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As you get older, it isn’t unusual to see the thin and delicate skin that covers your eyelids begin to stretch or sag with time. Drooping or hanging skin present on the upper or lower eyelids can be the result of a number of factors, including your age, genetics, lifestyle habits and sun exposure. The muscles surrounding your eyes are prone to weakening with age as well, making it difficult for them to support the excess skin that accumulates over your lids over time. Eyelid surgery is a practical and minimally-invasive cosmetic procedure that works to take years off of your appearance as well as improve your line of sight, restoring youth and function to your eyes within a single operation.
What Concerns Can Eyelid Surgery Address?
Eyelid surgery may be performed on your upper lids, lower lids or both depending on your areas of concern. If droopy upper eyelids are preventing you from opening your eyes completely, or sagging lower lids are exposing the whites of your eyes, an eyelid procedure may be right for you. By removing excess skin, muscles or fat from your lids, this procedure can bring alertness to your eyes while improving upon your vision. Reasons you may consider undergoing eyelid surgery include:
- The natural folds of your eyelids are obscured by hooded skin
- Loose skin on the upper eyelids has begun to stretch over your lash line
- You have vision problems related to overhanging eyelids
- Permanent bags or puffiness under your eyes
- Drooping lower lids have exposed the whites of your eyes
- Excess eye skin causes you to look permanently fatigued, stressed or angry
- You are unsatisfied with the appearance of your aging eyes
While there are a handful of aesthetic concerns eyelid surgery can address, it is essential to have realistic expectations about the outcome of your surgery. This procedure cannot dramatically alter dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes or sagging eyebrows. Furthermore, a cheek lift can vastly improve the end result of an eyelid lift. Though eyelid surgery is often performed on its own, Dr. Seify may also recommend a brow lift (forehead lift), facelift (rhytidectomy) or skin resurfacing treatment to be completed in conjunction with your eyelid surgery to achieve your desired results.
What to Expect During Your Consultation
During your initial in-person consultation at Newport Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Associates, our expert staff will examine you and go over your complete medical history. You may be asked questions concerning your vision, tear production, use of corrective lenses and your overall goals for the outcome of your procedure. Factors including your age, skin type, ethnicity and degree of vision obstruction will be evaluated when developing your surgical plan. You can expect an open and honest discussion with your surgeon where you will mutually determine the type of techniques indicated for your procedure, the type of anesthesia, as well as the inherent risks and costs associated with your operation.
What to Expect From Your Eyelid Surgery Procedure
Eyelid surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, and will typically take less than three hours to complete provided it is the only procedure being performed. Most patients will only require local anesthesia to ensure their comfort during the operation; however, general anesthesia may be utilized if the correction needed is more intricate or if a more invasive cosmetic procedure is being performed simultaneously.
The techniques used during your procedure will vary depending on whether your upper lids, lower lids or both are being treated. The incision placement for eyelid surgery is designed to be concealed within the natural structures and folds of your eyelids to ensure there will be no noticeable scars after you have healed from your procedure. During an upper eyelid procedure, a small incision is placed along the natural eyelid crease where excess skin, fat and muscle is carefully removed. Lower eyelid surgery will place the incision just below your eyelashes. Your surgeon will then trim away or reposition excess skin and fat in the area and tighten the lower eyelid muscle to repair the region.
Eyelid Surgery Recovery and Results
After your eyelid surgery procedure, you will be able to return home the same day to recuperate from the operation. Patients should expect some mild discomfort during their initial recovery period. However, this pain is usually easily tolerated with over-the-counter pain medications and should subside within a few days of the procedure. Bruising and swelling will generally subside in about 10 to 14 days, at which point you may feel comfortable returning to work or resuming normal activities. The scars from your procedure may take several months to entirely fade but should be undetectable due to their strategic placement.
The results of your eyelid surgery are designed to be long-lasting, and for some patients may even last a lifetime. However, your eyelids will not be immune to the effects of aging after your procedure. As you continue to age, your brow may droop or descend over time and cause the skin to reaccumulate over your upper lids once again, in which case a brow lift may be necessary to maintain your results. Most patients are delighted with the outcome of their eyelid surgery and enjoy the benefits of improved visual function and a more rested, youthful appearance for years to come.
If you are tired of appearing tired all the time and are ready to bring some youthfulness and energy back to your appearance, look no further than an upper or lower eyelid surgery at Newport Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Associates. Our board-certified plastic surgeons led by Dr. Seify will work with you to establish a custom treatment plan that naturally restores the appearance and functionality of your eyes as well as your self-confidence. Contact our office today at 949-251-1502 to schedule your free consultation.
Eyelid Surgery Repair
Dr. Seify is an ASPS board certified plastic surgeon experienced at correcting the eyelid problems of other surgeons because eyelids are his specific area of highest specialization. If you are referred to Dr. Seify due to a problem after an eyelid surgery, it does not necessarily mean that anything was done wrong by the first surgeon.
With the human body, no one can ever be certain of the outcome. Nonetheless, patients still must deal with the correction of less than stellar results. The specific corrective procedure is dependent upon the specific problem. Below are some examples of eyelid surgery problems and their corrections.
Please note that because of the added difficulty of reoperation, the usual cosmetic surgeon’s fees could be higher when correcting problems due to prior surgery performed elsewhere. If applicable insurance is available, Dr. Seify is willing in most cases to bill insurance and the patient will only be responsible for their out of pocket portion.
In entropion, the eyelid is turned inwards toward the eye, and the eyelashes disturb the eye, causing tearing and disruption. The correction requires outpatient surgery of the eyelid, and in some cases could be performed with the CO2 laser, allowing for minimal to no bruising, and a quicker recovery.
In ectropion, the eyelid is turned outward, showing the pink conjunctiva lining of the eyelid. The eye could be irritated and have excessive tearing. Outpatient lower lid reconstruction with support of the lid to prevent recurrence is the procedure of choice.
Ptosis is a condition when the eyelid does not open fully. This can obstruct vision. Ptosis can be present since birth, or can occur following trauma, cataract surgery, or due to aging. Surgical repair is performed as an outpatient, and the eyelid level is corrected painlessly with the patient under local anesthesia. The CO2 laser could be used or surgical removal of the excess skin. Patients can usually return to their normal activities in about a week. Repair of over correction of ptosis repair is also a specialty for Dr Seify. In the unfortunate case that a repair is needed Dr Seify uses a special technique that he published with world authority authors on the subject.He also trains other plastic surgeons to use this technique effectively.
Skin Cancer of the Eyelid
Basal cell carcinoma is the most frequently seen skin cancer of the eyelid. It is typically biopsied in the office to confirm the diagnosis. Surgical removal of the cancer is performed as an outpatient. If necessary, the eyelid is reconstructed using local flaps. In most cases, the outcome is excellent, and there are minimal or if any scars. Other skin cancers are usually curable, and the aesthetic result can be superb.
There are two very significant factors in the management of eyelid skin cancers—complete removal and reconstruction. Complete removal of the tumor is essential to minimize the possibility of recurrence, which is even more difficult to manage. In most cases, Dr Seify will work with a highly skilled dermatologic surgeon who removes the tumor using a special procedure (“Mohs technique”) to assure total removal. On some occasions, Dr. Seify may remove the tumor and request that a pathologist check the tissue margins (“frozen section”) to be sure the tumor has been completely removed.
Once the tumor has been removed, reconstructive surgery is almost always necessary. Many exceptional techniques are offered to reconstruct almost any surgical defect. The operation is specifically catered to the defect that is present after the removal of the tumor. With every technique, the goals remain the same: to reconstruct the eyelid and ensure proper function, to protects the eye, to preserve vision, and to create a satisfactory cosmetic appearance.
Every form of therapy for eyelid skin cancer will leave behind some sort of scar. However, Dr Seify makes every effort to always minimize scarring and obtain the best cosmetic results. After surgery, the healing process could take six months to one year. After the wound has healed, follow up with Dr. Seify or the referring physician is necessary to ensure that the skin cancer is not recurrent.
Before & After Photos of Eyelid Surgery
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