- What is blepharoplasty?
- Which type of blepharoplasty procedure is right for me?
- Am I a good candidate for blepharoplasty?
- How long does it take to recover from a blepharoplasty?
- If I don’t need surgery, what are non-surgical alternatives to blepharoplasty?
For many of us, our eyes are our favorite feature and one of the features people notice the most. Because of this, it can be hard when we reach a certain age and start to watch our eyes slowly lose their glow when we look in the mirror each day. The area around our eyes is often the first to show visible signs of aging because the skin in this area is so thin and weak. Eyelids stretch with age as the muscles supporting them lose their strength. Considering the combined natural weakness with the weakening of the supportive elements of our skin, it is no surprise that we start to see sagginess, droopiness, and crow’s feet around our eyes while the rest of our facial features still maintain a relatively youthful shine.
As we age, our collagen and elastin weaken. Collagen and elastin are vital proteins that help the skin maintain elasticity and firmness. When this weakening begins in areas with thin skin, such as our eyelids or necks, we notice these areas aging more rapidly than other parts of the face. Excess skin and fat tend to gather above and below the eyelids as the underlying muscles, tissues, and these supportive proteins weaken.
What is blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, is a cosmetic surgery in which Dr. Kaplan trims sagging skin and muscle and removes excess fat from the eyelids. To do so, he first creates incisions along the creases of the eyelids and closes the incision with dissolvable stitches. In most cases, the primary goal of blepharoplasty is to target saggy eyebrows, droopy upper eyelids, and puffy bags under the eyes. While removing excess skin and readjusting the remaining skin, blepharoplasty can also reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines around the eyes.
Which type of blepharoplasty procedure is right for me?
Dr. Kaplan offers multiple techniques for blepharoplasty to tailor the procedure to a wide range of patients’ goals and conditions, from complex to minimal.
Upper eyelid blepharoplasty
Dr. Kaplan may recommend an upper blepharoplasty if your eyelid concerns are related to drooping in the upper eyelids. During this procedure, he creates an incision along the crease of your upper eyelid to remove excess skin, muscle, or fat.
Lower eyelid blepharoplasty
Dr. Kaplan and his patient coordinator team may decide a lower blepharoplasty is best suited to you if your concerns are more related to the appearance of your lower eyelids as they appear droopy or puffy. During this procedure, he creates incisions below the lash line or inside the eyelid to hide scarring to remove or redistribute the skin, fat, and muscle.
A pinch blepharoplasty addresses skin laxity, wrinkles, and fine lines by removing excess skin and tightening the upper and lower eyelids without altering the muscle or fat pads. Dr. Kaplan recommends this procedure to younger patients with concerns over the appearance of their eyelids or patients who have noticed only minor changes in the eyelids.
The pinch blepharoplasty is minimally invasive and suited to patients with busy lives who do not need a more advanced eyelid procedure. It has a faster recovery and requires local anesthesia.
During a SOOF (Suborbicularis Oculi Fat) lift, Dr. Kaplan repositions sunken fat deposits that may have fallen onto the upper cheek to the area below the eye. When SOOF, or voluminous tissue below the eye, starts to become heavy and falls on the face, it creates the appearance of drooping eye bags.
By redraping these SOOF deposits back to the lower eye region, closer to the natural position before gravity and aging occurred, Dr. Kaplan helps patients look more alert, happy, and youthful. The SOOF elevation technique is a highly-skilled procedure Dr. Kaplan recommends only to patients who display significant volume changes beneath the eye.
Depending on the treatment plan Dr. Kaplan and his patient coordinator team work with you to create, he may combine your eyelid surgery with some non-surgical treatments to target wrinkles and fine lines more precisely. Blepharoplasty with laser skin resurfacing or radiofrequency microneedling provides the ultimate eye rejuvenation treatment.
Learn more about blepharoplasty at The Kaplan Center
Am I a good candidate for blepharoplasty?
Good candidates for blepharoplasty range between 25 and 65 years of age, depending on their concerns and goals. Although the most popular reason patients seek an eyelid lift is related to restoring aging eyes when they hit their mid-50s, there are other concerns the procedure can target.
The most common reasons Dr. Kaplan assesses patients who are good candidates for blepharoplasty are:
If your eyelids are drooping to the point of disrupting your peripheral vision, you should consider blepharoplasty and contact an expert facial plastic surgeon as soon as possible. As your ability to see is a medical matter rather than cosmetic, there is a good chance insurance will cover your blepharoplasty to some degree.
Noticeable sagging and puffiness in the eyelids
The most popular reason patients come to Dr. Kaplan seeking eyelid surgery is to target excess or loose skin above and below the eyes. These same patients also seem to struggle with under-eye puffiness or drooping eye bags caused by the buildup of excess fat. Patients are typically at least in their late 30s, with the majority being 55 or over, as these concerns are age-related.
Patients who come to Dr. Kaplan considering a facelift have a certain amount of drooping, puffiness, and wrinkles around the eyes. To give these patients dramatic results and promote total facial harmony, he will recommend combining a facelift with blepharoplasty. The facelift is a highly renowned procedure that provides notable and ideal results but does not target the tissue and skin around the eyes. It does wonders in lifting the lower portion of the face, neck, jawline, and chin. If your goal is complete facial harmony, consider combining your facelift with blepharoplasty and brow lift for forehead tightening.
Although 90% of patients considering blepharoplasty are over 40 years old, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, patients with naturally hooded eyelids seek surgery as young as their 20s and 30s. Hooded eyelids are a common feature that patients feel insecure about, and many find it reassuring that correction is available through an eyelid lift.
Other conditions good candidates for blepharoplasty generally meet include:
- They have realistic expectations for results
- They do not have any underlying eye-related medical issues
- They are in overall good health
- They are prepared to follow Dr. Kaplan’s recovery advice
- The elasticity of their skin has become more visible
- The appearance of the area around their eyes negatively affects their confidence
- Drooping of the upper eyelid and puffiness beneath the eyes hinders their vision
How long does it take to recover from a blepharoplasty?
You may experience some swelling, bruising, irritation, and dry eyes immediately following your blepharoplasty, but these should alleviate within about a week. You will need to plan to spend about one to two weeks resting at home to promote a healthy blepharoplasty recovery. Quiet, stress-free relaxation is essential during the first three to four days following your surgery to ensure you heal properly. From three weeks onward, you should start to see the cosmetic benefits of the procedure, but we recommend waiting six months until you evaluate the finished results of your surgery.
You cannot drive yourself home after blepharoplasty as you will be on pain medication and have blurry vision due to the procedure focusing on the eye area. If you think you need to run any errands for the first five to ten days after surgery, you should plan and ask a family member, friend, or significant other if they will do them for you as needed.
If I don’t need surgery, what are non-surgical alternatives to blepharoplasty?
While non-surgical treatments are available alongside blepharoplasty, you can get these on their own if you are not yet a candidate for anything surgical. Dr. Kaplan offers various treatments that target minor aging concerns and can potentially postpone the need for surgical intervention.
If Dr. Kaplan and yourself agree that you are not an ideal candidate for blepharoplasty during your consultation, he may recommend the following procedures to target your eye aging concerns:
- Laser skin resurfacing
- Chemical peels
- Injectable fillers
To find out if you are a candidate for any of the blepharoplasty procedures offered at The Kaplan Center in New Jersey, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kaplan so he can thoroughly assess your conditions and goals.