Excess upper eyelid skin, lower eyelid bags, and loose lower eyelid skin and muscle can cause a tired appearance as you age. In addition to causing you to appear tired, excess upper eyelid skin can obstruct vision. Lower eyelid bags are caused by drooping fat that forms a tear trough deformity. Some patients also have a lower eyelid that is overly rounded, which can cause dry eyes. Dr. Harmon is a fellowship-trained facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon who specializes in both cosmetic and functional plastic surgery of the upper and lower eyelid, called a blepharoplasty. He considers every aspect of the aging process, including the aging of your eyelids, with an approach tailored to your needs. Dr. Harmon’s approach to the upper eyelid hides incisions in a crease on the eyelid and avoids the hollowed-out appearance that other techniques sometimes result in. Dr. Harmon’s approach to the lower eyelid, distinct from other techniques, moves some of the individual’s eye fat from the lower eyelid bags to fill in the tear trough deformity, which can better approximate naturally youthful volume. He can also restore the almond shaped contour to an overly rounded eye through a minimally invasive procedure called a canthopexy.
Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery) Before & After
Upper & Lower Revision Blepharoplasty
Am I a good candidate?
Excessive upper or lower eyelid skin and/or bags of the lower eyelid can communicate a tired or sad appearance. A blepahroplasty can address the above changes that occur as we age.
Most candidates for blepharoplasty range in age from 40s to 70s. A consultation is essential to determine candidacy for the procedure, because there may be factors that preclude this procedure for certain individuals. Reasonable expectations must be established about what eyelid surgery can and cannot accomplish as with all plastic surgery procedures. As with all facial plastic surgery procedures, results can vary.
Recovery from eyelid surgery is specific to the individual. The duration of recovery will vary from person to person. The recovery time for upper eyelid surgery is approximately 5 to 7 days for most individuals. The recovery time for lower eyelid surgery is approximately 10 to 14 days in most individuals but could be longer depending on the surgical approach necessary. No dressings are required after surgery. Sutures (stitches) are removed approximately 5 days after surgery. The healing process does not end at 14 days, however. For example, the incisions continue to heal for months after surgery.
Some swelling and bruising are expected after eyelid surgery. Post-operative swelling and bruising generally improve significantly by 7 to 14 days after surgery. Swelling and bruising are expected to continue to improve and resolve in the ensuing days and weeks.
Makeup can generally be applied to the incision site starting approximately 10 days after surgery.
Frequently asked questions
- What type of anesthesia is required?
- Upper eyelid (blepharoplasty) surgery can be performed under local anesthesia or IV sedation. Lower eyelid (blepharoplasty) surgery can usually be performed under IV sedation. Some individuals may require general anesthesia for lower eyelid (blepharoplasty) surgery.
- Can eyelid surgery change the shape of the eyes?
- Some individuals develop pulled, overly-rounded lower eyelids after lower eyelid (blepharoplasty) surgery due to excessive scarring. Revision lower eyelid surgery can restore an almond-shaped appearance to the eyes by supporting the lower eyelid "hammock" through a procedure called a canthopexy or canthoplasty.
- Will my eyes look “hollow” after eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)?
- Dr. Harmon avoids the hollowed appearance that can occur with older techniques to eyelid surgery. Dr. Harmon preserves the eye muscle in the upper eyelid and removes only a small amount of fat in a targeted area of the eye, preserving the youthful volume of the upper eyelid. Dr. Harmon utilizes the eye’s own fat in the lower eyelid, transferring it into the deep fold under the eyelid bag, called the tear trough deformity, both to treat the eyelid bag and to volumize the tear trough.
- What is the difference between a brow lift (lateral temporal brow lift) and upper eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)?
- The anatomy of the upper eyelid and brow blend into each other. As a result, treatment of a drooping brow and excessive upper eyelid skin needs to be considered together. Many individuals’ concerns about their upper eyelid may include their brow. Many individual’s concerns about their eyebrow may include their upper eyelid. A brow lift (lateral temporal lift) and upper eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) are frequently performed together, because they complement each other in the rejuvenation of the eye.
- Can lower eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) treat dark circles under the eyes?
- No. There is no procedure, surgical or non-surgical, or medication, topical or oral, that has been shown to treat dark circles under the eyes consistently.
- Does lower eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) treat festoons or malar mounds/bags?
- Festoons and malar mounds/bags are swollen areas of the cheek below the lower eyelid that can occur with aging. Lower eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) does not treat festoons or malar mounds/bags.
- Is eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) painful?
- Facial plastic surgery procedures are generally well-tolerated by patients and typically involve little pain, especially when compared with surgery on other areas of the body. Patients are usually prescribed just a small amount of pain medication for after surgery. In fact, we have found most use only over-the-counter pain medication including acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen after surgery instead. And those who do use the prescribed pain medication usually only use it the first night after surgery. With that in mind, it is important to note that every patient perceives and processes pain differently. Some patients have a high pain tolerance. Others may be more predisposed to be more sensitive to pain. We at Harmon Facial Plastic Surgery are focused on balancing minimizing post-operative discomfort and maximizing safety.
- What is a lower eyelid skin pinch and is it worthwhile?
- A lower eyelid skin pinch procedure is intended to address excessive, wrinkled skin at the lower eyelid. It is often beneficial as a standalone procedure in younger patients who do not demonstrate other age-related changes to their eyes including, but not limited to, lower eyelid bags.
- Is eyelid surgery a common surgical procedure?
- Yes, eyelid surgery is a common surgical procedure. The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) releases statistics each year that provide insight into the state of plastic surgery around the world. ISAPS reported 85,712 eyelid surgeries were performed in the United States in 2020.
Why Choose Dr. Harmon
- The mission of Harmon Facial Plastic Surgery is to help people along their journey towards self-confidence, to feel good about feeling good.
- Dr. Harmon values making patients feel welcomed, listened to, and respected.
- Dr. Harmon graduated with honors from Cornell University with a Bachelor of Science degree in molecular biology.
- Dr. Harmon earned his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati.
- Dr. Harmon underwent five years of extensive training in head at neck surgery at the prestigious residency program at the University of Cincinnati.
- Dr. Harmon then underwent focused fellowship training in cosmetic facial plastic surgery through the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) with the world-renowned surgeon, Dr. Andrew Jacono, on Park Avenue in New York City.
- Dr. Harmon posts frequently and covers a wide range of topics, including procedure-specific information, volunteering, general health, and much more. Read more from Dr. Harmon by visiting his blog.
- Harmon Facial Plastic Surgery can be reached here.
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Disclaimer: This page is for educational purposes only and does not constitute direct medical advice. Moreover, this page should not be used as a substitute for direct medical advice. It is essential that you have a consultation with a qualified medical provider prior to considering any treatment in order to determine whether you are a candidate for treatment. This will also allow you the opportunity to discuss any potential benefits, risks, and alternatives to the treatment.