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The eyes are the first thing we notice when we meet someone new. Beautiful eyes can make up for other features that are less than ideal. Likewise, eyes that are tired, droopy, or swollen may not reflect a vibrant inner self. It is often said that the earliest signs of aging are around the eyes. You may feel that the eyes looking back at you in the mirror every morning are old and tired looking, or maybe people are always questioning whether or not you had a good night’s sleep because your eyes are swollen with bags. Fortunately, cosmetic procedures can give you dramatically younger eyes through eyelid lifts, also known as blepharoplasty.
A primary reason for droopy eyes is simply due to age. As everything droops, so do the eyebrows. As the outer parts of the eyebrows droop, the skin of the upper eyelids will look saggy, as if you had developed extra skin that was not there several years before. Trimming this “extra” skin can drastically improve that droopy look.
Another reason for “tired eyes” is because of droopy eyelid fat. This fat is held back by a thin wall of fibrous tissue called orbital septum, which sags over time. The fat, held firmly back by this wall in youth can bulge with age, giving you “baggy” upper and lower eyelids. Eyelid lifts trim this extra fat and tighten the wall, restoring a youthful contour.
Dr. Shah may elect to perform an eyelid lifts alone or together with face and neck lifts or eyebrow and forehead lifts. If done alone, the operation takes about one and a half hours for all four eyelids.
The upper eyelid skin is removed through fine incisions placed in the upper eyelid creases. The fat is trimmed through the same incision. A fine suture is used to close the skin and is removed four days later. The lower eyelid fat is removed through an incision on the inside of the eyelid, so there is no visible scar. This incision is safest, as it leaves the supporting muscles of the eyelid undisturbed. If there is extra skin of the lower eyelid, it is removed through a fine incision in a wrinkle just beneath the eyelashes.
Recovery from eyelid surgery is complete within seven to ten days. A small amount of lumpiness is usual at the corners of the eyes. Minimal blurry vision quickly resolves. Sunglasses allow you to go out in public immediately after surgery, and make-up can be worn within five days. Normal activity and exercise can resume three weeks after surgery.
Sometimes eyelid lifts are combined with other procedures called endoscopic eyebrow and forehead lifts to improve the height and maintain the contour of the upper eyebrow. Dr. Shah will discuss whether you might benefit from this combined procedure during your initial consultation.
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