03 Jan 5 Ways Eyelid Surgery Can Help with Your Tired-Looking Eyes
Our Eyes Define Us
Whether you live in Los Angeles, California or Seoul, Korea, you immediately look into the eyes of the person you are talking to. This is how human beings connect and communicate with each another. To shield someone’s identity in a photograph, you will often notice publications will use black bars across one’s eyes. Our eyes and the surrounding eyelid structures are what identify and define us in many ways. So it is no wonder that we place so much emphasis on the looks of our eyelids in our everyday lives.
It’s Not You, It’s Your Extraneous Skin
After getting a good night’s sleep, you may look in the mirror and notice that your eyes still look so tired. Why is that? Unfortunately, it is due to genetics and the natural aging process. This process is somewhat different from person to person depending on their genes and environment (sun damage, smoking history, etc.). So, the time at which the aging process becomes noticeable varies. For some men and women, it may be apparent in their 30’s, but more often it is apparent in their 40’s and 50’s.
As we age, there is growth of excess skin around the eyelids (a condition called dermatochalasis). The eyelid skin may be the thinnest skin of the body but with the effect of gravity, the excess skin may drape over, sometimes causing “hooding” of the upper eyelids. ABC News, explains that “drooping eyelids may seem like an inevitable effect of getting older, but sagging eyelids not only age a person’s face, they can impair peripheral vision too.” In addition, there may be weakening of the upper eyelid tissue that can cause fat tissues to protrude out. This may look like swelling and result in irregular bumps. Unfortunately, all of these are normal processes of aging and cosmetic surgery can help.
Eyelid Surgery, or Blepharoplasty, Can Immediately Help
The goal of upper blepharoplasty (or upper eyelid surgery) is to remove the excess skin that is draping over the eyelid itself. Essentially, you are removing excess skin that is making you look older, tired, or is getting in the way of your vision. This can, thereby, reduce a “hooding” appearance and result inrejuvenated eyelids. When performed correctly, the eyelids will appear to look more “bright eyed,” open, and refreshed. The surgery can significantly change the way you look, the way you feel when looking at yourself, and the way you are perceived by others.
The surgery itself has several parts. First, the excess skin has to be carefully removed. The amount that needs to be removed should be measured while the person is in a sitting position so that the effects of gravity are taken into account. When measuring, it is important for your facial plastic surgeon to be conservative, to prevent removing too much excess skin and fat. If too much is removed, you may have complications later that are difficult to fix.
The next thing to consider is whether or not to remove and/or reposition the fat tissue under the eyelids. Assessing the amount of fat tissue that is causing you to look more tired is typically done prior to surgery. This is performed by gently applying pressure over the upper eyelids using an index finger while eyes are closed. Removing fat tissue from the upper eyelids is done very frequently. However, it may be wiser to either remove a very small amount or just to reposition the lid so that your eyes do not look hollowed, resulting in a more aged, skeletal look. Finally, it is important to stitch up the area well to minimize scarring. Depending on the skin type, different types of stitching materials and methods can be used.
Have the Right Expectations After Surgery
The recovery period varies for every patient, but the average recovery for blepharoplasty is about one week. Swelling may be minimized by sleeping with your head raised above the level of your heart and applying cold compress around (but not on) the eyelids for the first few days. Stitches are usually removed five to seven days after the procedure. Normal activities such as applying make-up and exercise may be resumed two weeks later.
Choose the Right Surgeon for Eyelid Surgery
Be sure to check that your surgeon is board certified in plastic surgery and choose the surgeon who not only understands the facial anatomy of your heritage, but also has knowledge in other medical conditions that can cause swollen eyes (thyroid diseases, for example). If there is any concern that your puffy, tired looking eyes may be the result of a medical condition, the surgery itself will likely not improve your eyes. If this is the case, your surgeon may refer you to your primary doctor prior to surgery.
It is important to choose the surgeon you trust. Talk to your surgeon and make sure you feel comfortable with him or her. Your goals should be the same: to rejuvenate your eyes in a natural way without abandoning your natural heritage. Also, there are fine differences when performing surgery on men versus women, so make sure your surgeon is familiar with performing surgeries on both sexes.
If the surgeon is comfortable, having upper eyelid surgery under local anesthesia is an option and may be the safest option for you. Although you will be awake during the procedure, there will be minimal pain after the local anesthesia is given, and you can significantly reduce the risks and complications associated with general anesthesia.