A blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure used to correct problems with a person's eyelids. As a person gets older and their skin loses collagen, it can start to droop. When this occurs over the eyes, the excess skin can block a person's vision, irritate the eyes and create a tired and aged appearance. Over time, this can reduce a person's field of vision dramatically. During a blepharoplasty, Dr. Morton will excise the excess skin over and around the eye. Muscle, fatty tissue, and skin may be removed, or redraped, in an attempt to create a more natural and youthful looking eyelid. The procedure is straightforward and only affects the surface layers of the skin and the soft tissues around the eye.
Blepharoplasty for the lower lids is different. The fat around the eye can pooch forward above the orbital bone creating “bags,” then light casts shadows underneath these bags, creating dark circles. These dark circles make people look aged and tired. Many surgeons still aggressively remove fat from the lower eyelid to get rid of these bags but this exacerbates the problem since we lose fat around the eyes as we age. Notice in older people you know how the area around the eyes hollows with age, creating a sunken appearance. By having this fat removed earlier in life you’re actually encouraging this condition to occur prematurely. Dr. Morton has worked for years on techniques to redrape the fat into the depression between the lower eyelids and upper cheek. This natural filler creates a lasting and smooth transition from the lower eyelid to the cheek and a healthier and more youthful appearance. In addition to fat removal, the skin and muscle are elevated and tightened to reduce the wrinkles and crepey like skin.
While upper and lower blepharoplasty procedures can positively enhance the eyelid’s appearance, your surgeon should have intimate knowledge of the associated anatomy. A blepharoplasty will not achieve optimal results when the edge of the edge of the upper eyelid itself is low. This condition is called ptosis and requires surgery on the lifting muscle of the eyelid. As an oculofacial surgeon, Dr. Morton is able to diagnose this subtle distinction and offers his patients the most appropriate surgery.
A complication of lower eyelid surgery is a pulled down appearance of the eyelid. This can occur with over aggressive skin excision or if laxity of the eyelid isn’t recognized and corrected as part of the procedure. Failure to do so can result in dry eye and loss of the normal eyelid contour. Depending on the amount of upper eyelid effect on a patient’s field of vision, insurance may cover the surgery cost. Lower eyelid blepharoplasty is only in the rarest of cases considered a covered benefit.
Eyelids droop because the skin no longer has the elastin or collagen to hold them in place. As a person ages, and the amount of collagen in the skin decreases, the fibers in the skin break down causing the heavier portion of the eyelid to droop down over the top of the eye itself. This can eventually block a person's field of vision and cause irritation in the eyelid and on the eye. The longer the eyelids droop, the more bothersome and symptomatic it will be for the patient.
An oculofacial surgeon like Dr. Morton is facile in diagnosing all of the components affecting the eyelid position. All too often the effects of a droopy eyebrow, weighing heavy on the eyelid, are overlooked by surgeons not trained in brow lifting techniques (LINK TO ENDOBROW SECTION). Customizing surgery for each patient will allow Dr. Morton to meet their needs and provide optimum results..
Blepharoplasty surgery will offer different people different results. A person with healthy skin and overall good health may have results that last for many years. Individuals who have looser skin with less tone and texture will often experience shorter lived results. A person's age at the time of the procedure may play a role as well. Properly performed though blepharoplasty of upper and lower eyelid will last many years.