What is Blepharoplasty Surgery

Posted by Dr. Orin Zwick

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May 8, 2014 9:30:00 AM


Blepharoplasty surgery, also known as eyelid surgery, enhances the appearance of the upper eyelids or lower eyelids. With blepharoplasty surgery, patients achieve a more rested, youthful look.  Equally important, patients whose vision has been compromised by the drooping skin can regain their field of vision. 

Cosmetic eyelid surgery is increasingly common, with more than 200,000 eyelid surgeries performed in 2012 alone. 

Reasons for Eyelid Surgery 

Eyelid surgery is performed for both cosmetic and medical reasons.  It depends on the patient’s need and personal desire.  Patients seeking a more rested, youthful appearance, elect to have cosmetic eyelid surgery to address excess fatty deposits or loose sagging skin that has caused their eyes to droop and make one look tired and old.  For those whose vision is impeded because of their drooping lids, it may be medically necessary to have surgery. 

Given time and gravity, the thin layer of skin and muscles that surround the eyes weaken and begin to sag.  Prior to surgery, it is important to have a thorough consultation with an oculoplastic surgeon to determine which surgery is appropriate to address these changes. It may be a result of excess skin (dermatochalasis), weakened eyelid muscles (ptosis) or even weakened eyebrow muscles. 

In the case of droopy, excess skin in the upper eyelid area, a blepharoplasty is the appropriate course of action.  Loose skin can create folds and distort the natural shape of the upper eyelid and, in some cases, saggy skin can impede one’s field of vision.  An eyelid lift surgery can, therefore, bring the natural shape of your eyelid back while ensuring a full field of vision, including peripheral vision.

Lower eyelid surgery (lower eyelid blepharoplasty) can be very effective in correcting bags or puffy pockets under the eyes, skin laxity, hollow depressions or remedying a lower-eyelid droop. Through either an internal and/or external eyelid incision beneath the lashes, skin can be tightened, fat can be removed or contoured and the eyelid can be supported to help improve the overall appearance. In some cases, a medium depth acid peel will be performed in conjunction to help with skin tightening.  There are a host of changes that occur to the lower lids over time, exacerbated by genetics, sun damage and other environmental factors.  Each patient requires a thorough evaluation to determine which factors contribute to their appearance. 

Is Eyelid Surgery right for me?

The first step in determining if eyelid surgery is right for you is to schedule a thorough consultation with an Oculoplastic surgeon.  During that appointment, it is important for the surgeon to determine the cause of droopy lids and the patient’s desired outcome.  The eyelids and their surrounding area are a delicate part of the face, but selecting an experienced surgeon with a track record for delivering great results, there are several outpatient surgical procedures that can help open the eyes and improve the overall appearance of the upper face.

Results and Recovery Time  

Blepharoplasty is an outpatient procedure.  Typically, the procedure is done with sedation and local anesthetic. An incision is made in the creases of the natural upper eyelid to remove excess skin and fat. For lower eyelid surgery, either an internal or external incision is made beneath the lashes to tighten skin and remove excess fat.  Bruising is usually minimal and patients may expect to return to work in approximately one week.


Topics: Cosmetic


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Dr. Orin M. Zwick joined the practice in 2006. As a partner at Chesapeake Eye Care and Laser Center, his specialty is Oculofacial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. This specialty encompasses medical management and cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the structures surrounding the eye. Dr. Zwick performs surgery of the eyelids and eyebrows when there is drooping skin or weak muscles, eyelid malpositions including lids turning inward or outward, and removal and repair of benign or malignant eyelid lesions. He also treats tear duct (lacrimal) problems that can cause watering eyes or infections, difficulty closing eyes from problems such as facial nerve palsy, spasms of the eyelids, orbital inflammatory problems such as thyroid eye disease, orbital fractures and orbital tumors. He also performs non-surgical cosmetic enhancements such as Botox injections and dermal facial fillers.

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