Q: Dr. Eppley, I am a 42 year-old female and have always had a touch of bags on my lower eyelids. Due to aging no doubt and some weight loss, these bags seem to have become bigger and at least they seem that way to me. I saw one doctor recently and she told me that I should have injectable fillers put in to puff out the indented areas around them. Then I saw another doctor and he told that the fat should be removed through an eyelid procedure. These two different opinions have me confused. What do you think?
A: Most undereye bags consist primarily of fat that has escaped from under the eyeball. Our eyeballs are encased in a bed of fat inside the eye socket bones. This allows the eye to be padded so it can move around inside its encasement without risk of being ruptured. This fat is held back by a ligament that runs from the lower eyelid down to the bone. With age that supporting ligament is naturally weak or weakens allowing the fat to come out from under the eye. Much like an abdominal hernia and protruding bowel, the lower eyelid develops bags of herniated fat. Some people have a natural weakness of this ligament and develop lower eyebags very early in life. (I suspect this is you) With aging they become much worse. Removal of this fat can be done from inside the eyelid without any external incisions. (transconjunctival lower blepharoplasty) This would make for a far superior result in your case. Adding more volume around the herniated fat is only going to make your lower eyelids even more puffy.
Dr. Barry Eppley