Sagging Eyelids May Be Saying You’re Older than You Are

Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, is one of the most common cosmetic surgery procedures performed in the United States each year. In 2016, there were 209,020 eyelid procedures performed- an increase of two percent from 2015. Dr. Peterson performs the eyelid procedure as a standalone surgery, but many patients choose to have their eyelids done in conjunction with other facial surgeries.


Why Choose Eyelid Surgery?

There are several reasons why patients choose to undergo eyelid surgery, but the two most cited reasons are that excess skin from the eyelid hangs down over the eye and blocks the individual’s vision and that this sagging skin and tissue makes eyes look tired and old.

Obviously, skin and tissue that sags and blocks the eye presents a physical danger to patients and limits their field of vision. This can make driving and other activities dangerous, if not impossible.

Other patients complain that excess skin has created bags and wrinkles under the eye. These bags can pull down the lower eyelid, which causes more of the white below the iris of the eye to be revealed.

Why Do Eyelids Sag

Sagging eyelids is a medical condition known as ptosis. For most people, ptosis is a natural part of aging. The levator muscle, which lifts the eyelid begins to droop. This happens because the muscle loses its ability to retract. While this situation occurs in many older people, it can happen to people at any age. 

Eyelid sagging can also happen due to neurological damage that results from strokes, injuries, or other trauma that cause the levator muscle to become damaged or paralyzed. There are some diseases, like diabetes and myasthenia gravis, that cause ptosis to develop intermittently, but in some instances, patients experience permanent damage. Some infants are born with ptosis, although it is very rare.  

What Happens During the Eyelid Surgery Procedure

During the eyelid procedure, Dr. Peterson makes an incision on the natural fold of the upper eyelid and in the crease of the eyelid. The placement of these incisions allows scars to be hidden after the patient has healed. He will remove excess skin and tissue, and in some cases, may even remove muscle tissue that has blocked the eyelid from fully opening. After all the excess tissue is removed, Dr. Peterson sutures incision closed.

What to Expect After Eyelid Surgery

After the blepharoplasty procedure, patients should expect some swelling and bruising, but this can be minimized through ice packs and other treatments that patients can do at home. Patients can expect to be fully healed in about 4 to 6 weeks.

Topical antibiotic ointments are given to reduce infection risk. Patients are encouraged to avoid wearing makeup until the incisions are healed to prevent infection.

Patients often combine the eyelid procedure with an eyebrow lift. Many patients choose to have the brow lift procedure to correct sagging, drooping eyebrows. Other patients choose to combine the eyelid procedure with a facelift to minimize surgeries, downtime, and risk of complications.