Undergo cosmetic eyelid surgery with Austin’s area specialist
What is Blepharoplasty?
Commonly referred to as eyelid lift surgery, upper and lower blepharoplasty are performed by a facial plastic surgeon to address extraneous tissue around the eyes that detracts from a person’s appearance. The surgery can reshape the eye area through the manipulation of underlying muscles and fat and the removal of extra skin. Blepharoplasty successfully addresses hooded eyelids, under eye bags, and local wrinkles to restore vitality to a patient’s appearance. Dr. Edward D. Buckingham of Buckingham Center for Facial Plastic Surgery in Austin, Texas, specializes in the blepharoplasty procedure.
Who is a Candidate for Blepharoplasty?
It is often aging individuals wishing to rejuvenate their appearance who have experienced changes to the eyelids caused by sun damage, gravity, and other natural elements of aging who request the procedure. They may also find that blinking has become uncomfortable due to the extra or misplaced tissues. Extra upper eyelid skin can also obstruct a person’s vision, in which case blepharoplasty may be a medical necessity.
It is common for blepharoplasty patients of all ages to explain that their eyes emote a sad or tired look, which does not express their true emotions. While eyelid lift surgery is more commonly performed on patients in the middle to later years of their life, genetics in younger individuals may create similar issues. Bulky tissues around the eyes can contribute to premature aging concerns.
Candidates for the surgery must be healthy enough to undergo the procedure as it does require anesthesia and in most cases light sedation. Prospective blepharoplasty patients should be informed of the extent of changes the procedure can create, possible risks, and the aftercare process. Because blepharoplasty will directly impact tissues of the eye area, certain skin or eye diseases may preclude someone from this form of cosmetic treatment.
While both upper and lower lids can be treated with blepharoplasty, some patients are merely concerned with the appearance and function of the upper eyelids. In such cases, Dr. Buckingham may opt to perform upper blepharoplasty to treat prolapsed fat pockets and redundant skin of the lid. When excess loose, hanging skin results in eyelid ptosis, the muscle that controls eyelid movement can be tightened for best results.
Typically, an incision is hidden in the natural eyelid crease so the doctor can access the tissues below the skin’s surface. He can view the tissues that create the look of a puffy or creped upper eyelid to make the necessary adjustments with a thermal scalpel. Upper blepharoplasty has evolved, and Dr. Buckingham judiciously approaches fatty pockets to prevent over-reduction, which can lead to a hollowed appearance of the upper eye area. Finally, the doctor can trim away extra skin, tighten remaining tissues, and suture the surgical incisions.
As the title of the surgery implies, lower blepharoplasty is performed to address cosmetic concerns underneath the eyes. As people age, the fatty tissue of the lower lid shifts forward and interacts with fat of the upper cheek area, which forms shadows that appear as dark circles. This accumulation of fat can also cause under eye bags.
During lower blepharoplasty, under eye bagginess and extra skin are surgically altered to rejuvenate the eye area. An incision is created, typically under the lower lash line or inside the lower eyelid, which is referred to as the transconjunctival method. The doctor can then redistribute, trim, or remove the fat pads that cause puffiness and modify muscle and skin of the area.
In patients who have always noticed the appearance of a full under eye, the fat pad will likely be removed altogether for the best results. In other individuals, the protruding affect is caused by gravitational descent of the cheek fat pad, which then covers the lower eyelid bone. It often forms a curved groove under the eyelid referred to as a tear trough. In these cases, the tear trough also must be addressed through transconjunctival incisions. Oftentimes, an autologous fat transfer (transferring fat harvested from the lower body) is utilized to maximize the result of lower eyelid blepharoplasty. Please see our fat transfer section for more information.
Adhering to the doctor’s postoperative plan minimizes potential complications and creates a more comfortable healing process. Dr. Buckingham may prescribe an antibiotic cream to apply topically to the affected area, anti-inflammatory medications, and the use of a cold compress for 2-3 days. Both pain and swelling are expected to subside within a few days following blepharoplasty surgery, but it can take a month or longer for the final results to present. Patients can return to their regular schedules within a week following blepharoplasty.
Additional Plastic Surgeries
Blepharoplasty is generally performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia in one to two hours, and patients can return home when the surgery has been completed. The doctor may require additional anesthetics and time if combinations of facial treatments are performed. In many individuals, the eyes may not be the only facial feature to display unwanted signs of aging.
Blepharoplasty can be combined with an endoscopic forehead lift or midface lift to achieve lasting changes in the underlying structures of the forehead or midface area. Dermal injections and skin resurfacing treatments can also restore vitality to various areas of the face without surgery.
The goal of lower eyelid surgery is to produce a natural youthful contour between the lower eyelid and cheek. Overly aggressive surgery is to be avoided as it leads to an unnatural appearance. Dr. Buckingham often combines lower blepharoplasty with autologous fat transfer and a chemical peel for the lower eyelid skin to maximize the aesthetic results and address crow’s feet (smile lines) around the eyes.
During a consultation with Dr. Buckingham, patients can learn about the various facial cosmetic procedures available for a tailored treatment plan.
Common Blepharoplasty Questions & Answers
What can I expect during a consultation for blepharoplasty?
During your consultation for blepharoplasty, Dr. Buckingham will meet with you and perform a complete facial analysis to determine the best procedure to achieve your desired results. He will also be sure to answer any and all questions that you may have. The doctor may utilize digital imaging or provide photographic results of previous patients to enhance the experience.
Where is the blepharoplasty procedure performed?
Dr. Buckingham performs isolated upper eyelid blepharoplasty in the office with local anesthesia and mild oral sedation. Procedures involving the lower eyelid, forehead, brow or fat transfer are performed in an outpatient facility.
Are there scars after blepharoplasty?
The incisions made for blepharoplasty and their resulting scars are typically hidden or well concealed, either within the natural creases of the upper eyelids or inside of the lower eyelids. As with all of his surgeries, Dr. Buckingham uses the smallest incisions necessary to perform the surgery and places them in discrete, well-camouflaged locations.
Is the blepharoplasty procedure painful?
There is little to no discomfort during the blepharoplasty surgery as modern anesthesia techniques are used. While blepharoplasty may result in a temporary tight or sore feeling of the eyelids, Dr. Buckingham uses special surgical techniques to help minimize post-operative discomfort. Discomfort can be alleviated with medication if necessary.
When are the stitches removed after the blepharoplasty procedure?
Surface sutures are removed around 7 days after your blepharoplasty surgery.
Schedule a Blepharoplasty Consultation with Dr. Buckingham
Edward D. Buckingham, M.D. is double board certified by The American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and The American Board of Otolaryngology, and he is an expertly qualified facial plastic surgeon. He earned his education in the state of Texas, and he treats patients from all around the world at his Austin practice. His philosophy is that a successful facial plastic surgery begins with a good rapport between the patient and the surgeon and his staff during the consultation and additional appointments. The consultation will include a complete facial analysis to determine the best procedure or combination of treatments to achieve the desired transformation. Patients’ questions and concerns will also be addressed.
Prospective patients are encouraged to call the office to schedule an appointment at their earliest convenience. Call (512) 401-2500 to book your doctor-patient meeting.
Those with busy schedules who prefer email communications can complete Dr. Buckingham’s Patient Contact Form.