The Surgeon Minute

The Three Ways Eyes Age

The Three Ways Eyes Age

There is no, “One Size Fits All” prescription to achieve more youthful eyes, and it can be confusing to figure out which of the many available procedures are the right choice for your aging face. The best advice won’t be found on the Internet, it will come face-to-face from a consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon who will study your face, feel your tissues, and explain your best options. Houston-based plastic surgeon Dr. Camille Cash breaks down three common symptoms of aging eyes and explains the procedures she often uses in her practice to address each.

by Anne Meyer
and Camille Cash, MD

#1 – Hollow Eyes

Facial aging and loss of volume go hand in hand. As volume is lost around the eyes, the skin that was once filled out begins to drape differently around the tissues that remain. This commonly leads to a hollowness or crepey appearance around the eyes that progresses with age. Dr. Cash offers her patients injectable fillers such as Restylane™ to restore volume where it has been lost around the eyes and return a smooth, youthful appearance.

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#2 – Bags

Everyone has small pads of fat in the lower eyelids. In youth, these pads serve to protect the eyes. For some, these pads shrink with age and result in the hollow look around the eyes, but in other people these pads of fat remain and begin to bulge outward, becoming noticeable “bags”.

Dr. Cash addresses this issue with both surgical and non-surgical approaches. The appearance can often be improved or camouflaged with the use of injectable fillers that serve to smooth out the contours between the puffy areas and the upper cheek. In other instances, she addresses under eye bags with a surgical procedure known as transconjunctival blepharoplasty. During this procedure, incisions are made inside the lower eyelid, the fat pads are removed, and no visible scar remains. Since this procedure only addresses bags and does not remove any loose skin, Dr. Cash describes this procedure as, “an ideal way to remove fat,” in a younger patient who does not also suffer from crepey, loose under-eye skin.

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#3 – The Outside Corners of the Eyes Are Sinking

“A youthful eye is an almond shaped eye, where the inner corner is a little bit lower and the outer corner is a little bit higher,” explains Cash. Gravity takes its toll on our bodies, and our eyes are no exception to the rule. The outside corners begin to drift downwards, becoming level with or even falling below the level of the inside corner.

To restore the almond shape of the eye, Dr. Cash employs a technique known as the lateral canthopexy, or a lateral canthoplasty. During these procedures, a small incision is made at the outside corner of the eye where the upper lid meets the lower lid, and through that incision the underlying muscle is repaired and re-positioned with a suture.

In summary, eye lid procedures work very well when chosen correctly by a board certified plastic surgeon. What sometimes is a simple technique – when appropriately chosen – could potentially be the difference between a tired, aging face and a youthful, refreshed one.

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