It’s true when they say the eyes are the window to the soul. In everyday life, we interact with other people and most of our interactions involve making good eye contact. Unfortunately, one of the first areas affected by aging is our eyelids. Have you ever looked into the mirror and said to yourself, “How come I look tired?” Patients come in with this complaint every day and I always reassure them saying it’s not your fault, genetics has always played a key role in the way we age, including around the eyes!
SULKY UPPER EYELIDS
The first sign of ‘looking’ tired is typically the extra skin sagging around the upper eyelids. To solve this problem, upper eyelid surgery (upper blepharoplasty) is the most long-term option. This procedure usually takes less than an hour and can be done either with a local anesthetic or under light sedation. The recovery period takes about 5-6 days with minimal bruising and downtime, the results can be extremely dramatic, but most importantly very natural. Quite often, I have patients telling me people ask them if they have a new hairstyle or went on vacation!
BAGGY LOWER EYELIDS
Another area of concern are bags within the lower eyelids. These bags are typically fat pockets in the lower eyelid that begin to ‘pouch’ out from under the skin, again making it look like you haven’t slept in days. A minimally invasive technique, lower eyelid surgery (lower blepharoplasty) now involves making a scar-less incision from inside the eye to remove the unwanted bags. This approach also takes just under an hour and light sedation, recovery takes about 1 week with minimal bruising and downtime. By addressing the fat and removing the pockets, this procedure will provide a smooth contour and transition into the cheek giving a more youthful look. An adjunct to restoring that smooth transition is adding a little fat to that area to help restore volume. This is called fat transfer and typically harvested from one’s abdomen. By using one’s own fat, it gives a natural filler to that same area between the lower eyelid and cheek and restoring the lost volume. This procedure is permanent and you may not need to retreat for years to come.
Here is an example of a patient who recently had an upper and lower blepharoplasty (aka eyelid surgery), as described above. She felt she often looked tired when looking in the mirror. Now she looks at herself and feels much more refreshed!
There are also non-invasive approaches to eyelid rejuvenation-particularly for the lower eyelids. The lower eyelid bags can be smoothed by an injectable filler known has hyaluronic acid such as Juvederm and Restylane. This creates that smooth transition from the lower eyelid into the cheek restoring volume to the area. This is temporary however, and lasts typically 9 months to 1 year.
Another area of concern can be the wrinkles around the eyelids. Addressing the wrinkles or ‘crow’s feet’ around the outside of the eye can be softened with the use of Botox/Dysport. These involve a small amount of injection around the eyelid and lasts 2-3 months.
Microneedling is another non-invasive approach involving skin resurfacing to the area of wrinkles. By resurfacing the area, it promotes collagen growth and newer, healthier skin. Microneedling is done in a series of treatments and the benefits can be seen after around 2 months.
WHICH OPTION IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
There are many ways to address aging eyelids. I always tell patients that eyelid rejuvenation, whether surgery or noninvasive, always seems to make the MOST difference in someone’s appearance with minimal downtime. Please feel free to make an appointment to discuss options tailored for your particular areas of concern here at Renaissance Plastic Surgery.
Authored by George S. Miguel, D.O.