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Blepharoplasty is an operation to improve the appearance of the eyes. Over time as one ages, a combination of excess skin and fat can develop around the eyes that gives the appearance of being tired and older. The blepharoplasty procedure removes excess skin, fat and muscle to give a more rested and youthful appearance. This procedure does not alter dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes, nor can it change sagging eyebrows. Though blepharoplasty is often performed as a single procedure, it may also be done in conjunction with a brow lift, facelift, or skin resurfacing procedure to achieve the best results.

In the upper eyelid blepharoplasty, the incision is made in the natural crease of the upper eyelid to hide the scar in this natural fold. Through the incision the excess fat, muscle, and loose skin are removed. Fine sutures are used to close the incisions to minimize the visibility of the scar.

In the lower eyelid blepharoplasty, the incision is made in an inconspicuous site along the lash line and smile creases of the lower lid. Excess fat, muscle, and skin are then trimmed away before the incision is closed with fine sutures. If there is only eyelid puffiness caused primarily by excess fat, but no excess skin, this can be corrected by a transconjunctival blepharoplasty. The incision in this case is made inside the lower eyelid, and excess fatty material is removed. When sutures are used to close this kind of incision, they are invisible to the eye. They are also self-dissolving and leave no visible scar.

An upper and lower blepharoplasty usually takes about one and a half hours to perform. There is typically minimal discomfort associated with the surgery. A certain degree of swelling and bruising is normal and mostly resolves after forty eight hours but can persist as long as one to two weeks after surgery. Stitches are removed three to five days post surgery and most patients return to work following removal of their stitches. Exercise can be resumed two to four weeks after surgery.



Robert Rothfield

Robert Rothfield, MD, FACS

Plastic Surgeon

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