7 Eyelid Reconstruction
- Baggy eyelids can now be improved with the laser instead of a scalpel, and with a shorter recovery. The two to three weeks of bruising that was not infrequent after an eyelid surgery using a scalpel is rare when a laser is used.
- Lower eyelids can now be treated with a laser incision inside the lower eyelid, so healing is easier, there is no visible scar, and the risk of the lower lid being pulled down is minimized.
- The laser is also used, on a different setting, to shrink the skin on the outside of the eyelids to reduce wrinkles.
- For darker-skinned people, it is better to trim a little skin on the outside of the lower lid since lasering the lower lids can often produce color change.
- A browlift can complement blepharoplasty to rejuvenate the whole upper face for the right candidate.
Eyelid surgery — or "blepharoplasty" — is a relatively simple surgery with a very high satisfaction rate. Older people tend to seek help for this more often than younger people, as the fat and skin around their eyes begins to sag. But if droopy eyelids or fat bags under the eyes are characteristic in your family, blepharoplasty may be helpful regardless of your age. Patients as young as 30 have told me that they were prompted to seek surgery after years of hearing friends say, "You look so tired. Are you OK?"
Blepharoplasty is popular with men as well as women, particularly male executives who have to compete in a job market constantly being infiltrated by younger men. They want to erase the signs of stress that have accumulated on their faces over the years by softening the look of their skin, erasing some of their wrinkles, and eliminating a good portion of the "bags" of fat that have accumulated under the eyes. The goal is a younger overall look, and most patients are very satisfied with their results.
Although blepharoplasty has traditionally been performed with a knife, scalpel incisions more frequently cause bleeding, often leaving patients with black and blue eyes for weeks. When laser technology became popular in the mid 1990s, the procedure became easier and safer. Because the laser ordinarily seals off blood vessels, there is usually no bruising, since bruising is a result of bleeding. The laser may also be used to resurface the skin of the eyelids and "crow's feet," removing wrinkles and improving texture.
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