Brighten the Eyes with Eyelid Surgery

eyelid-surgery-gallery-san-diegoEyelids are one of the first things that prompt patients to seek the advice of a plastic surgeon. Women may begin to have difficulty evenly applying make-up to the upper lid, or men may notice the excess skin making them look “tired” despite a full nights rest. Eyelid lift surgery or blepharoplasty is designed to treat the excess skin and often bulging fat around the aging eye. Frequently, both women and many men who suffer from these issues visit the office looking for a surgical solution to this problem. Contact our San Diego office to schedule an eyelid surgery consultation.

Eyelid Lift Candidates

Patients who suffer from excess skin, lower eyelid “bags” or even dark circles are also candidates for blepharoplasty surgery. As we age, your skin will lose some if its elasticity or “spring,” which combined with acquired environmental or sun damage, leads to the gradual development of redundant skin in both the upper and lower eyelids. The tissue that keeps the orbital fat in place, called the septum, will also weaken with time. This acts like a sail that has had the rope let out leading to a conspicuous bulge of both the upper and lower orbital fat pads. Thus, patients who suffer from any combination of these issues are good candidates for cosmetic eyelid surgery. Fortunately, eyelid skin tends to heal better than almost anywhere on the body, and this combined with placing incisions in natural skin folds makes a well-healed incision nearly barely visible to the naked eye.

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Eyelid Surgery

1 – 2 hours

General anesthesia


Side Effects:
Temporary swelling, bruising, and some pain

Pain, bleeding, infection, rare damage to nerves, incomplete improvement

Back to work with makeup: 1 – 2 weeks
More strenuous activity: 2 – 3 weeks

Final Appearance:
1 – 2 months for swelling to completely resolve

Duration of Results:
About 5 – 10 years depending on which technique is used

Blepharoplasty Surgery

Upper eyelid surgery alone can frequently be performed under local anesthetic without the need for IV sedation or a general anesthetic. This is a procedure much like going to the dentist office, and when supplemented with an oral sedative, patients tend to tolerate the surgery well without any problem. Lower eyelid surgery is more commonly done under a light general anesthetic, as it is a procedure better tolerated the procedure when the patient is asleep.

The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and can last from one to two hours. The procedure involves the removal of excess skin, fat and often tightening of the septum and muscles that have progressively relaxed over time. Incisions are carefully placed in natural creases so that the well-healed scar mimics natural folds or wrinkles in the patients skin. Lower eyelid incisions are placed immediately below the lash line so that the lower lashes act to conceal any evidence of a scar. Our eyelid surgery patients are able to see immediately following the procedure aside from short lived blurry vision secondary to a protective ointment placed in the eye.

In certain cases where the patient’s primary issue is bulging fat alone, there is a procedure that can successfully address this without any external scarring whatsoever. This is termed a “transconjunctival blepharoplasty” and only removes excess fatty tissue in the lower lids through incisions carefully placed inside the eyelid.

Finally, the upper eyelid also allows us access to the frown muscles known as the corrugators. Through a “scar-less” approach we can weaken and remove overactive muscles that contribute to the medial brow frown lines.

Eyelid Surgery Recovery

Eyelid lift or blepharoplasty surgery recovery is relatively pain free and easily managed with oral pain medication. Our eyelid surgery patients most commonly report eye irritation, but not necessarily pain. We anticipate swelling and mild bruising with this surgery that will last for approximately one week. We ask patients to regularly use lubricating eye drops and place a cold compress over the area for the first 72 hours. Sutures are normally removed after five to seven days, and lower eyelid sutures often dissolve on their own. There is some social downtime with this surgery as it can be difficult to hide this area with make-up or sunglasses.

Eyelid Lift Results

Within one to two weeks, patients begin to notice a difference in their appearance with a brighter, more youthful look around the eye. As the swelling resolves, the eyes take on an even more refined appearance with the gradual surgical recovery. Eyelid surgery should result in many years of improvement, serving to brighten the patients’ appearance and allow their eyes to better reflect their renewed self confidence and youthful spirit. Scarring is discreet, and patients can take steps to reduce the appearance of scarring after eyelid surgery.

Eyelid Surgery Consultations

Dr. Vincent Marin is a board certified plastic surgeon well qualified to perform your upper and lower eyelid lift surgery. Contact our office if you are interested in an eyelid surgery consultation.

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