Has anyone ever said to you that you look tired…have puffy eyes…or commented on the bags under your eyes or your dark circles? If you are over 35 or 40 years of age, you have undoubtably been told that at least once. Many have been told that more than just a few times. While I could espouse on the merits of pointing out the good in people rather than the bad, that would be a pertinent subject for a different column that has little to do with plastic surgery.
Without being told, most people that develop tired-looking eyes know it from looking in their own mirror. Women are particularly sensitive to how their eyes look as they engage in the daily ritual of make-up application. The vast majority of men, however, are unaware until their tired eye problem almost interferes with their vision. While there are some useful simple home ‘remedies’ that can help, such as astringents and endless numbers of creams, they do not remotely produce an improvement that is comparable to what blepharoplasty surgery can do.
Blepharoplasty, or ‘cosmetic eyelid’ surgery, is one of the most successful of all facial plastic surgery procedures. By removing loose and extra skin and fat from the eyelids, one can look refreshed again helping restore an eye appearance that one used to have. But many people are unduly hesitant about undergoing it because of misconceptions about recovery and pain after the surgery.
The thinness of the eyelid tissues and their superb blood supply make swelling and bruising an inevitable, but temporary, sequelae of the surgery. Despite how it looks, it is not painful and most patients only comment that their eyelids initially feel a little tight. There may be some slight stinging discomfort around the eyes the first night after surgery, but that passes quickly by the next day. Bruising and swelling are what persists and that will take up to two weeks after surgery until one is fully in the ‘benefits’ period. For some, this is a time for social reclusion. For others, they embrace it and do not let it be a hindrance for returning to work or getting out and about.
One of the great things about blepharoplasty surgery is that it is not a ‘one size fits all‘ procedure. There are different types of eyelid tucks based on how slight or severe the tired eye problem appears. If one has a lot of droopy or hanging skin then the traditional blepharoplasty would apply. But for those that have just a little extra skin or lower eyelid wrinkling, then the new ‘pinch and peel’ blepharoplasty can be done where just a pinch of skin is removed and the wrinkles reduced by a chemical or laser peel at the same time. If one is just bothered by their undereye bags, that protruding fact can be removed from inside the eyelid, having no external incision at all.
While the eyes may be the window to the soul, the eyelids are the window shades. They create, fairly or unfairly, an impression of our alertness and liveliness. A crisper and refreshed eye appearance is readily possible through blepharoplasty surgery and is easier to go through than most people think. Whether one’s tired eyes are just beginning or are quite advanced, blepharoplasty surgery can be customized to just the right amount needed to put that twinkle back and still fit into one’s lifestyle.
Dr. Barry Eppley