Most people who start thinking about facial plastic surgery to restore a youthful appearance immediately consider a facelift. Spectrum Plastic Surgery specializes in offering all of the most popular and effective procedures to turn back the clock, but did you know that an eyelid lift might be more appropriate for your first facial plastic surgery? The eyes are the first place we typically see signs of aging, with those in their twenties and even late teens noticing the first tell-tale signs of crow’s feet and wrinkles.
The skin around the eyes is thin, vulnerable, and highly mobile. Studies have shown that when people apply sunscreen to the face, they often forget or avoid the area close to the eyes. Plus, only some sunglasses offer proper UV protection. What this means is that most people have spent a lifetime not properly protecting the skin around their eyes from UV damage, which is the leading cause of early aging in the skin.
Why Eyelids Matter
Sun damage isn’t the only cause of early wrinkles and creases around the eyes. There’s also simply the fact that this skin is thinner than other parts of the face and is always moving—even while asleep. Factor in environmental concerns (such as pollution) and trauma from rubbing the eyes, and it’s no surprise that the skin around the eyes is actually the first place to show signs of aging. Many people assume a facelift will “fix” this problem, but it won’t.
Contrary to popular belief (and the name), a facelift only addresses the lower half of the face and neck. A neck lift is inherently part of a facelift, but an eyelid lift is a completely different procedure. It is very common to combine an eyelid lift with a facelift, but for younger patients who are mostly concerned about wrinkles around the eyes, a simple eyelid lift might be sufficient to address the imperfections. Eyelid lifts heal surprisingly quickly with tiny incisions hidden either in the creases of the eyelid or along the lashline on the lower lid. Sometimes incisions can even be made inside the eyelid when option for a lower lift. An “eyelid lift” can actually mean two different surgeries, and some patients might qualify for both at the same time.
Two Types of Eyelid Lifts
An upper eyelid lift is very different than a lower eyelid lift, but both are called blepharoplasty. These two surgeries address two different sets of concerns. An upper eyelid lift is slightly more popular. This is the blepharoplasty that can vanquish sagging upper eyelids to restore a youthful, healthy, and happy appearance. Ptosis, or sagging eyelids, is one of the earliest signs of aging and you may not even notice it has started to happen to you. However, if you compare photos of your upper eyelid today compared to when you were a teen, especially if you’re 30+, there’s a good chance you’ll notice at least some signs of ptosis. Worse, ptosis usually doesn’t happen symmetrically. One eyelid is usually droopier than the other.
Lower blepharoplasty can also address lines, wrinkles, and creases. Just like upper blepharoplasty, the surgery entails trimming away a small amount of excess skin. Instead of droopiness, the more common complaints of the lower eyelid are bags, dark circles, and pockets of fat. A lower blepharoplasty might be combined with liposuction to remove little fat pockets causing bulging and shadows, and in some rare cases dermal fillers might be recommended.
Why Facelifts Get All of the Attention
A facelift is a household term. Ask anyone what the facial plastic surgery is to address aging and they will probably name this surgery. However, the signs of aging are not too broad. The eyes are where aging shows up first, and that’s what we need to focus on if that’s your primary (or only) issue. A blepharoplasty requires about one week of healing, during which time there may be sutures to “hold” the new skin in the proper place. Most patients only require up to five days off of work if they’re working at a less active job, such as desk jobs. Some mild bruising and swelling may occur during this time, but most patients are still comfortable enough to relax with little to no discomfort even immediately after surgery.
If you could use a facial refresher, it might be your eyes that are causing you the most worry. Schedule a consultation with Spectrum Plastic Surgery today by calling the office or fill out the online form.