What is Blepharoplasty or Eyelid Surgery?

Blepharoplasty, also known as the eyelid lift or eyelid surgery, is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin or fat from the eyelids. Often referred to as hooded eye surgery, the procedure can either be done for cosmetic or functional reasons. Lower eyelid surgery helps with sagging lower lids and eye bag removal. At Orange County Plastic Surgery, plastic surgeon Dr. Juris Bunkis uses the latest and most advanced methods to produce the best results possible.

What is Blepharoplasty Surgery for Upper and Lower Eyelids?

Eyelid surgery can be performed on the upper or lower eyelids as a standalone procedure. The upper and lower eyelids can also be treated during the same surgery. Upper eyelid surgery involves removing excess skin and fat, typically from the area along the natural crease. Fat pad under the eye removal is a technique used for the lower eyelids.

What is the Blepharoplasty Procedure?

When performed on the upper eyelids, loose, or sagging skin that create unsightly folds to the upper eyelid are eliminated. This not only improves the aesthetic appearance but improves vision as well. When performed on the lower eyelids, bags and puffiness are reduced. The results will leave you with a refreshed and revitalized look.

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What is the Best Age for Blepharoplasty or Eyelid Surgery?

The best age for blepharoplasty is not definitive. It is based primarily on facial anatomy that includes sagging eyelids. Sagging upper lids and lower eyelids can be a genetic feature. Therefore, it is not uncommon for Dr. Bunkis to recommend eyelid surgery at a young age if the eyelids are naturally drooping. Additionally, there is not necessarily a blepharoplasty age limit, although the procedure may be combined with a facelift for older patients.

Because there is no specific best age for eyelid surgery, the best approach is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Bunkis to determine if you are at a good blepharoplasty age based on individual anatomy and cosmetic concerns.
In general, the best blepharoplasty candidate is a man or woman who:

  • Have eyelid issues that cause them to look older
  • Have vision problems caused by droopy eyelids
  • Have droopy, down-turned eyelids as a result of aging or genetics
  • Have bags under the eyes
  • Desire a more refreshed, rejuvenated appearance
  • Desire a natural look
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What are the Benefits of Blepharoplasty?

The benefits of eyelid surgery are numerous. Because it is difficult to envision how the surgery will improve your appearance, we recommend that you schedule a consultation with Dr. Bunkis to learn about the specific benefits of blepharoplasty for you. Please note that eyelid surgery may not improve lines and wrinkles in the forehead area. A brow lift is a better option for this. Botox® injections in the brow muscles may also soften lines across your forehead.
Common blepharoplasty benefits include:

  • Minimize bags under the eyes
  • Improved vision that may be blocked by sagging upper eyelids
  • Reduce dark circles under the eyes
  • Rejuvenated appearance
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Types of Eyelid Surgery

Dr. Bunkis specializes in the most advanced techniques for the various types of eyelid surgery. These techniques are based on two common factors. First, upper eyelid surgery types involve removing redundant skin that causes a drooping eyelid appearance. Lower eyelid surgery is another of the types of blepharoplasty that Dr. Bunkis offers for men and women in Newport Beach. Sagging lower lids adds to the appearance of droopy eyes, and the issue is resolved by removing malar bags that contain fat. The excess skin may also be removed.

Upper Eyelid Surgery

For upper blepharoplasty, the plastic surgeon will make well-hidden incisions in the natural crease of the upper eyelid. The incision will be extended outward as much as possible in order to address the extraneous skin folds located on the outside of the upper lid. After the incision is carefully made, the surgeon will remove the excess skin and fat. A ptotic or droopy eyelid can be repaired at the same time. The sutures are removed in five to six days and most patients return to work in a week.

Lower Eyelid Surgery

For lower blepharoplasty, also known as transconjunctival blepharoplasty, the incision will be placed along the bottom of the lash line to allow the plastic surgeon access to remove the extraneous fat and tissue. A special technique is used for patients with puffy lower lids but good skin tone called transconjunctival blepharoplasty, in which no external incisions are made. Patients with dark under eye circles caused by a lack of fat in the area could benefit from injectables or fat fillers to add volume to the area.

Upper and Lower Eyelid Surgery Combined

With some patients, double eyelid surgery is recommended to correct all issues effectively. When both are combined, surgery can last around two hours.

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What is Ptosis Repair Surgery?

Ptosis is a medical condition in which the muscles of the upper eyelid don’t keep the lid open completely. It is typically caused by irregularities with the muscles that control the eyelid. In most cases, ptosis represents only a cosmetic concern. In other cases, though, ptosis interferes with vision. In more serious cases of ptosis, the droopy eyelid indicates an issue with the eye socket, nerves, or brain. Careful evaluation is necessary to determine the underlying cause of the droopy lid. For mild cases, ptosis repair surgery is a type of functional plastic surgery. The eyelid muscle is tightened or modified to correct a droopy eyelid.

How to Prepare for Eyelid Surgery or Blepharoplasty?

After blepharoplasty surgery, your eyes are covered with a surgical bandage. Your eyes will most likely be swollen shut. Therefore, we recommend that you arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home and stay with you for at least the first seven days.

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What to Expect After Blepharoplasty

Knowing what to expect after blepharoplasty surgery helps ease any concerns and anxiety that you may have about the procedure and healing. Immediately after the surgery, you spend a few hours in our recovery area so we can monitor your progress. We will then release you to go home. You will not be allowed to drive, so you will need to arrange for a ride.

Post-operative bruising, swelling, and discomfort are normal after eyelid surgery. The swelling will cause your eyes to close, so your vision is limited. Dr. Bunkis provides detailed instructions for aftercare, such as checking the surgical incisions. Your eyes will be dry, so you will need to put medical ointment in them to keep them moist. Once the incisions heal, you will have some well-hidden eye surgery scars in the natural crease above your eye and along the lash line of your lower eyelid.

How Long Do Blepharoplasty Results Last?

The results of eyelid surgery at Orange County Plastic Surgery last five to seven years, though individual results vary. The longevity of eyelid surgery results depend largely on how quickly your skin ages, as well as how well you take care of your skin. Using a high-quality sunscreen prevents sun damage that ages your eyes quickly. Dr. Bunkis and his staff can provide other tips to maintain your blepharoplasty results.

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Recovery After Blepharoplasty

Blepharoplasty in Newport Beach at Orange County Plastic Surgery is usually an outpatient procedure performed under light general anesthesia or deep sedation supplemented by local anesthesia. After surgery, patients can expect the blepharoplasty recovery to include eyelids to be bruised and swollen. Part of proper care after blepharoplasty involves gently applying ice packs and elevating your head. Most patients are well enough during their lower and upper bleph recovery to return to work in a week. Dehydrated eyelids can be treated with a gentle moisturizer, and Dr. Bunkis can recommend a product for you to use. You may also notice a tightness as collagen in the eyelids develops after the procedure.

Blepharoplasty Healing Stages

Proper care after blepharoplasty ensures that complications are minimized and you achieve the optimum results from the surgery. There are some distinct blepharoplasty healing stages.

Stage 1 – Bruising

Bruising is normal after any type of surgery. Incisions and other parts of the procedure affect small blood vessels in the skin. This leads to minor bleeding in the tissues, resulting in bruising. Your body heals the blood vessels and re-routes the blood supply. Any blood in the tissues is absorbed by the body. After blepharoplasty, bruising typically lasts only two to three weeks. During that time, the bruising may change color, indicating that the blood in the tissues is being absorbed by your body.

Stage 2 – Swelling

Swelling is another common symptom after surgery. This indicates that fluid is building up around the surgical site, and it is quite normal. The fluid may be blood or special cells that help promote healing. After surgery, your body produces high levels of these cells around the surgical site to quickly repair the tissues. While swelling does represent a healthy response eyelid surgery, it does need to be controlled. Too much swelling causes discomfort, so Dr. Bunkis may recommend that you gently apply cold compresses or ice packs to the area.

Stage 3 – Incision Healing

Incisions are like any other type of injury to the skin. When an incision is made in your skin, it triggers a natural healing response in your body. An abundance of collagen fibers form to close the wound. This protects your body from infection. Scars look different than the surrounding skin because the collagen fibers are formed in a rather rapid way, so they are not as organized as the fibers in the undamaged skin. Initially, your scars from eyelid surgery will have a pinkish appearance. Over time, the scars change color to be just slightly darker than your natural skin tone. This can take up to one year. For upper and lower Blepharoplasty, the incisions are so thin and well-hidden that you have a hard time seeing them once they are fully healed.

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