cool compresses or gel packs are placed on the eyes for the first evening and night. Besides feeling soothing, the coolness decreases swelling and bruising. Antibiotic ointment is placed on the incisions twice daily to aid in healing. The eyelids feel swollen and slightly tight; a feeling that improves daily. You will also sleep with your head elevated on pillows to minimize swelling.

The tiny stitches placed in the incisions of the eyelid are removed in the office at five to seven days after surgery. After the stitches are removed, you are released to drive. Bruising may limit your return to work. If you are not concerned about residual bruising, you can return to work when the stitches are removed. You may want to delay important meetings and interviews until after two weeks of healing. An intermittent sensation of swelling continues for six weeks.

Follow-up After Surgery

Natural, long-lasting results are facilitated by close postoperative follow-up care. Blepharoplasty patients are given clear, written instructions and seen by Dr. Baldwin at our office the day following your procedure. Thereafter, patients are then seen at our office at week three, week six, three months, six months and annually. It is important to know there are no additional charges for these important follow-up visits. Closely following the instructions given at the early visits help the patient understand how to best heal from surgery. Our office is always available to see prior blepharoplasty patients for concerns that might arise in the future.

At Your Consultation

New information is continually being explored for belpharoplasty options. Dr. Baldwin is interested in discussing all your questions and sharing her opinion and experience on the newest techniques for blepharoplasty during your consultation. Blepharoplasty continues to be one of the most popular elective plastic surgery procedures in the nation.