Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid Surgery in Austin, TX

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If you wish to look wide-eyed, happy, and alert, our board-certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Ned Snyder IV, can perform an upper or lower eyelid surgery with impressive results. An eyelid lift or blepharoplasty is one of the most common cosmetic procedures today because it produces effective results in a short amount of time and it delivers a boost to those seeking a remedy for aging. Eyelid lifts are performed under a local anesthetic in Dr. Snyder's Austin, TX offices and most patients see about 10 years taken off their aging skin.

While this surgery is usually performed for cosmetic reasons, it can also help improve the vision of patients with excessive skin hanging on the upper eyelids. When skin ages it loses elasticity, and unfortunately it starts to collect on the upper and lower eyelids. The best way to determine if you are a good candidate for an eyelid lift is to look in the mirror. If you are bothered by droopy skin around your eyes, then the procedure could be right for you. Most people who seek the surgery are over the age of 35, but family history can play a role as genetics are a big part of the way the eye skin ages. A good time to consider the procedure is when makeup will no longer mask the tired look. If you would like to learn more about our eyelid lift surgeries, please request a consultation. We look forward to meeting you.

Ideal Candidates

Any one or combination of the following conditions may indicate that you are a good candidate for eyelid surgery:

  • Excess skin obscuring the natural fold of the upper eyelids
  • Loose skin hanging down from the upper eyelids, perhaps impairing vision
  • A puffy appearance to the upper eyelids, making the eyes look tired
  • Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelids
  • Bags and dark circles under the eyes, often with a depression along the bony border of the lower eyelids
  • Droopiness of the lower eyelids, showing white below the iris (colored portion of the eye)

Aesthetic eyelid surgery can usually correct these problems, though other treatments may also need to be considered. For example, if the upper eyelid condition is accompanied by sagging of the eyebrows, then a brow lift may be recommended. Smoothing of your crow’s feet may require injectable wrinkle relaxers, chemical peel, or laser resurfacing procedures. Circles beneath the eyes caused by dark pigmentation may be treated with a bleaching solution or a series of chemical peels. Our team at Breast and Body Austin can provide further information if you have an interest in any of these additional procedures.

Surgical Technique

The procedure may either be performed on the upper eyelid only or the lower lid, or both. There will be a difference in approaches when it comes to the upper and lower eyelids but the method is similar; removing any loose skin or tissue, and extracting or repositioning the fat deposit. There will also be separate incisions spots. It is important to understand that this will not help with other cosmetic issues such as crow’s feet, wrinkles or dark circles. The results of an eyelid surgery are fairly isolated within the upper and lower lid section only. There are other procedures that can be combined, for example the use of BOTOX®, to create a maximized outcome.

Upper Eyelid Surgery

The most common problem with the upper eyelid is excess skin that droops and hangs over the eyes. Not only does this look unappealing, but it can also obstruct vision for a patient. For upper eyelid surgery, generally, an incision is hidden within the natural fold of the upper eyelid and extends slightly beyond the outside corner into the laugh lines or other existing creases. Through this incision, excess skin and fatty tissue are removed. Because the incision follows the natural contour of the upper eyelid, it will be well camouflaged when healed.

Lower Eyelid Surgery

Lower eyelid surgery will improve any appearance of bulging and sagging below the eye. For lower eyelid surgery, often an incision is hidden just below the lower lashes. Through this incision, excess skin, muscle, and fat are removed, or fat may be redistributed to eliminate puffiness or bulges. Other adjustments to correct special problems, such as muscle laxity, may be performed. Just as in the upper eyelid surgery, the incision for the lower eyelid surgery is well camouflaged by your natural creases. In some cases, we may decide that the best approach for removing excess fat is through an incision placed inside the lower eyelid. This technique requires no external incision, but it cannot be used to remove excess skin. A laser may sometimes be used in conjunction with this method to tighten the lower eyelid skin.

During/After Surgery

Eyelid surgery is performed under general anesthesia. If the procedure involves both upper and lower eyelids, the plastic surgeon will typically manage the upper eyelid first. On average, it takes 1 – 2 hours to complete the operation. The patient will be sent home for recovery. For the first few days, there will be swelling and discoloration around the area. It is advised that the head is elevated for the first few days. Pain medications and antibiotics will be prescribed to manage the initial discomfort. Strenuous activities must also be restricted.

Straining, bending, and lifting should be avoided during the early postoperative period. In many instances, you will be able to resume most of your normal activities within ten days or less. Although you might feel like going back to work just a few days after surgery, your vision may still be slightly blurry which could make reading or other paperwork more difficult. You should not wear contact lenses for a week or two.

Eyelid Surgery FAQs

How should I prepare?

There are several things you can do to prepare yourself for a successful surgery. If you are a smoker, you will be asked to stop smoking well in advance of surgery. Aspirin and certain anti-inflammatory drugs can cause increased bleeding, so you should avoid taking these medications for a period of time before surgery. Dr. Snyder will provide you with additional preoperative instructions. Aesthetic eyelid surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis. If this is the case, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you at least the first night following surgery.

How will I look & feel after?

It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals. The first evening after surgery, you should rest quietly with your head elevated. Dr. Snyder may instruct you to apply cold compresses to your eyelids. Remember, you must not take aspirin or certain anti-inflammatory medications. Initially, you may feel a "tight" sensation around the eyes and some mild discomfort that can be controlled with oral medication. During the first 48-hours following surgery, patients experience varying degrees of swelling and bruising. Some patients find that mild swelling persists for several weeks, while others may see swelling resolve in as little as a week. Bruising typically disappears within 7 – 10 days. Within the first week, you will be permitted to use makeup, if desired, to conceal any discoloration. Stitches are usually removed within a week of surgery at your follow-up appointment.

Your vision may continue to be somewhat blurry for a few days or longer after surgery. Your eyes may be temporarily sensitive to light, and you may experience excess tearing or dryness. We may recommend eye drops to help relieve any burning or itching. You may want to wear dark sunglasses for a couple of weeks to protect your eyes from wind and sun irritation.

How Will I be Evaluated?

You should come to the consultation prepared to discuss your medical history, which should include previous surgeries, past and present medical conditions, and current medications. High blood pressure, thyroid problems, or diabetes are among the medical conditions that may increase the risks associated with eyelid surgery.

Dr. Snyder will want to know if you have allergies, especially if they affect your eyes. We may ask whether you have ever tried and were unable to wear contact lenses. If you wear contact lenses, you should bring them with you in case your surgeon wants to test your vision. It is also necessary to let us know if you have a condition called "dry eye," or if you have any other problems with your eyes. You can also expect to have an examination of your eyelids and other facial features. This is so that we can make recommendations on surgical and nonsurgical techniques that will meet your aesthetic goals.

How Long Will Results Last?

The results of aesthetic eyelid surgery are long lasting, but they may be affected by your heredity and lifestyle factors. Removal of fat from your eyelids, which is usually the cause of puffiness and bags, will generally not recur. Your skin will continue to age, however, and skin laxity along the fine wrinkling of the eyelid area may return. Sometimes loss of tone in the forehead causes additional sagging of the eyebrows, which mimics a recurrence of drooping upper eyelids. If this happens, a corrective surgery may be required, such as a brow lift or a secondary (revision) eyelid procedure. Even though the aging process continues, patients are very pleased with their appearance for many years following eyelid surgery. Some patients also find that they want to make additional improvements at a later time.

Better Eyesight?

Blepharoplasty not only corrects a cosmetic issue, but a functional one as well. Many patients with excess hanging skin on their upper eyelid are able to regain normal vision after surgery. For many, simply applying makeup without maneuvering around the excess skin is refreshing in and of itself. 

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.