It began in your thirties; you had those days where you wrote it off as looking tired. Then one day you looked in the mirror and saw your mom looking back at you. The truth is, you’re aging. Genetics play a role in how we age, and if your mother’s upper eyelids became heavy, it’s possible your eyelids will follow suit. As much as you love your mother, the good news is you don’t need to look her age, thanks to the help of a skilled plastic surgeon.
The words “plastic surgery” may raise flags in your mind of lengthy downtime and difficult recovery, but the truth is surgeons have a wide range of tools to address your concerns that don’t all involve surgery, and not all surgeries involve difficult recoveries. A group of board certified plastic surgeons recently came together to share how they help their patients approach the task of “setting back the clock” when the signs of aging take over your face.
Where to begin with the eyelids and brows
Boston surgeon Dr. Daniel Del Vecchio describes his consultation process like this, “I like to step back and make the analogy to general medicine. A patient comes to you with a symptom, and you as a physician have to diagnose, propose the treatment and then give the patient the treatment. With the face, it’s very similar. The patient comes to you with one complaint: my eyes! It’s our duty to educate them and assess more than just the eyes, and talk to the patient, telling them the things that could be done, instead of just focusing on the one symptom the patient is bringing to you.”
If you’re like most women, you focus on one facial feature that, in your mind, is the culprit and cause of your aging dilemma. Maybe you have noticed your eyebrows are drooping. A skilled plastic surgeon will step back and take your entire face into consideration, offering options that may differ from the brow lift you thought you needed when you walked in the door for your appointment. St. Louis plastic surgeon Dr. Patricia McGuire adds her thoughts about her role as a plastic surgeon, “It’s the whole picture: skincare, non-invasive procedures such as Botox® can lift the side of the brow and help with some of the crow’s feet as well. Educating the patient, looking at the face as a whole, giving a balanced look to the face in the safest way you can.”
How’s the recovery for eyelid surgery?
If your surgeon decides you are a good candidate for surgery, its important to understand that there are different recoveries for different procedures. Dr. Richard Zienowicz, a busy plastic surgeon in Providence, Rhode Island explains, “You have to differentiate the brow from the eyelids. If you’re talking about upper eyelid skin, it’s a really quick surgery. Three to five days, the sutures are out. Patients can be street ready in about a week. If you’re talking about the lower lids, that’s a different story. Probably more like two weeks of recovery.”
Dr. Patricia McGuire emphasizes that even a quick recovery is still surgery, “There’s no such thing as ‘simple surgery’. When you take a knife to someone’s skin, you’re forever adjusting them, and that has to be taken seriously.” A board certified plastic surgeon will help you address your aging concerns, walk you through the many options available and help you to safely and confidently put your (not your mom’s) best face forward.