“WHAT HAPPENED TO MY EYES?”
It’s a question uttered, often silently, at some time in the life of the adult man or woman. It just happens one day, maybe while you’re brushing your teeth and gazing in the mirror, or when you catch sight of yourself in a photo, or your reflection in a window. Your eyes may seem different to you- maybe smaller, maybe a slightly different shape, less open, or less visible.
Your eyes may no longer look like “your” eyes.
As with most changes to our appearance through life, aging and gravity are among the main causes. Heredity is a big factor too. Look at your parents and grandparents for some idea of how changes brought by age, may appear on you.
ALL EYES ARE NOT CREATED ‘EQUAL’
Of course not. Eye shape, depth, and color are all based on your unique genetics. So too is the quality of your skin, its thickness and elasticity. Some people inherit a tendency to store more fat below and above their eyes – and with some people, it’s deep hollows and dark circles.
The process of aging brings with it; thinning of the skin, and drooping and sagging of skin and muscle. These natural changes may be notable everywhere on the body, but especially around the eyes where expression and exposure may have already caused appearance changes.
Skin may start to hang like a drape over the eye corners and lids, and the under-eye fat pockets may form heavy-looking large ‘bags.’
WHAT CAN BE DONE TO REVERSE THE DROOPING AND BAGGAGE?
Blepharoplasty is the surgery performed to lift or alter the eyelids. Also known as Eye Lift, Eyelid Lift, or Eyelid Surgery, it can be performed on both the upper and lower eyelids – or it may be desired on just the upper OR lower lids. And, many of my Palo Alto, Los Gatos, and San Jose Blepharoplasty patients do choose that option.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING SURGERY?
- Through an incision made in the eyelid, excess skin and fat can be removed, and the surrounding skin and muscle is tightened or re-positioned.
- Scars from the incisions are usually very well hidden within the eyelid creases, lower lash line, or inside the lower lid.
WILL MY DARK CIRCLES DISAPPEAR?
- That is not a given through surgery alone. Remember, the factors causing the hollows or discoloration beneath your eyes, are not being removed. Your doctor may discuss other options, including injections with fillers, and other treatments.
WHAT ABOUT CROW’S FEET – AND DROOPING EYEBROWS?
- We wish there was one surgery that could conquer all of the different ‘problem areas’ around the eyes. Blepharoplasty will improve and rejuvenate your upper and lower lids- giving you a refreshed look you may not have had in years. The “crow’s feet” areas are not specifically addressed in this surgery, although there may be some improvement.
- The muscles affecting your eyebrows and forehead, are also not changed through Eyelid Surgery. For that area, you would want to investigate what’s known as a Brow Lift. Many of my patients from the Palo Alto area choose cosmetic surgery as a combination of procedures to achieve their goals, and choose to have them in the same surgical session.
DOES BOTOX PRODUCE THE SAME RESULT AS AN EYELIFT?
- Botox is so popular, because it does work, with minimal side effects. Injections of Botox, and also fillers such as Juvederm, Restylane and Radiesse, produce remarkable results. They will temporarily remove wrinkles between the brows and in the crow’s feet areas. They can fill hollow areas, and improve discoloration. Injections can give the brows a “lifted” appearance as well.
But, the results are temporary, and in the case of Botox or similar products, need to be repeated every few months.
- And, injectable treatments will not remove excess skin, fat pads or bags.
WILL INSURANCE PAY FOR MY SURGERY IF MY DROOPY LIDS ARE AFFECTING MY VISION?
- This is a frequently-asked question. Your insurance carrier will have specific criteria for determining whether they will consider Blepharoplasty a medical necessity. You will probably be able to get more information from them, as to their requirements. Our staff has many years of experience working with the various carriers, and will be happy to help. Most of the time, blepharoplasty is considered cosmetic surgery.
If you do choose Blepharoplasty, prepare for some post-surgical recovery time. The bruising and swelling normally improve greatly within a week. You may experience some discomfort in the first few days, so, as always, follow your doctor’s instructions carefully.
Blepharoplasty results are long-lasting, and although each person’s results are individual, they are measured in years, rather than months.
[Dr. Vincent Lepore is a Board-Certified, Stanford-trained Plastic Surgeon. His office and fully accredited surgery center is conveniently located to all of Silicon Valley, and the Bay Area. Please call to schedule a complimentary cosmetic consultation; (408) 356-4241.]