The eyes are typically the first area to show signs of aging, but this can be dramatically improved by an upper blepharoplasty (eyelift). As a Charlotte facial cosmetic surgeon, I have had many patients seeking upper eyelid rejuvenation, but they do not understand what the procedure entails.
I believe the appearance of the eyes is the single greatest factor in how others judge our mood, feelings, and level of consciousness. People with open, bright, and beautiful eyes are considered energetic, intelligent, and attractive. As we age, the upper eyelid begins to droop and develops wrinkles and hollowness. A beautiful upper lid should gently overlap the colored part of the eye and have 3-6 mm of skin showing below the upper lid crease.
Picture used from permission from Master Techniques of Blepharoplasty and Periobital Rejuvenation, Springer Science and Business Media PLLC, 2011
As we age, the skin begins to sag onto the eyelashes, and we lose the 3-6mm of the skin below the upper lid crease. The smoothness of the skin above the crease either becomes hallow or fat begins to bulge in this area. Bulging fat in this area creates fullness over the eye and contributes to upper eyelid bags.
During an upper blepharoplasty excess skin and sometimes fat is either removed or moved to a better position. If the upper eyelid has lost fat, then fat should not be removed. In this situation, I may move excess fat from a full area to the hallow area. During an upper eyelid lift different amounts of skin will be removed depending on the patient. The typical amount and location of skin that is removed is seen in the photo below:
After the skin is removed, the 2 fat pockets, nasal and pre-aponeurotic, and the lacrimal gland, are inspected. The fat pads are then removed or moved as needed, and the lacrimal gland is re-suspended if it is sagging. The incisions are then closed with sutures. Sutures are removed 1 week post surgery and bruising and swelling resolves over 7-14 days.
The outpatient surgery procedure takes about 1 hour to complete and it is a wonderful procedure to bring back youthful and more expressive eyes. As a facial cosmetic surgeon, I believe an upper eyelift is one of the best procedures to get my patients looking on the outside how they feel on the inside.