What Is a Good Age for Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty, also known as an eyelid lift, is very specific in nature. Its goal is to remove a small skin segment from around the eye to reduce lid sagging and drooping. While age matters with some treatments, it is less of a consideration with an eyelid lift. Our staff will review your skin condition regardless of age to determine if this therapy is right for you. Some patients are as young as 25, while others are 65 years old.
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports that more than 90 percent of patients seeking an eyelid lift are over 40, and most of this segment is over 55. But patients with naturally hooded eyelids seek treatment in their 20s and 30s. Although their reasons for doing so are different from patients in their 50s and 60s, the goal remains the same: to provide a more alert appearance by opening the eye.
The most common reason your eyelids start to sag and droop is aging. With time, supportive skin structures that normally keep skin firm break down. Collagen is the main protein in these structures, and as its production naturally slows, the skin loses its underlying framework. This leads to wrinkles and fine lines.
Aging has other effects, too, such as the migration and shrinkage of fat pockets. The skin loses its volume and begins to sag as a result. Wrinkling and sagging around the eyes can cause the upper eyelids to fold. Tissues under the eye can protrude and look puffy. In turn, you see a weighted appearance when you look in the mirror.
A condition in which excess tissue above the eye becomes loose and affects the eyelid is dermatochalasis. This can become severe enough that you struggle to keep your eyes open. Dermatochalasis can eventually impair your vision, forcing you to stop the activities you love, like reading, sewing, and even driving.
An eyelid lift is ideal for many people at a variety of life stages. While it’s not appropriate for those at heightened risks because of advanced age, it is right for patients who are comfortable with surgery and want to feel better about themselves and their appearance.
Whether you suffer from naturally droopy eyelids, want to erase the signs of aging, or have dermatochalasis, the question is not at what age eyelid surgery is right, but instead at what age is it right for you?
Details of Eyelid Surgery
You have options with blepharoplasty, and the one most ideal for you will depend on your:
- Eye shape and health
- Goals of surgery
- Skin integrity
- Conditions that need to be addressed
The first option is upper eyelid surgery, used primarily to correct vision loss and changes in your eye appearance caused by genetics or aging. You might have guessed we focus on the upper lid, and in so doing, provide a more rounded and open appearance. This can help you look more alert and more approachable.
This surgery focuses on the lower lid area. We remove skin wrinkles, correct bags, and restore a more youthful look to the eye. It is rare to need a second lower lid procedure, as results are typically permanent. Your lower eyelid will continue to age with time, but surgery helps slow the progression, and bags are significantly improved.
For patients who want to completely reshape the skin around their eyes, a double eyelid is the solution. We make a crease in the upper lid to create a larger, wider eye. This procedure has gained great popularity in East Asia and for this reason is often referred to as Asian eyelid surgery.
Asian and non-Asian eyelids have the same anatomical structures, but generally speaking, the crease in Asian upper lids forms closer to the eyelashes. It is also shaped differently, although there is no true Asian eyelid type. This means each patient is evaluated individually.
Conditions We Can Treat
In addition to improving your appearance, eyelid surgery can:
- Correct fatty tissue deposits that make eyelids appear swollen
- Remove excess skin
- Diminish lower lid bags
- Smooth wrinkles and creases in the lower lids
- Correct droopy lids
- Improve vision affected by loose or sagging skin
What To Expect
Blepharoplasty is usually performed as an outpatient procedure with IV sedation and local anesthesia. Including registration and discharge, the entire procedure takes between two and three hours. Small dressings are applied after upper lid surgery to ensure clear vision.
For best results, you should stop taking blood thinners before surgery. But check with your physician first so as not to interfere with your regular care. We also recommend that you stop the following prior to your procedure:
- Over the counter painkillers like ibuprofen and aspirin
- Herbal supplements like omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E
After Surgery Guidelines
We may provide you with a list of minor restrictions to follow after surgery. These are intended to assist your recovery. For example, you should avoid driving for 24 hours after sedation. While light activities like fixing meals or taking short walks can be resumed one day after, strenuous activity should be avoided for a week. By strenuous, we mean anything that raises your heart rate.
It’s also important that you not touch your incision, including rubbing or pulling. Also don’t pull or rub your lids, as this can separate your sutures and re-open the incision. Avoid wearing makeup near the incision until we instruct otherwise, and plan to stay home from work for four to five days.
Your Beautiful Eyes
We use our eyes for much more than seeing. They allow us to communicate, whether we’re expressing doubt, joy, or simple interest. According to research, they are also widely regarded as a potential partner’s most important facial feature. While eye color plays some role in perceived beauty, the shape of the eye is regarded as more important.
Why is this? Without knowing it, we are a species deeply grounded in science. This means our brains pick up cues from others based on how they look. Wide eyes with a white, rather than red, sclera send the message a person is healthy and fertile (fertility is a major consideration when looking for the right mate, whether we realize it or not). For this reason, we look to the eyes first when weighing another’s physical appeal.
More Than Meets the Eye
But the eyes are also our window to the world, literally. Around 80 percent of the information we extract from our immediate environment arrives in our brains via the eyes. At the back of the brain is the visual cortex, and it is here where visual information is received and processed. The visual vortex is thus integral to the amygdala.
The amygdala motivates our feelings and memories based on information derived from our senses. Of the five that humans possess, sight is consistently ranked as the most important sense. It allows us to react to situations with the appropriate responses, both by seeing and then interpreting the information before us. For instance, when presented with a gift, our eyes allow us to emote in a way that promotes human connection.
Your Place in the World
We tell you this so you can understand blepharoplasty is about more than how you look. It’s about your eye health and how maintaining it allows you to interact with others, respond to visual cues, and enjoy the more than 7,000,000 colors the eye can see. And although eyelid surgery is not a means to correct vision, it is a way to restore your current level of sight when sagging skin would otherwise impose on your vision.
This is not to say aesthetics aren’t important, because they are. Cosmetic therapies are today mainstream because the goal is to look young, healthy, and vibrant at every age. Much of this has to do with longevity; just a few decades back, a 50-year-old person was considered old. Now, that milestone falls under middle-age, allowing people to maintain their youth longer than in previous times.
Will I Look Younger?
If you’re wondering whether or not you’ll look younger after eyelid surgery, the answer is that you will. Keep in mind the skin around your eyes is delicate and prone to showing the signs of aging more quickly than other facial areas. Eyelid surgery not only corrects loose and sagging skin but also refreshes your appearance.
Will I Look Like Me?
Don’t worry, you will definitely still look like you. Eyelid surgery does not alter the structure of your eyes, nor is it a reconstructive procedure. It is not intended to address crow’s feet, eye symmetry, or sagging brows. But it can be paired with other treatments that will correct these concerns to give you a more complete facial rejuvenation.
How Long Do Results Last?
We touched on this question for lower lid surgery but not upper. In truth, the results for both procedures are long-lasting. If lids do once again look droopy in the future, it is usually because of sagging brows. Lower lid bags and puffiness rarely return. Steps that you can take to retain a more youthful appearance include reducing stress, wearing sunscreen, and quitting smoking.
How Long Is Recovery?
Because eyelid surgery is an outpatient procedure, you will be permitted to return home once the anesthetic has worn off. It is important you have a driver who can take you home and stay to assist with routine activities, at least for the first day. After that, recovery times can vary. Most patients reach full recovery within a month, although this time might be slightly shorter or longer for you depending on how your body responds to the procedure.
When Can I Shower and Wash My Hair?
We generally recommend patients wait at least a day after surgery to shower. We can discuss this with you during your consultation, once we’ve evaluated your condition. Remember when bathing to not rub your eyelids. Water and soap do not pose any danger, but it is important you avoid touching the treated area.
Restore Your Youthful Eyes
Eyelid surgery can be right at almost any age, depending on your unique situation and treatment goals. Benefits include a more youthful and rested appearance without sagging skin to occlude your vision. If you have questions about blepharoplasty or a Mommy Makeover, call the staff of Cosmetic Surgery of DFW at (817) 562-7979 to schedule your consultation with Dustin C. Derrick, MD.