Every year, hundreds of thousands of men and women choose to undergo an eyelid lift, also known as blepharoplasty, to improve their droopy eyelids. Droopy eyelids can make you look older and can also impair vision. Also called ptosis, eyelid drooping may occur due to trauma, age, or various medical disorders. This condition can affect one or both eyes; it may come and go, or it might be permanent. It can be present at birth, or you can develop it later in life.
In some cases, the upper eyelids droop so much that they begin to cover the pupil, obstructing vision. If you suffer from severe droopy eyelids that affect your vision, you may find yourself tilting your head back, or raising your eyebrows frequently to be able to see. It’s also common to feel tiredness and aching around the eyes, especially later in the day. In most cases, the condition will resolve, either naturally or through medical intervention.
At Riverview Facial Plastic Surgery in St. Paul, Minnesota, Dr. Daniel Schneider and his staff focus on providing comprehensive facial plastic & reconstructive surgery services with the highest quality care & technique.
What Causes Droopy Eyelids?
The most frequent cause of droopy eyelids is aging, but there are other causes as well such as:
- Ptosis – the medical term given to the condition of droopy eyelids. It is associated with age-related sagging of the muscles that hold the eyelids up.
- Aging and Sun Exposure – Exposure to the sun and the natural effects of aging can cause the skin around your eyes to sag more. As the skin becomes less elastic with age, and the face becomes less plump and firm, the result is often loose or excess skin around the eyes.
- Nerve Problems – Damage to the nerves that control the muscles around the eyes can also cause droopy eyes.
- Disease or Injury – Occasionally, certain diseases or an injury to the eye or eyelid can cause the eyelids to droop and sag.
What is an Eyelid Lift?
An eyelid lift reduces bagginess from lower eyelids and removes excess skin from the upper eyelids. This surgery is usually done for cosmetic reasons. It’s also an effective way to improve sight in older people whose sagging upper eyelids get in the way of their vision. An eyelid lift will not eliminate dark circles under the eyes, crow’s feet, or other facial wrinkles. It is often done along with other procedures such as laser resurfacing, filler injections, or forehead lifts.
When to Consider Eyelid Lift?
- If you have excess, hanging skin covering the natural fold of the upper eyelids.
- If you have loose skin hanging down from the upper eyelids over the eyelashes.
- If your upper and lower eyelids appear puffy, making your eyes look tired and aged.
- If you have deep grooves under your eyes.
What are the Benefits of an Eyelid Lift?
- You will eliminate the puffiness and bags under your lower lids and the hooded skin on your upper lids, making you appear younger, healthier and happier.
- You may no longer have vision problems related to overhanging eyelids.
- Any scars from the eye lift will be hidden in your natural eyelid creases, making them almost indiscernible.
Good Candidates for Eyelid Lift
If you have any of the following side effects of drooping eyelids, you may be a good candidate for an eyelid lift:
- You have excess skin obscuring the natural fold of the upper eyelids.
- You have loose upper eyelid skin that impairs your vision.
- You have a puffy appearance to the upper eyelids, making your eyes look tired and sad.
- You have excess skin and fine, ‘crepe paper’ type lower eyelid wrinkles.
- You have bags and dark circles under the eyes.
- Your upper eye surface is too small or not smooth enough to apply makeup.
What Happens During an Eyelid Lift?
During surgery, incisions are made in the natural folds of the eyelid, in the crease of the upper eyelid and just beneath the lashes or behind the lower eyelid. This way, incisions are virtually unnoticeable after they have healed. The surgeon will make precise markings designating where excess skin and fat pads need to be removed. These tissues are removed with surgical instruments. Sutures or tissue adhesives are then carefully applied to smooth and reconfigure areas around the eyebrows and eyelids. In cases where the eyebrows also are droopy, a procedure to elevate the eyebrows may be appropriate. This procedure called a brow lift, involves making incisions into the scalp and tightening the skin to raise the eyebrows.
What Is Recovery Like After an Eyelid Lift?
After eyelid surgery, you will have stitches in both lids that will remain for as long as a week. Lubricating ointment and cold compresses may be applied, and in some cases, your eyes may be loosely covered with gauze. It is common to have swelling and, occasionally, bruising, but your eyelids should look normal within a week or two.
Riverview Facial Plastic Surgery
Dr. Daniel Schneider is a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon who focuses on facial rejuvenation through a variety of techniques. He is board certified in Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery with sub-certification in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery through the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ABFPRS.)
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