Surgery to improve the appearance, and sometime the function of the eyelids is technically known as a blepharoplasty.
With age or occasionally because of heredity, the skin of upper and lower eyelids will droop. In some people the drooping of eyelid skin may be severe enough to interfere with vision. To improve the appearance of the eyelids, plastic surgeons remove the extra skin from both eyelids, as well as fat beneath the skin and muscle, which produces a heavy-appearing eyelid.
Incisions for eyelid surgery are in the naturally occurring fold in the upper eyelid. In the lower eyelid Dr. Newkirk uses an incision either immediately beneath the eyelashes, or a inside the lower eyelid; this is called a transconjunctival blepharoplasty. In transconjunctival blepharoplasty, lower eyelid skin is not removed.
Dr. Newkirk carries out eyelid surgery in his office operating room suite. There usually is bruising, which lasts about a week. Stitches are removed in 5 days. The scars from blepharoplasty are very hard to see once they have healed. Blepharoplasty is a particularly good operation for men, in whom much of the signs of aging occur in the eyelids.
Complications of blepharoplasty can include a dry eye, or the pulling of the lower eyelid skin away from the eye, which is called an ectropion. Fortunately, this is rare, although if it occurred, there are operations to correct it.
Although the incisions will remain pink for a few months after surgery, the results of blepharoplasty are often excellent. Also, while it may be necessary to repeat some cosmetic surgical operations as the aging process continues, it is rare to have to repeat a blepharoplasty. Over 133,000 blepharoplasties were carried out by plastic surgeons in 2013.
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