What is blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is a cosmetic surgical procedure that aims to reshape the upper or lower eyelid by removing and/or repositioning excess tissue. It also reinforces the surrounding muscles and tendons.
Patients with a less severe amount of excess skin may still wish to undergo similar procedure for cosmetic reasons. Lower eyelid blepharoplasty is almost always done for cosmetic reasons, to improve puffy lower eyelid "bags" and reduce the wrinkling of skin.
How is it performed?
Blepharoplasty is performed through external incisions made along the natural skin lines of the eyelids. Such location may be the creases of the upper lids, below the lashes of the lower lids, or from the inside surface of the lower eyelid.
The initial swelling and bruising take one to two weeks to disappear. However, several months are needed for healing, until the final result becomes stable. The cosmetic outcome of the procedure depends on the anatomy of the upper/lower eyelids, the patient's age, skin quality, the bony tissues, and soft tissues which are adjacent to the location, where the blepharoplasty took place.
There are factors known to cause complications after surgery. Failure to recognize their existance before surgery may result in undesired outcome. For example, such factors may be:
- Pre-existing dry eyes. Possible disruption of the natural tear film may worsen this condition after surgery;
- Laxity (looseness) of the lower lid margin (edge), which causes lower lid malposition;
- Prominence of the eye in relation to the malar (cheek) complex, which causes lower lid malposition.
An upper blepharoplasty in Asian patients is termed Asian blepharoplasty or "double eyelid surgery". It is the most popular form of cosmetic surgery among those of East and Southeast Asian background, due to anatomical differences between the Asian and occidental nations. About half of the Asian population are born without a supratarsal eyelid crease and are called single-lidded. Surgery can be used to artificially create a such crease above the eye.
Transconjunctival blepharoplasty involves removing lower eyelid fat through an incision on the back of the eyelid, eliminating the need for an external incision. Since there is no external incision, excess skin can not be removed during the surgery, but skin resurfacing with a chemical peel or carbon dioxide laser may be performed simultaneously. This allows for a faster recovery process.