EYELID SURGERY IS A COLLECTIVE term that refers to any surgery of the eyelids; the surgery may be medical or cosmetic. Cosmetic eyelid surgery encompasses upper blepharoplasty, lower blepharoplasty, epicanthoplasty, lateral canthoplasty and some other less common procedures.
Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure to remove skin and to add or remove fat from the eyelids. Upper blepharoplasty surgery uses incisions on the skin to allow for removal of skin and fat. Athin stitch is then used to bring the skin together to allow for the creation of an eyelid crease and natural-looking double eyelids.
Lower eyelid surgery can involve skin incisions directly below the lash line or a hidden incision on the inside of the eyelid, called a transconjunctival approach. The transconjunctival approach allows for access to the eyelid fat without visible incisions making this technique perfect for patients who need fat removed or added. This approach can be combined with laser resurfacing of the eyelid skin to reduce lines and wrinkles. On the otherhand, the external approach allows for removal of excess lax skin, as well as fat redistribution to fill in hollows beneath the eyebags.
Epicanthoplasty (inner eyelid surgery) is a very popular procedure for clients who want to eliminate the Mongolian fold, which is prevalent among Asians. It is very common to have epicanthoplasty in conjunction with double eyelid surgery to achieve a brighter look with parallel double eyelid fold. To increase the horizontal length of the eyes, an epicanthoplasty for the inner eyelids and a lateral canthoplasty for the outer eyelids gives the most dramatic results.
Eyelid surgeries are the most common surgical procedures in my practice. Typically, younger Chinese patients will undergo upper blepharoplasty for double eyelid creation, epicanthoplasties and lateral canthoplasties to make their eyes look bigger. More mature patients, usually above 40 years old, would be seeking lower blepharoplasties for eyebag removal and upper blepharoplasties to remove excess sagging upper eyelid skin.
Recovery from eyelid surgery is variable depending on the extent of the procedure and how quickly each individual patient heals. On average, most patients are able to return to work within a week, although sometimes the swelling from upper eyelid surgery may require some eye-shadow to disguise during the recovery stage.
What are the potential risks and complications of eyelid surgery? Eyelid surgeries are usually minor procedures with low risk. Asymmetry, undercorrection and overcorrection are the more common complications.