Eyelid surgery in Tampa is a cosmetic procedure that permanently improves the appearance of your eyes and in some cases your vision. Called blepharoplasty or eye lift surgery, it is performed on both the upper and lower eyelids to tighten the underlying muscles and remove loose skin. The appearance of your eyes may express your feelings but if they are puffy and sagging, they may give the wrong impression. If the skin around your eyes droops, you may look tired, sad, depressed, or angry despite feeling none of these things. Eyelid surgery may permanently improve your appearance if you have:
• Stretched skin in your upper eyelids that changes the natural shape of your eye and may hand over your field of vision
• Puffiness in the upper eyelids caused by fatty deposits that are pulled down by gravity
• Under-eye bags caused by fatty deposits and lax skin and muscles
• Lower eyelids that sag and show the white below the iris
• Lower eyelids that have excess hanging skin that causes a wrinkled appearance
Is it Cosmetic or Medical?
Eyelid surgery has a cosmetic effect making your eyes look younger, but this is just the beginning. For many people, the skin on the upper eyelids starts to droop over the eyelashes. Sometimes the process happens so slowly you don’t even realize it until it starts to inhibit your field of vision. You may begin to tilt your head back just a little without realizing it to see better. When the lower eyelids start to sag, you may look sad and depressed. If you like to wear contact lenses, you may need to stop because the lower eyelid will no longer hold them in.
Eyelid surgery redefines the shape of your eyes, but it will not remove under-eye darkness or wrinkles around the eyes. In Tampa, we offer several other minimal or non-invasive procedures to remove wrinkles such as laser resurfacing, filler injections, or surgical procedures such as forehead or eyebrow lifts.
The Aging Eyelid
As we grow older, the skin starts to lose elasticity. Without the ability to bounce back to its original position when it is pulled by gravity, the skin remains sagging. At first, it’s not very noticeable, but after middle-age, it may be quite pronounced. As will all skin conditions, the type of skin makes a difference. Some people suffer sagging earlier than others and for some, it is very severe.
Along with the skin, gravity pulls down the fat that surrounds the eyeball. This fat provides the eyeball a cushion from the skull. The fat may start to accumulate around the eyes and appear like bulges in the upper eyelid and like bags in the lower eyelid.
The results of upper eyelid surgery may last up to seven years. The results of lower eyelid surgery may last much longer and rarely needs to be repeated. If your upper eyelids start to sag again, you may need a forehead lift to keep your eyebrows from pushing down your eyelids.
Who Needs Eyelid Surgery in Tampa?
The surest way to know if you are a good candidate for eyelid surgery is to have your eyes examined by our surgeon. Most candidates are at least 35 years old or older. For some, droopy eyelids are hereditary and they may elect to have the surgery at an earlier age.
To be a good candidate for eyelid surgery you should have good overall health with no medical conditions that may impede tissue healing. If you smoke you will be asked to quit for at least four weeks before and after the surgery. This includes nicotine patches and gum. Smoking reduces the blood flow which makes it take longer for wounds to heal and may raise the risk of infection.
How to Prepare for Eyelid Surgery
In most cases, eyelid surgery is an outpatient procedure. This means you will go home after the surgery. You will need someone with you to drive you home and someone to stay with you the first night if you normally live alone. The day before your surgery, you may be asked to follow certain instructions. We may ask you to:
• Stop certain prescription medications
• Not drink or eat anything after midnight on the day before your surgery. You can take any medication our surgeon prescribes with a little water
• Not wear moisturizer or makeup on the day of the surgery
You will need to be in overall good health as with any surgery and have realistic expectations. Our cosmetic surgeon will inform you of your options so you can make an educated decision. It is important to remember that cosmetic surgery needs to be a decision you make for yourself and not something you do because of pressure from another person to change your appearance.
What to Expect
If you are having both eyes done, the procedure may take about two hours. We start on the upper eyelids and do both of them first before starting on the lower eyelids. The upper eyelid opening will be made in the natural crease of your eye. The skin will be separated from the underlying tissue and any lax muscle and excess fat will be removed. The opening will then be sealed.
There are several techniques for lower eyelid surgery. Our surgeon will choose the best one for your condition. The opening may be made inside the lower eyelid. This is the most effective for removing fat and the opening will not be visible. At this point, if you choose, a secondary procedure called laser resurfacing can be used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
For other issues, the opening may be made along the margin of the eyelashes. Through this, the surgeon will remove fat, lax muscle, and skin which will be cut away. If you have dark circles under your eyes or hyperpigmentation, we may recommend laser resurfacing.
If the eyebrows have been significantly pulled down because of drooping upper eyelids, a different procedure may be needed to elevate the eyebrows It is called a brow lift. The opening is made into the scalp and the skin on the forehead is tightened to lift the eyebrows. This will help improve your appearance but will not by itself remove the hanging upper eyelid.
After the Procedure
You will need to stay home from work and avoid other normal daily activities for a week to 14 days after the procedure. This will give your eyelids time to heal. Our surgeon will give you detailed instructions to care for your eyes at home for the first two weeks. You may experience dry eyes after the surgery. We will prescribe drops to treat this. You will need to have certain things handy while you are resting such as:
• Small gauze pads for patting your eyes
• Ice packs or frozen veggies
• Artificial tears which we will give you
• A few clean towels
• Over-the-counter painkillers which we will recommend – anti-inflammatories such as aspirin and ibuprofen should not be used as they can increase bleeding
You will probably have tiny stitches that will be removed in a week. Sometimes we use surgical glue but this is not always suitable. A bit of swelling is common, which is why you may need the ice packs. It will subside in a week or two and your eyes should look normal. If you wear contact lenses, you can start wearing them again when the swelling subsides to the point where they feel comfortable. If you wear eyeglasses you can start wearing them at any time after the surgery but be careful when you put them on. To ensure your eyelids heal properly, our surgeon may give one or more of the following instructions:
• Be aware that your eyes will tire more quickly than they did before and need rest. If you work at a computer most of the day we may recommend that you go back to your full load gradually so your eyes have a chance to adjust as they recover.
• For a few weeks after the surgery, you should wear dark glasses that wrap around your eyes and protect them from the wind as well as sunlight. We may give you sunscreen to apply for a few weeks if you need to spend a lot of time outdoors.
• You should not lift anything that causes you to strain or bend over for at least four weeks after surgery. This includes young children. It may be inconvenient as it is a difficult restriction but when you strain or bend over the blood pressure in your eyes increases. This could affect the surgery and make healing slower or risk infection.
• To make sure your results last long, our surgeon will give you skin care tips and recommend moisturizers and makeup that will especially suit your skin type.
• If you have stopped smoking for the surgery, it is a good time to quit forever. Smoking will age you faster than time. Other cosmetic procedures will help enhance the results of eyelid surgery such as BOTOX and filler injections.
Get in Touch with Us for More Information
The results of eyelid surgery are very long-term and in some cases permanent. Your skin will naturally continue to age, but the process will be dramatically slowed when your eyelids are put back to a more youthful position. To learn more, we warmly encourage you to reach out and make an appointment with Soler Cosmetic Plastic Surgery. At our convenient location in Tampa, our caring and dedicated team of professionals will be pleased to explain this option to you in greater detail and answer any questions you may have. Contact us today to set up your consultation – we look forward to speaking with you!