Eyelid Lift Surgery
About Eyelid Lift Surgery
Eyelid Lift with Dr. Baljeet K. Purewal – Board-Certified Oculoplastic Surgeon
Of all our facial features, the eyes offer the most insight as to how we are feeling. They communicate to others whether we are tired, sad or full of joy. Unfortunately, our eyes are one of the first areas of the face to begin developing the telltale signs associated with aging. At Fresh Face & Eye, Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery Specialist Dr. Baljeet K. Purewal performs upper and lower eyelid lifts (aka upper and lower blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery) to rejuvenate eyes that are showing the signs associated with the aging process. Dr. Purewal is also a non-surgical facial rejuvenation specialist, Oculoplastics and Reconstructive Surgeon.
What Is An Eyelid Lift?
A drooping eyelid can be corrected with a lower or an upper blepharoplasty. Eyelid lifts are the perfect procedures for rejuvenating the eyes because during these procedures Dr. Purewal tightens and reshapes the skin surrounding the eyes. During an eyelid lift, drooping or sagging eyelids are addressed. While performing this procedure, Dr. Purewal removes excess skin and fat to create the patient more youthful-looking eyes.
Ptosis Repair with an Eyelid Lift
An eyelid lift is also used for ptosis repair. Ptosis is the medical term used for drooping. During an upper eyelid lift, Dr. Purewal can address uncontrollable drooping of the upper eyelid, thus, eliminating any vision problems resulting from the ptosis.
What Issues Can Eyelid Lift Address?
An eyelid lift is used to rejuvenate the eyes by addressing sagging upper lids and removing the puffy bags that develop beneath the eyes. In addition, the lower eyelid skin is tightened.
While performing an eyelid lift procedure, Dr. Purewal may also address festoons and/or malar bags. These are bags that develop at the cheek/eye junction.
During an eyelid lift, excess fat, skin and muscle are removed. Removing this skin, fat and muscle gives the patient a more rested and alert expression. The subtle changes Dr. Purewal makes during this eye-enhancing procedure give the patient a more youthful appearance.
The issues Dr. Purewal addresses with a full blepharoplasty include:
- Droopy upper eyelids – Lax upper eyelids may cause folds. These folds can start interfering with the patient’s vision.
- Puffy bags beneath the eyes – The lower eyelids may pull the skin downward, exposing the white sclera on the eye that is located just beneath the iris.
- Excess fat – Fat deposits above the eyes can cause the eyelids to look puffy.
When a Droopy Eyelid Impairs Vision: What Patients Need to Know
A droopy eyelid can make an individual appear older than he or she actually is, but it can also impair one’s vision. When impaired vision due to a droopy eyelid serves as a reason for a patient wanting to have a blepharoplasty, health insurance may cover the procedure.
Prior to scheduling a blepharoplasty, patients who are having this procedure to improve their vision should contact their health insurance provider to find out what documentation is required to prove that ptosis is substantially affecting his or her peripheral vision (i.e., side views).
What Causes the Changes in the Eyelids?
Numerous factors contribute to the changes that are seen around the eyes as we age. Some of the external factors include smoking, exposure to the sun, extreme weight loss or weight gain. Each of these factors can result in weakened tissue and muscles in the eyelid: The tissue and muscles that are responsible for supporting the eyelids.
Some people inherit a gene that makes them more likely to develop droopy, baggy, saggy and/or puffy-looking eyes. Nonetheless, eventually, everyone is affected by the factors that cause the signs of aging.
Another issue that leads to tired-looking eyes is migrating fat. Eyelid fat is usually held in place by a wall of fibrous tissue. As time passes, this tissue begins to sag, thus, allowing the fat to bulge through. This bulging fat is responsible for the creation of the under-eye bags.
At What Age Do These Changes Usually Become Apparent?
Changes to the eyelids usually become apparent around the age of 35. The skin located on the eyelids is extremely thin, which makes it susceptible to wrinkling and stretching. In addition, as we age, the eyelids may begin drooping or looking squinted. These characteristics can make an individual appear sad, tired and/or less approachable.
Once the outer parts of the eyelid begin to droop, it may look as if new skin has developed on the upper lids. This ‘excess’ skin can be removed during an eyelid lift. Removing this skin can drastically reduce eyelid droop.
With an upper eyelid lift, Dr. Purewal can balance the patient’s overall facial appearance as well as rejuvenate his or her eyes.
Some patients decide to have both the upper eyelid lift and the lower eyelid lift during the same surgical session, this combination procedure is referred to as a full blepharoplasty (aka a full eyelid lift). Having these two procedures performed simultaneously provides the patient with optimal eye rejuvenation results.
Who Would Be a Good Candidate for an Eyelid Lift?
Both men and women can benefit from a blepharoplasty. Individuals who believe that their eyes do not appropriately express the way they feel inside (e.g., happy, sad, tired, etc.) may want to consider having an eyelid lift.
After a blepharoplasty, patients typically feel more confident in their appearance. Furthermore, patients who have a droopy eyelid that affects their vision will be able to see better.
An individual who is considering any type of elective surgery should be in good health. In addition, since nicotine inhibits the body’s ability to heal itself, this individual should be someone who does not use products that contain nicotine (e.g., traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, etc.).
How Nicotine Affects the Body’s Healing Process
Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it causes the muscular walls of the vessels to contract. These contractions narrow the vessels, slowing blood flow. Since the blood flow is inhibited, the nutrients and oxygen take longer to reach the parts of the body that are trying to heal.
A slow healing process increases the risk of the patient experiencing a complication (e.g., infection). Ideally, Dr. Purewal would like patients who use products that contain nicotine (e.g., traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes, cigars, etc.) to discontinue using them four weeks before their procedure and four weeks after.
Can an Eyelid Lift Correct Sunken, Hollow Eyes?
An eyelid lift is unable to address this issue, however, as an Expert Injector, Dr. Purewal can address hollow-looking eyes with dermal filler injections. This non-surgical procedure can be performed in as little as 15 minutes. The results attained with this procedure usually last from four to six months.
Types of Eyelid Surgery Available
Dr. Purewal performs upper blepharoplasty, lower blepharoplasty and full blepharoplasty procedures at her practice.
Before starting the procedure, Dr. Baljeet K. Purewal carefully marks the incision lines on the patient’s eyelids.
An Upper Blepharoplasty
During an upper blepharoplasty, drooping and/or sagging eyelids can be addressed. While performing an upper eyelid lift, Dr. Purewal makes an incision along the eyelid’s natural crease. She either removes or repositions the fat deposits and tightens the muscle, and tissue, before removing the unnecessary skin.
A Lower Eyelid Lift
A lower eyelid lift is performed to address puffy-looking eyes or the bags located beneath the eyes.
During this procedure, Dr. Purewal makes an incision just beneath the lash line. She removes the excess skin through this incision.
The Trans-Conjunctival Lower Eyelid Surgery Method
When a patient has puffy-looking eyes, there is fat that needs to be removed or redistributed, Dr. Purewal uses her artistic vision as she performs trans-conjunctival blepharoplasties to address puffy-looking eyes.
While performing the trans-conjunctival lower eyelid surgery method, Dr. Purewal makes an incision inside the lower eyelid. Once she creates this incision, the fat pads that are causing the eyes to appear puffy are redistributed or removed. If necessary, Dr. Purewal will tighten the muscle as well.
Lower eyelid lifts are not designed to improve vision, these procedures are used to create a more refreshed, youthful-looking appearance.
A Full Blepharoplasty
A full blepharoplasty provides patients a subtle way to reframe their eyes. This procedure is designed to transform the eyelids, providing patients with a well-rested and refreshed appearance.
During a full blepharoplasty, Dr. Baljeet K. Purewal performs an upper and a lower eyelid lift. By performing these two procedures simultaneously, patients enjoy optimal eye rejuvenation results.
Closing the Incisions
Following these procedures, Dr. Purewal uses very fine sutures to close the incisions. She then applies ointment to the incisions. This ointment encourages healing.
What to Expect After a Blepharoplasty Procedure
The recovery period after a blepharoplasty is typically uncomplicated and many patients experience very little discomfort. However, each recovery process is unique and depends on the extent of treatment the patient received.
The most common side effects following a blepharoplasty include bruising and inflammation. Some blepharoplasty patients experience eyelid soreness and/or blurred vision as well.
Within 10 days of the blepharoplasty procedure, most patients’ incisions have completely healed.
Full recovery can take several weeks; however, most patients can return to their daily activities within a week or two.
The majority of patients report very little post-operative discomfort, nonetheless, Dr. Purewal is happy to recommend over-the-counter pain medication.
Eventually, the incision lines will fade into a nearly invisible line.
Apply ointment/lubricating drops as recommended:
To help with the recovery process, Dr. Purewal recommends that patients apply the ointment/lubricating drops they received following their procedure to the eyes as directed.
During the initial 24 hours of the eyelid surgery, cold compresses can be helpful:
After an eyelid lift, using cold compresses can help reduce inflammation. However, to protect the skin and the eyes, patients need to place a cloth between their skin and the cold compresses.
Patients should gently place a cold compress on the eye for 15 minutes and then remove it for 15 minutes. Continue this pattern as much as possible for the first 24 hours after the procedure. Once the initial 24 hours have passed, cold compresses do not seem to benefit the patient very much.
The Recovery Process:
- Heading Back to Work – The majority of Dr. Purewal’s eyelid lift patients are able to return to work within a few days to a week.
- Avoid Strenuous Activities – Patients must avoid participating in strenuous activities (including exercise) for a period of at least two weeks after their procedure.
- Suture Removal – About seven days after a blepharoplasty, Dr. Purewal removes the patient’s eyelid stitches.
- Swelling – Most inflammation and any other side effects being experienced usually diminish within a couple weeks.
- Contact Lenses and Eye Makeup – Patients need to avoid wearing their contacts and eye makeup for at least 14 days after their eyelid lift.
- Wear Dark Sunglasses to Protect the Eyes – In addition, Dr. Purewal recommends that her patients protect their eyes from bright lights (inside and out), and wind, by wearing dark sunglasses.
- Scarring – Dr. Purewal’s extensive experience performing eyelid surgeries has given her the ability to strategically hide the incisions she creates; therefore, any resulting scars are minor and well concealed.
Most patients see some results directly following their blepharoplasty procedure. However, as the days and weeks pass, the results will become more and more visible.
After about two weeks, the majority of the inflammation will have subsided. Due to the long-lasting results attained with Blepharoplasty procedures, these procedures usually have a very high patient satisfaction rate.
Aging After a Blepharoplasty
A blepharoplasty can successfully turn back the clock to help patients attain a rejuvenated, more refreshed appearance. The results attained during a blepharoplasty are long-lasting. Nonetheless, since the natural-aging process is never ending, the eyelids are still subject to the natural-aging process.
Getting Started: An Initial Consultation for an Eyelid Lift at Fresh Face & Eye
Every procedure begins with an initial consultation at Dr. Purewal’s practice. To schedule a consultation with her at Fresh Face & Eye, please call (973)635-4000.
Once Dr. Purewal understands the changes that the patient wants her to make during the blepharoplasty, she examines the patient’s eyes and facial features.
Evaluating the patient’s facial features allows her to decide which cosmetic eyelid surgery or eyelid treatment will give the patient long-lasting, natural-looking results.
At this initial consultation, Dr. Baljeet Purewal discusses the various treatments and surgeries that she believes will benefit the patient. She is always happy to answer any questions her patients have; therefore, patients are encouraged to ask questions.
Preparing for Eyelid Lift
There are several things that patients need to do before their blepharoplasty procedure. Patients should have all preparations completed about a week before their surgery date.
Since patients receive sedation or general anesthesia during the blepharoplasty procedure, they will not be able to drive themselves home, therefore, patients need to ask someone they trust to come with them on the day of their blepharoplasty procedure. For the safety of her patients, Dr. Purewal does not permit the use any kind of for-hire transportation service following procedures that require sedation or general anesthesia. Therefore, patients who arrive without their driver on the day of their procedure will need to reschedule.
Patients need to take the week of their procedure off.
Patients who use products that contain nicotine need to discontinue using them four weeks before their surgical procedure and four weeks after their blepharoplasty.
Dark sunglasses are necessary to protect the eyes as they heal, therefore, patients who do not have a pair of dark sunglasses need to purchase some.
Cold compresses can assist with reducing inflammation following these procedures. Soft compresses that can be placed into the freezer can usually be purchased at the local drug store.
A Blepharoplasty Procedure with Dr. Baljeet K. Purewal
At Fresh Face & Eye, eyelid lifts are performed as outpatient procedures.
This procedure can take from 45 minutes to two hours. The length of the procedure depends on whether the patient chooses to have a full blepharoplasty or just an upper or lower eyelid lift.
The patient receives local anesthesia and sedation (i.e., twilight anesthesia). Anesthesia ensures that the patient remains comfortable throughout the blepharoplasty procedure.
If a patient would prefer to be fully asleep during the eyelid lift procedure, Dr. Purewal is happy to provide patients with general anesthesia. However, patients need to let her know of this desire before the day of their procedure so she can add this request to their surgical treatment plan.
Potential Risks Associated with Blepharoplasty Procedures
As with every procedure, there are potential risks to consider.
Potential blepharoplasty risks include:
- Dry eyes.
- Irritated eyes.
- Noticeable scarring.
- Follow-up surgery.
- Difficulty closing the eyes all the way.
- Skin discoloration.
- Muscle injury.
- A reaction to the anesthesia.
- Blood clot formation.
- Blurred vision (temporary).
- Loss of sight (extremely rare).
As long as Dr. Purewal receives accurate information related to the patient’s medical history and background, she will be able to determine, which, if any, surgical risks apply to the patient.
Each procedure that Dr. Purewal performs at her practice is custom-designed to meet the needs of a particular patient. For this reason, the only way that she can decide what a blepharoplasty will cost a specific patient is for the individual to schedule an initial consultation.
Patients who are experiencing a droopy upper eyelid that is affecting their vision may be able to request that their health insurance company cover their upper blepharoplasty procedure. Dr. Purewal advises these patients to contact their insurance provider to find out what information is necessary for the company to consider paying for their procedure.
At Fresh Face & Eye, Dr. Baljeet K. Purewal performs a variety of procedures to help men and women attain the youthful, refreshed appearance they desire. Besides being a board-certified Oculoplastics and Reconstructive Surgeon, an expert injector and a non-surgical facial rejuvenation specialist, Dr. Purewal is also a cosmetic eyelid surgery specialist.
With her 10 years of experience, dedication to excellence, artistic vision and caring demeanor, Dr. Purewal has become one of the Top Beauty Doctors in the New Jersey area.
If you are in New Jersey or the surrounding area, and you are considering a surgical or non-surgical procedure to enhance your appearance, contact Fresh Face & Eye at (973) 635-4000 today. During this call, you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Purewal. The address for Fresh Face & Eye is 82 Main Street, Chatham, New Jersey.