|Q: My coworkers and friends are constantly commenting on how tired I look no matter how much sleep I get. Can eyelid surgery make me look more rested or am I forever stuck with my "droopy," tired eyes?
A: This is a very frequent concern I hear from patients. It's very hard for a person to get plenty of rest, have a healthy lifestyle, do what they can to maximize their appearance and then still hear, "Wow, you look tired." Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, removes the loose skin and fat bulges that produce the tired, droopy appearance. Once this is addressed, patients are amazed at how lively and vibrant their eyes can look.
Q: What are the "bags" or bulges under my eyes?
A: There are fat compartments in both the upper and lower eyelids in everyone. But sometimes, for example, due to genetics or weakening of eye tissue, the fat can begin to show. This appears as "bags" or a fullness in the area and is easily removed during the eyelid procedure. The fat is removed very gently and not by liposuction like some people think.
Q: It seems like my upper eyelids are aging, but I don't see any change in my lower eyelids. Is this possible?
A: Yes, frequently the first signs of aging are seen in the upper eyelids. The lower eyelids tend to age more slowly.
Q: I knew I had loose eyelid skin, but I didn't think it was that noticeable. But now I am seeing deep lines across my forehead. Can these two problems be related?
A: Yes. Frequently people compensate for their loose upper eyelid skin by raising their eyebrows. If you try this in the mirror, you'll see your eyes do look better. Unfortunately this creates a different problem. Luckily there are solutions to both; eyelid surgery to remove loose skin and Botox to smooth forehead wrinkles.
Q: I love to wear make-up and find that as I'm getting older, I can't see my upper eyelid where I used to apply eyeshadow. Why is this?
A: As the upper eyelid begins to loosen, the excess skin hangs down and covers the upper eyelid. The result is the upper eyelid you used to see and put eyeshadow on is now hidden by your extra upper eyelid skin. By removing the loose skin, you will see the amount of eyelid you used to have.
Q: If I have eyelid surgery, will my eyes look pulled or unnatural?
A: No. After eyelid surgery you look completely natural, with no artificial or pulled look.
Q: I'm concerned if I have eyelid surgery, that everyone will know because they'll see the incisions. Is this true?
A: No. The incisions for eyelid surgery heal exceptionally well. Once healing is complete they are almost imperceptible. Proof of this is seen with our male patients. Plenty of men have eyelid surgery (and you know they're not wearing make-up) and are confident no one can tell.
Q: When I was younger I always thought my mom's eyes looked "baggy." Now as I'm getting older I see the same changes happening to me. Can anything be done to avoid this downward spiral?
A: The tendency toward drooping eyelids is usually something you've inherited. But in today's world you don't have to accept the downward spiral. Patients are always surprised at how easily a quick, simple procedure can create a more youthful and energized appearance.
Q: I'm only 38 years old and I already have loose skin in my upper eyelids. Is this normal?
A: Many people experience loose upper eyelid skin as one of the first signs of aging. On average, many people begin having upper eyelid surgery in their late 30s to brighten their eyes and maximize their appearance. However, depending on your genetics it could be earlier or later.
Q: How long does eyelid surgery last?
A: On average 15 years, but genetics will largely determine if you would ever need to consider it again. Remember, the skin and fat are permanently removed, so you'll never have as much as you would have otherwise had.
Q: Can eyelid surgery change the shape of my eyes? I don't want to end up looking "bug-eyed" or like a "cat woman."
A: Eyelid surgery simply removes excess skin and fat. It does NOT change the shape of your eyes, so you will look like you, only refreshed, rested and younger.
Q: I'm thinking about having my upper eyelids done. How much time do I need to take off from work?
A: One week "hide-out" time for upper eyelid surgery is usually enough. When considering both upper and lower eyelids you may want to plan 10-14 days depending on how easily you bruise.
Q: I heard you can have eyelid surgery with incisions inside the eye and not outside on the skin. Is this true?
A: Yes, but only for the lower eyelids if there is no loose skin to remove. When the incision is inside the lower eyelids it is to remove excess fat only. Obviously, if there is loose skin, this needs to be removed and this can only be accomplished through the incision just below the eyelashes on the lower eyelid.
Q: I know laser can be used to smooth skin around the eyes. How do I know whether I need laser or eyelid surgery to make my eyes look their best?
A: Laser skin resurfacing can be used for the fine lines and texture changes in the skin. But if your primary problem is too much skin, then obviously the best treatment is to simply remove the skin.
Q: I'm overweight and it seems like I have fat even around my eyes. Is this possible?
A: Yes, but not because you're overweight. We all have fat around our eyes. The amount really doesn't correspond to our weight.
Q: My mother had eyelid surgery and now she looks like a skeleton. I want to have my loose eyelid skin removed, but now I'm afraid. Can this be prevented?
A: Yes. We all have fat pads around our eyes but only the amount of fat that is showing is removed. You would never want to remove more than that because it could create a hollow or "skeleton" look. So the fat removed should be done conservatively, but there will always be fat that remains.
Q: I am planning to have a facelift. Can eyelid surgery be done at the same time?
A: Yes. I regularly incorporate eyelid surgery with other surgical procedures, especially facelifts. For some people it helps to combine procedures so there is only one recovery period. Other people may choose to go slowly and do procedures separately. The choice is always yours and you should do what feels most comfortable for you.
Q: Can eyelid surgery improve dark circles under the eyes?
A: Yes. Even though there is no surgical treatment to truly change the color of skin under the eyes, if there are bulges of fat in the lower eyelids, it can cause a dark shadow, like a ring beneath it. If this is the contributing or only factor to the dark circles, then removing the fatty prominence would improve the dark circles.
Q: I've been wanting eyelid surgery for years. How do I know when I'm ready?
A: When you feel comfortable! This not only applies to eyelid surgery, but to any cosmetic surgery you consider. The time to pursue having it is when you've been informed and you feel comfortable. Most people think about having surgery long before they do it, sometimes many years. You've waited this long, so I suggest you continue to wait until it feels right.
Q: Many of my friends have had eyelid surgery. Are people just more open about it today or is it increasing?
A: Both! Eyelid surgery has increased 86% over the last 5 years and 45% over the last year. I do believe people are more open about cosmetic surgery today, especially eyelid surgery. There are very few things that are as simple and improve your appearance so much. After all, where does everyone look when having a conversation with you? Your eyes are the focal point of your face.