Eye surgery is one of my favorite cosmetic surgeries to perform because of the dramatic impact it has on facial appearance. Prior to having eye surgery, a patient should consult with his or her physician to determine goals. The physician will then evaluate and assess the patient’s facial features to determine whether the brow (forehead) is drooping or the eyelids are the problem. If the eyelid is the cause of concern, here’s how that problem can be resolved:
Eyelid surgery can be performed several different ways. Upper eyelid surgery is done by removing the excess skin that is drooping or hanging over. In many cases, there is an area in the middle of the upper lid that contains excess fat. This is also removed – very carefully! Some surgeons remove a small part of the muscle, while others choose to leave the muscle.
After ensuring that all bleeding has stopped, the incisions are closed with sutures. In some cases, glue is used to close the incisions. The surgery is usually performed using local anesthesia and intravenous sedation (twilight sleep). Upper eyelid surgery may be performed alone or together with lower eyelid surgery. Both of these procedures can be performed at the same time as other facial or body surgeries.
Lower eyelid surgery may also be done in various different ways. The traditional surgery involves making an incision through the skin and muscle to remove the excess fat that causes the bulging effect. Usually, there are three compartments of fat that need to be removed – just right! Too much fat removal and the eye will look sunken in; too little and the patient will need more surgery! So, the goal is to remove just the right amount of fat so that the eye has a pleasant, well-rested appearance.
Now for the twist: Over the past several years, many surgeons are choosing to not remove the fat, but rather to transfer it into areas of the eye that are deficient, and stitch it into place. After treating the fat, excess skin and sometimes muscle are removed and the incision is closed using the suture technique preferred by the doctor.
Eye surgery may be done by transconjunctival approach – where an incision is made inside of the eyelid so as not to have an external incision. This method is done when skin removal is not needed. The excess fat or fat deficiency is treated the same way as in the open approach.
Although eye surgery treats a small area of the face, it produces big results! Stay tuned for the next article, which will discuss brow lifting.
Dr. Wolf ’s office is located at 8940 N. Kendall Dr., Suite 903E. He may be reached at 305-595-2969 or at www.miamiplasticsurgery.com