Refresh Your Face with Eyelid Surgery at Dr. Laura Gowen’s Bryn Mawr, Newtown Square, and Philadelphia-area Practice
Stretched-out skin and bulging fatty deposits around the eyes can make you look tired even if you're not. An eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty from the Bryn Mawr, Newtown Square, and Philadelphia area’s board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Laura Gowen can address the problem by removing excess, unwanted tissue and tightening what's left behind.
Specifically, a blepharoplasty can:
- reduce fat deposits found in pockets around the eyes
- lessen the appearance of crow's feet and other wrinkles surrounding the delicate eye area
- pull taut drooping lids that impair vision on top and/or expose the whites of the eyes on the bottom
Ultimately, there are many variations when it comes to eyelid surgery, including whether it will be done on just the upper lids, the lower lids, or both. Dr. Gowen aims to preserve and improve balance and symmetry while performing a blepharoplasty, and will determine the extent of procedural detail and change on a case by case basis.
What Does Blepharoplasty Involve?
The upper and lower eyelids are meant to work in tandem to protect the eyes, retain moisture, and facilitate vision. As the face ages and changes, however, issues such as excess of fat, sagging skin, or loose muscles can impact vision negatively and make the face look tired and worn out.
Gravity pulls the lids downwards over time, making their contours change. Sagging or enlarged upper lids can obstruct an otherwise clear field of vision and create a fatigued appearance, while the lower lid slides down to expose more of the whites of the eyes and create undereye bags and wrinkles.
A blepharoplasty is primarily focused on eliminating unwanted tissue, including fat, muscle, and overlying skin while tightening remaining skin and muscle. During your pre-surgical consultation, Dr. Gowen will carefully examine the area, and may ask you questions about your vision, tear production or eye lubrication, use of visual aids such as contact lenses or glasses, and what outcomes you hope to achieve. If blepharoplasty may be an option for you, Dr. Gowen will outline what you could reasonably expect from the procedure, and assess whether you are a fit candidate.
Factors to be considered may include age, skin profile, ethnic background, and the degree of any visual obstruction.
Blepharoplasty is typically handled as an outpatient procedure, which may last up to two hours. On the day of surgery, patients should be feeling well, and the eyelid area in particular must be free of any infections.
The surgery will begin with the administration of general anesthesia or intravenous sedation for your comfort. The areas for incision will be carefully selected and marked for surgical precision.
Dr. Gowen works to hide the necessary incisions in places where they will not easily be noticed. For upper lid blepharoplasty, this is typically made in the small folds that form when the eye is open. For lower lid blepharoplasty, Dr. Gowen may place the incisions just below the line made by the eyelashes.
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If the procedure requires nothing more than fat removal, she may place the incision inside the lower lid itself. This technique to address a puffy undereye area is known as a transconjunctival blepharoplasty, and may be suitable for some patients who have excess fat but relatively toned skin. Since the incision is made inside the lid, there is no visible scarring associated with this form of eyelid surgery.
Once the eyelid surgery is complete, the incision will be closed with sutures or skin glue, and you will be transferred to another room until the anesthetic gradually wears off.
While lower lid blepharoplasty can involve the removal of tissue, Dr. Gowen may also carefully redistribute fat to create more aesthetically pleasing contours.
A blepharoplasty cannot reverse the natural aging process, but can certainly give you a noticeable advantage by moving forward and restarting with a freshly rejuvenated appearance. The excess tissue removed will also no longer be making the skin around them sag.
Recovering from a Blepharoplasty Surgery
Recovery time after a blepharoplasty may last up to two weeks. Swelling may last for a few days, while any bruising tends to fade within 10 to 14 days. Your eyes may also feel dry and/or itchy. As this subsides, the results, including reduced crow's feet and a more alert appearance, will be noticeable. Your field of vision may also improve, especially if drooping upper eyelids were addressed during the operation.
Any incisions made on the outside of the lids may be covered with small pieces of surgical tape for protection during healing. Non-dissolvable stitches that may have been used will be removed about a week after surgery.
Some patients feel comfortable hiding the operated areas with sunglasses, but this is usually not a medical necessity.
Minimize bruising and swelling by keeping your head elevated as you recover, and use cool compresses to reduce discomfort. Dr. Gowen may prescribe oral or topical medications as necessary to make your healing process as quick and comfortable as possible.
Following post-surgical instructions provided to you by our team is vital to a safe, smooth recovery. You will receive instructions on how to gently clean and care for the eye area, and how to manage dryness and itchiness. You may also receive a list of places and/or activities to avoid throughout your recovery period.
To maintain the long-term effects of a blepharoplasty, protect your skin against harmful UV rays with a daily sunscreen. Use light, moisturizing products to keep the skin supple and healthy. Our skin care professionals can advise you further on which products would be most suitable for your skin.
Options Beyond a Blepharoplasty in the Bryn Mawr, Newtown Square, and Philadelphia Area
Eyelid surgery can greatly impact your appearance by giving the eyes a refreshed look, but it does focus solely on the eye area. Sometimes droopy upper eyelids are more attributable to a sagging brow and forehead, which would require a brow lift instead of, or in addition to, a blepharoplasty.
A blepharoplasty may also be combined with other facial procedures, including a facelift, which tightens sagging found on the lower portion of the face.
Learn more about how these procedures and treatments can work together to give you an overall refreshed and rejuvenated look.