The Surgeon Minute

New Eyes, New You with a Blepharoplasty

New Eyes, New You with a Blepharoplasty

Aging affects every part of the face, but it often starts with the eyes. The skin around the eyes is extremely delicate, making it particularly susceptible to lifestyle choices like sun, smoking and diet. Furthermore, the eyes are typically the first thing that we notice on someone’s face. When it’s time to stop and reverse aging starting in the face, enter the blepharoplasty procedure.

A blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure to improve the look of your eyes. It can involve the upper lid, the lower lid or both. Dr. Charles Messa of Westin, FL discusses the various ways to rejuvenate the eyes and how improving the external look of your eyes can make you feel more energetic and youthful.

Do You Need a Blepharoplasty?

When you meet someone, you look into that person’s eyes as you greet them. If he or she has subtle signs of aging, you are going to notice it first in the eyes. This helps to explain why the eyes are often a driving force in bringing patients into a plastic surgeon’s office to discuss a surgical procedure. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), eyelid surgery was one of the top five most popular cosmetic procedures in 2016.

Blepharoplasty before and after.

There are any number of reasons for seeking a blepharoplasty. Some patients have a hereditary disposition for upper eyelid “hooding” or under eye puffiness that can start in their 20’s. For most, however, the eyes begin to show the wear and tear of Father Time in the late 30’s to early 40’s. This may present itself as:

  • puffiness caused by fatty deposits either above or below the eyes
  • under eyelid “bags”
  • hollows in the tear trough
  • hooding or heaviness in the upper lid from excess skin or a sagging brow
  • loose lower lid that exposes the white below the iris

A Great Blepharoplasty is a Natural Looking Result

Dr. Messa’s goal with any blepharoplasty is to meet the patient’s expectations while still delivering a natural looking result. He starts with an in-depth conversation during your initial consultation as to what, exactly, is bothering you about the look of your eyes. From there, he comes up with an appropriate treatment plan.

This may entail something as simple as removing a small amount of skin in upper eyelid or repositioning the lower eyelid fat through a hidden incision in the mucous membrane of the lower eyelid (the transconjunctival approach).

Eyelid surgery patient.

Adding volume to a patient who has what is called a “negative orbit” may also be an option. This condition is where the eye is a little bit sunken in so that the bony structure around the eye is very prominent. In these cases, you don’t want to remove skin or fat as that will make the condition worse. Instead, the surgeon will add volume with either a soft tissue filler or the patient’s own fat to the tear trough or depression between the nose and the lower eyelid junction. The latter is called an autologous fat transfer.

Many patients like to use their own fat as filler because it’s natural and the results are permanent. However, fat is not as predictable as filler so it is extremely important to see a very experienced surgeon such as a board certified plastic surgeon.

Men & Women Both Benefit

The blepharoplasty procedure appeals equally to both men and women. Men in particular are seeking eyelid surgery to stay more competitive in the workplace. With most of his male patients, Dr. Messa will remove the excess skin from the upper lid to correct hooding and diminish any puffiness in the lower eyelid.

While the procedure is the same, in order to maintain a more natural look in men, the surgeon needs to make sure that the eye doesn’t appear too round or open. With all of his eyelid patients, Dr. Messa stresses the importance of the eye maintaining a normal aesthetic balance. You want the outer portion of the eye to be a little bit higher than the inner corner.

Male blepharoplasty patient - Dr. Messa.

A blepharoplasty is not about changing the shape of the patient’s eye. It is about erasing some of the signs of aging for a more rejuvenated appearance. The goal is to “keep them looking like themselves,” says Dr. Messa, while addressing the issues that brought them into the office in the first place.

Rejuvenated Eyes = More Energy

Both men and women love the outcome from cosmetic eyelid surgery. Not only can it take 10 years off their face, but the results may last 10, 15, 20 years depending on how the patient takes care of his or her skin. Furthermore, a blepharoplasty has benefits that exceed the external.

It brightens “their outlook because they can see better in some cases,  but it also makes them feel more rested,” explains Dr. Messa. Heavy, hooded, wrinkled eyes make a patient look more tired. This can make them feel more tired even if they aren’t. By improving the external appearance of the eyes, patients come into the office saying that they have more energy. A great blepharoplasty is truly rejuvenating, inside and out.

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