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Eyelid and BrowLift Surgery

As the years pass, age related changes lead to a tired and worn appearance of the eyes. This includes increasing redundancy of the upper eyelid skin, which can even drape over our line of sight. In the lower eyelids, the orbital septum is the dam that holds back eyelid fat. Over time, this dam weakens and leads to the formation of the dreaded “bags” under the eyes. Our brows droop over time as well, acting like a heavy curtain draping over the eyelids. Luckily, numerous options exist to restore the youthful sheen of our eyes and undo the cruel ravages of time.


Blepharoplasty, or simply eyelid surgery, is the mainstay procedure for rejuvenation of the eyes. Though surgery differs between the upper and lower eyelid, both are characterized by a swift recovery and minimal downtime. Furthermore, the scars from both upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty are barely perceptible just months after surgery. Typically upper eyelid surgery involves removal of the excess upper eyelid skin, as well as herniating fat. The scar is designed to sit within the upper eyelid crease, leading to maximal camouflage of the scar. Lower eyelid surgery can be performed through an incision either on the inside or outside of the eyelid. Herniating fat can be removed through either incision, but an external incision is used for those with skin excess. The external incision sits under the eyelashes, adding to imperceptibility of the scar even months after surgery. 


The brows are often overlooked and undertreated in addressing the aging eye. The aesthetic ideal position of a youthful brow is assessed by where they lie in relation to the supraorbital rim, or bony ridge above the eyes. In women, the inner aspect of the brows lies at this ridge whereas the outer aspect lies above this ridge, resulting in the gentle sloped shape of the feminine brow. In men, the brows ideally lie at the bony ridge. So, naturally the goal of the browlift operation is to restore the position of the brow to this aesthetic ideal. Browlift can be performed through a myriad of incision patterns. The incision pattern is chosen based on anatomical factors such as the severity of brow droop, shape of the forehead, depth of forehead wrinkles, position of the hairline, as well as the patient’s preferences. 


What is recovery like after surgery? 


After blepharoplasty, patients may resume regular activity and return to work in one week. Bruising and swelling are typically minimal and resolve within 1-2 weeks after surgery. Patients may wear sunglasses the day after surgery and may wear makeup 7-10 days after surgery. Dissolvable sutures are used and patients are to apply Vaseline to the incisions twice a day.


Though there are many forms of brow lift surgery, the recovery experience is rather similar for all. After browlift, patients may shower after removing the headwrap dressing the morning after surgery. After one week, patients are able to return to work and resume light exercise. Heavy lifting and bending over may be resumed 2 weeks after surgery. Patients may wear makeup 7- 10 days after surgery. The sutures are dissolvable as well; twice daily, patients may clean the incisions with saline and subsequently apply Vaseline.

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