With our eyes, we communicate every emotion under the sun. Our eyes smile and show love without a word from our mouths. Eyes are the gateway to your soul.
Over time, the elasticity and strength of our skin changes, causing a change in our appearance. This change is often unwelcome.
More often than not, it's age that attacks the appearance of our eyes in the form of wrinkles and droopiness of the skin. Sagging eyelids, drooping around the eyes, and slumped brows cause a tired or sad appearance.
No one wants to look tired all the time!
A common solution is eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty. This type of surgical procedure can restore that area of your face, creating a more refreshed and youthful appearance.
Surgeons perform blepharoplasty to correct signs of aging eyes. The procedure may rejuvenate the upper and/or lower eyelids by:
- -Removing or repositioning bulging fat
- -Removing or resurfacing excess skin
- -Reducing lower eyebags
- -Tightening or lifting loose or atrophied muscles
In addition, your surgeon can even add fat to hollows or recesses in the eyelids to fill them in for a more youthful look. With blepharoplasty, your eyes will appear more vibrant. You will look more awake and seem more alert than you did before the procedure.
What Is Blepharoplasty Surgery Like?
Blepharoplasty is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. The surgeon uses local anesthesia, intravenous sedation, or general anesthesia. This is common for most cosmetic procedures.
During the surgery, your doctor will perform the following steps:
- -Create an incision within the natural creases of the eyelid, inside the eyelid, and/or outside of the eyelid;
- -Remove or reposition bulging fat;
- -Remove excess skin; and/or
- -Adjust surrounding muscles and support tissues to make the desired improvements.
Your surgeon can even add fat to hollows or recesses in the eyelids to fill them for a more youthful look.
What Are the Top Alternatives to Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is hands down the best solution to solving tired or droopy eyes.
The fact remains that there really isn't a good alternative to blepharoplasty. Many patients desiring a solution like blepharoplasty have significant sagging of the eyelids or eye area. These patients will find that surgery is really the only option to fix this effectively.
However, in some cases, patients may be candidates for alternative nonsurgical treatments, particularly those individuals who have milder signs of aging. The treatment results are not as incredibly dramatic of a change compared to that which is typically found with blepharoplasty.
For alternative treatment of the lower eyes, 10-15% of patients may be candidates for a combination of injectable fillers and resurfacing (laser or chemical peel) for the lower eyelid. For the upper eyes, 5-10% of patients may be candidates for a brow lift, Botox injection for a non-surgical browlift, or Ultherapy for a noninvasive brow lift.
To be clear, the results will never be similar to what you would get with eyelid or eyebrow surgery. Still, with these procedures, your doctor can beautifully shape your eyes and forehead without the downtime associated with surgery.
If you have milder signs of aging and are interested in alternatives to surgery, below we explore options to consider.
Alternative Options to Sculpt the Area Around Your Eyes
Botox is a simple injectable treatment designed to relax the muscles that cause frown, worry, and smile lines. Additionally, the treatment can function as a preventive measure as well, slowing down the appearance of wrinkles and other indicators of the natural aging process on your face. The treatment can enhance the appearance of the eyes by erasing the "crow's feet" adjacent to the outer corner of the eyes and by subtly lifting the eyebrows.
The effects of Botox can be quite dramatic, but the effects on the eyes themselves are more subtle compared to results from eyelid surgery. The results of Botox last 3-4 months and are easily maintained with regular treatments.
Ultherapy uses ultrasound energy deposited beneath the skin to regenerate the collagen and improve the facial tone, firming and tightening the skin. The treatment jump starts a natural process known as neocollagenesis. This achieves a fresher, more youthful look and targets areas from the brow to chest. Though ultherapy improves the deep foundational layer that surgical procedures focus on, it won't duplicate the results of a facelift.
With Ultherapy, there is no surgery or downtime. It can safely lift:
- -The chin
- -The neck
The concept is simple: Ultherapy stimulates your own collagen production. This results in firming and tightening of the desired area. The longevity of results depends completely on you since this procedure uses your own collagen to firm up and tighten skin.
By lifting the eyebrows, Ultherapy can produce subtle make your eyes look larger and less tired or droopy.
Key factors regarding Ultherapy:
- Results occur within the first 3-12 months after treatment
- Effects are milder than with Blepharoplasty
- Effects will last 1-2 years
Ultherapy is subtle, yet remains a splendid option if you aren’t quite ready for surgery.
3. Skin Resurfacing
Skin resurfacing treatments are rapidly gaining popularity. These cutting-edge resurfacing procedures treat fine lines and wrinkles. They can even help firm up loose skin. The concept of skin resurfacing refers to a variety of nonsurgical treatments, including:
- Laser Skin Resurfacing
- Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Photofacial
- Chemical Peels
- Microdermabrasion and Dermabrasion
Skin resurfacing treatments can help soften lines, wrinkles, and folds around the eyes. These procedures can be usually performed in the office with topical and/or local anesthesia and limited amounts of downtime.
4. Injectable Dermal Fillers
What if a simple injection could open up your eye area? Your doctor can use one of a variety of injectable fillers to restore volume to your skin. You may recognize such well-known products as Juvederm and Restylane. These treatments smooth out the skin’s surface, removing wrinkles and contouring the face. Fillers are a simple way to create a more youthful appearance.
Around the eyes, injectable fillers can fill in lower eyelid hollows and subtly lift sagging brows.
As you can see, a number of alternatives exist for patients who desire to correct their sagging or drooping eyelids without surgery. You can even learn makeup techniques to achieve similar effects.
Who Is a Candidate for Blepharoplasty or one of its Alternatives?
Consider the following questions to determine if blepharoplasty is right for you:
- -Do I look in the mirror and often think I look tired or my eyes look droopy?
- -Do I notice my sagging eyelids when applying moisturizer?
- -Do I struggle with puffiness or bags under my eyes?
- -Do I have low or heavy eyebrows?
- -Have I unsuccessfully used cream to treat wrinkles on my forehead or eyes?
- -Do I see frown lines between my eyebrows?
- -Do I often look tired or angry in pictures?
- -Am I willing to invest in myself to improve the appearance of my eye area?
If you answered yes to any of the above, you may be an ideal candidate for surgery or alternative treatments. Keep in mind that for any case where there is extreme sagging or loose skin, blepharoplasty is the number one best solution.
What’s the Next Step?
Whether blepharoplasty or an alternative procedure, the next step is simple. Talk to an experienced doctor about your specific needs.
Schedule a free consultation with Dr. Larry Fan. He and his talented team can help you determine which solution is best to achieve your desired results. Alternatively, take this free self-evaluation.