Eye Lifts 101 with Dr. Philip Solomon

Why do patients seek out eyelid surgery?

The eyes are the windows to the soul. When you’re engaging with someone, the first thing you see are their eyes. We all see our own eyes first every time we look in the mirror. Upper blepharoplasty is a very common and straightforward procedure that doesn’t require a huge recovery and it can deliver significant results. It can provide that lift and refreshed look without having to do anything more significant. It’s very commonly sought out by both men and women as early as their late-30s and up.

What is usually the underlying physical issue?

Most often people come for cosmetic reasons and some will do it to correct a vision issue caused from the hooding of the eyelid. In most cases, there’s excess skin on the upper eyelid, which can make you look tired, impair your vision, or make you look older. Some people also have hollowing under the eyes or pronounced eye bags. Lower blepharoplasty addresses that issue and is an entirely different procedure that can be performed in combination with upper blepharoplasty.

What can people expect from the upper-eye procedure?

The upper eyelid surgery can be performed under local anesthetic; it’s quite simple. There are external incisions and sutures. We make the incision on the crease line. There is a recovery period of about ten days where you’ll have stitches on your upper lids.

What is the pain factor involved in the upper lid?

It’s minimal to none. It depends on the pain tolerance of the patient, I suppose, but we don’t hear many complaints of pain or much discomfort. We can prescribe Tylenol 3 if needed and we offer nitrous oxide beforehand to relax the patient and quell any anxiety.

And what about lower lids?

Lower eyelid surgery generally requires a general anesthetic. In my practice I typically use the transconjunctival approach with all work being performed on the inside of the lower lid. Recovery time is again about ten days. There is no external incision or scars or sutures. Often this surgery allows for us to remove or reposition excess fat pads that are the source of puffiness. Relocating fat allows us to blend the tear trough with the upper cheek. Some patients may also require facial-fat transfer where we harvest fat from the abdomen and relocate it under their eyelids. We also often combine lower blepharoplasty with CO2 laser resurfacing, which can tighten the skin around the eyes while also reducing the appearance of fine lines. This is often an ideal way to rejuvenate the eyelids.

Do people come back a second time for this procedure?

People might need a revision if their first procedure was not done properly, or if excess skin still needs to be removed. Age also plays a role. If you have this procedure in your 50s, then you might want to touch it up in your later years. This procedure can make a significant improvement however the aging process does continue.

Is laser resurfacing an effective alternative to surgery?

We offer a few different combinations of treatment for the upper and lower lids. Some people can just do laser resurfacing if they’re a candidate for that procedure. They can also combine upper eyelid surgery with laser resurfacing on the lower lids. Laser resurfacing can be an effective treatment to help improve the appearance of mild to moderate eye bags as it tightens the skin, as well as reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes.

How do patients typically respond to their new look?

You see increased self-esteem, confidence, and a bounce in their step; they feel rejuvenated. The surgery can be done on its own or it can be combined with injectable treatments such as filler and Botox to help rejuvenate other aspects of the face or with other cosmetic surgery procedures. Either way, eyelid surgery is an easy lift in your aesthetics.