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Blepharoplasty: A Minor Procedure That Delivers Major Results

Blepharoplasty: A Minor Procedure That Delivers Major Results

The skin on your eyelids is some of the thinnest on your body, so it’s no great surprise that the eyelids are one of the first places to show the signs of aging, including fine lines and lax, drooping skin.

If your eyelids droop, they can make your entire face look haggard or even angry, no matter what you’re actually feeling.

Fortunately, board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Leo Urbinelli and his staff offer blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, that can lift your lids and make you look bright and wide awake again. As cosmetic procedures go, it’s relatively minor, but it delivers major results for your appearance and vision. Here’s what’s involved.

Understanding ptosis

Eyelid drooping, medically known as ptosis, is often a consequence of aging. Your supplies of collagen and elastin, two fibrous proteins that give your skin strength and flexibility, begin to diminish around age 25. Their production can also be impacted by environmental factors, including the sun’s ultraviolet rays and smoking.

The loss of these proteins means your skin can’t keep its taut appearance, and fine lines and wrinkles start to appear. Together with the constant pull of gravity, the skin on both the upper and lower eyelids begins to droop. If they droop enough, the upper eyelid skin hangs over the eyelashes, giving you a tired look, or even worse, obstructing your vision. 

Loss of skin tone can also cause the lower eyelids to wrinkle and bulge, creating undereye bags.

In addition to the eyelid skin that protects your eyes, you have fat that acts as a cushion for your eye against the bones of the skull. Unfortunately, the thin membrane that holds this fat in place also loses structure; the fat moves forward into the lids, causing them to puff up.

If you’re experiencing lid drooping, a blepharoplasty procedure can reverse it. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons indicates that, in 2018, more than 200,000 people chose blepharoplasty to lift their eyelids, making it one of the top five cosmetic surgical procedures.

If your eyelids hang so far over your lashes that they interfere with your vision, you may need the upper lids lifted to improve your sight. In this case, the blepharoplasty is performed for medical reasons. A visual field test can determine how much of your peripheral vision is blocked by the lids, helping Dr. Urbinelli decide if your drooping lids are impacting your ability to see.

The blepharoplasty procedure

Blepharoplasty can be performed on either the upper or lower lids, or both. For the upper eyelid, Dr. Urbinelli gives you a local anesthetic and some sedation. Once you’re comfortable, he makes a small cut in the eyelid crease so the scar won’t be seen. Next, he removes excess skin, muscle, and fat. He may also choose to reposition some tissues around the eye for aesthetic purposes.

If you’re having the lower lid done, Dr. Urbinelli makes the incision along the lower lash line — again, to hide the scar. He removes the fat that’s forming your undereye bags, as well as a small amount of skin. Then, he tightens the underlying muscles and may reposition some of the remaining fatty tissue before closing the incision.

Who is a good candidate for blepharoplasty?

If you’re having blepharoplasty done for medical reasons, the main criterion is that you have diminished vision because of ptosis. In all cosmetic cases, you’re a good candidate if you’re bothered by the appearance of drooping eyelids or eye bags.

Other criteria include:

It’s also important that you don’t have any serious medical conditions that would prevent you from healing normally. Dr. Urbinelli goes over your entire medical history at your consultation.

Blepharoplasty is a minor surgical procedure, but it can reinvigorate your entire appearance. To learn more, and to find out if it’s right for you, give PNW Plastic Surgery a call at 818-740-6142, or book online today.

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