Aging of the eyes usually precedes gravitational aging in the face. It is not unusual for someone to have their “eyes done” before a facelift. Eyelid aging usually begins in the third decade of life and is caused by excess skin and fat. Excess skin in the eyelids causes wrinkling of the skin and makes the eyes less visible. In extreme cases, this excess skin can even obstruct the vision when looking up. Eyelids also lose some of their structural support causing fat to bulge giving one the appearance of having “bags” under the eyes. 

This visible fat causes a sharp transition at the nose and cheek which appears as a deep “tear trough.” Well-done eyelid surgery increases the visibility of the eye, decreases wrinkles around the eye, and eliminates the fat, which causes bags. The result makes the patient appear more rested and youthful.  In men, care should be taken to avoid overresection of skin can change the shape of the eyes and feminize the face.  

Before considering eyelid surgery, all patients should have an ophthalmology evaluation to check the vision and ability of the eye to make tears. Patients who have dry eyes should be careful as this procedure can worsen this problem. 

 

EXPECTATIONS

LENGTH

2 hours

ANESTHESIA

General or local with sedation

IN/OUTPATIENT

Usually outpatient

SIDE EFFECTS

Temporary swelling, bruising, some pain, blurred vision, temporary dry eyes

RISKS

Pain, bleeding, infection, rare damage to eye muscles, incomplete improvement, sagging of the lower eyelid (ectropion)

RECOVERY

Back to work with makeup: 1 - 2 weeks
More strenuous activity: 2 - 3 weeks

FINAL APPEARANCE

1 - 2 months for swelling to completely resolve

DURATION OF RESULTS

While skin improvements last at least 10 years, the improvement from fat removal is permanent.