What is Eyelid Surgery?
Eyelid surgery, also known as an eye lift or blepharoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure that can improve the appearance of your eyes. The eyes can start to look tired, puffy, or saggy once you start to reach middle age, and their appearance will only continue to worsen as you get older. Eyes that look old and tired will in turn cause your overall appearance to seem older and tired.
Blepharoplasty by Dr. Douglas Steinbrech can improve the look of your eyes by tightening the skin in your upper and lower eyelids, moving fat deposits, and smoothing out wrinkles around your eyes.
What Happens to Your Eyes When They Age?
Blepharoplasty may be known as an eye lift, but it can do quite a lot for your appearance as a whole. Eyes react to aging in different ways. Some people have a problem with loose saggy skin that can cause the upper eyelid or lower eyelid to droop. A droopy upper eyelid may cause vision problems if the skin begins to hang over the eye, while a droopy lower eyelid can actually pull the skin away from the eye itself. This would expose more white areas of the eye around the iris.
Having loose skin around the eyes can also lead to problems with fat deposits. When your skin loosens up, it leaves more room for fat cells to move around or build up in certain pockets. Around your eyes, fat can build up underneath the lower eyelid, making your eyes look puffy and baggy. You look older or just more tired than you really feel. Fat can also accumulate in your upper eyelid or around your eyebrow and push the skin outward.
Another common sign of aging around the eyes are the wrinkles that appear at the corners, better known as crow’s feet. The muscles around your eyes are continually moving and contracting, which causes your skin to crease and wrinkles over time.
What Aging Problems Can Eyelid Surgery Improve?
Even though it is commonly known as an eye lift, blepharoplasty can improve all these problems within the same procedure. The surgery can lift up and tighten the skin in the upper and lower eyelids to remove bags and droopiness around the eyes. Fat deposits that have accumulated in the upper and lower eyelids can be moved to a better location or completely removed to help the eyes look a little more energized. Wrinkles at the corners of your eyes can also be improved with blepharoplasty.
Are There Problems Eyelid Surgery Can’t Improve?
Eyelid surgery can’t remove deep lines and wrinkles because simply lifting the skin won’t be enough to smooth it out. Their appearance can be improved, but they won’t be completely taken away. Eyelid surgery also can’t change the position of your eyebrows or remove any dark circles from under your eyes. However, eyelid surgery combined with other procedures like a brow lift, injectables such as Botox, or cosmetic laser treatments can give you much better results for these particular issues.
Dr. Steinbrech discusses the Blepharoplasty procedure
Who Is a Good Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?
An ideal candidate for blepharoplasty is someone who is in good overall health and a nonsmoker. They should also not have any serious eye conditions that might affect the surgery or their overall health. Health concerns of any kind should be mentioned to Dr. Steinbrech during the patient consultation.
It’s also important for blepharoplasty candidates to have realistic expectations about their surgery. Eyelid surgery can do a lot for your eyes, but it can’t stop your eyes from aging or make you look especially young. It can remove up to ten years off your appearance and help you appear more energized.
Eyelid Surgery Risks and Complications
Every surgery has risks, including blepharoplasty, but they are rare if you get your surgery done by a competent professional. The risks associated with eyelid surgery include a poor reaction to anesthesia, infection, blurry or double vision for a few days, dry eyes, difficulty closing the eyes, tiny whiteheads, and swelling. Some more serious risks for blepharoplasty are excessive scarring, uneven healing, and ectropion (the lower eyelids are pulled down). These are extremely rare and will require additional surgery to correct.
What Happens During Eyelid Surgery?
Dr. Steinbrech performs eyelid surgery using local anesthesia or IV sedation. The incisions can be made in different locations depending on the patient’s specific issues. Generally, these are made in the upper eyelid at the crease of the lid, just below the lash line on the lower eyelid, or on the inside of the eyelid. Some patients will only require one incision while others might need all three. Dr. Steinbrech can move and take out fat deposits through the incisions and trim away any excess skin tissue. The incisions are closed using tape, stitches, or soft tissue glue.
How long is the Recovery Process for Eyelid Surgery?
The total amount of time that it will take for the eyes to heal from surgery is about one to two months. However, the initial recovery process only lasts a few days. Stitches and bandages can usually be removed by Dr. Steinbrech after three to five days. Patients typically return to work and their normal routines after about ten days. The worst of the pain, bruising, and swelling will subside after the first few days of your recovery and should go away completely after about two to four weeks.
During your recovery, you should keep your head elevated as much as possible to keep the swelling under control and minimize your pain levels. Cold compresses can also help with the swelling and Dr. Steinbrech can prescribe you pain medication if necessary. Eye drops can also be prescribed if you have dry or especially sensitive eyes. During your recovery, you will have at least one follow-up appointment with Dr. Steinbrech so he can check on the healing process. If you have any concerns during your recovery, be sure to check in with Dr. Steinbrech.
What is the Eyelid Surgery Consultation Like?
Consultations with Dr. Steinbrech involve a face-to-face meeting with the patient. There will be a physical examination so he can assess your eyes, including the skin and fat surrounding them. He will also talk to you about what you are hoping to get out of your surgery and your specific needs for your eyes. He will go over your medical history and discuss your current health to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. This is also a time when you can voice your own concerns or questions about Dr. Steinbrech, the procedure, or the recovery process. It’s important to Dr. Steinbrech that you feel comfortable and confident in both him as a surgeon and the procedure itself before going forward.
To schedule a patient consultation with Dr. Steinbrech for blepharoplasty surgery, call (212) 750-0070 or fill out the contact form in this page.