Upper and Lower Eyelid Surgery: What You Need to Know

Posted September 17, 2018 in Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)

Your eyes can convey more than just your mood; in addition, the eye area is one of the first places where the signs of aging tend to show up. Fine lines, crow’s feet, sagging lids, and under-eye bags can combine to make you look older than you actually are. In fact, even some young people struggle with eye puffiness that requires surgical correction.

What Causes Eye Bags, Puffiness, and Wrinkles?

Cosmetic problems around the eyes can have several different causes. Aging is, of course, one of the main reasons why our patients come to us for eyelid surgery. The skin around the eyes is especially delicate, so it tends to show the signs of collagen loss long before other areas of the face are affected. As collagen levels drop, the skin around the eyes becomes weak, droopy, and prone to developing imprinted creases. Fat stores also drop as connective tissues become unable to support them: Fat that was once above the eyes will migrate downwards, creating puffy under-eye bags.

In younger people, eye bags are usually caused by genetic or lifestyle factors. Just like some people are born with a genetic double chin that never goes away (no matter how much they diet), it’s not uncommon for people to be predisposed to carrying fat under their eyes. Allergies, smoking, and fluid retention can also cause under-eye puffiness and dark circles, at any age.

What Do Upper and Lower Eyelid Surgery Treat?

Drooping eyelids can be much more than just an aesthetic problem. People with loose skin around their eyes are at risk of suffering from vision problems, for a few different reasons: One, loose upper lids tend to cover the outer corners of the eye, reducing peripheral vision. This can be a real problem for people who drive, especially at night. Two, we need fully functional eyelids to properly distribute tear film across our eyes. Without this film, the eyes become dry, red, strained, and irritated. They also become more prone to cellular deterioration and corneal scratches. Most medical practitioners, therefore, recommend having eyelid surgery for medical and cosmetic reasons.

Dr. Gilpin performs both upper eyelid and lower eyelid surgery (also known as blepharoplasty or an eyelid lift). During these procedures, loose skin around the eyes is carefully raised, excess skin is removed, and the lids are reshaped to provide a full field of vision. Fat deposits may also be repositioned to correct bags under the eyes and hollows above the eyes. The end result is alert, youthful-looking eyes (crow’s feet are smoothed out during an eyelid lift) that function as nature intended.

Do I Need an Upper Eyelid Lift, Lower Eyelid Lift, or Both?

Most older patients need a full eyelid lift that incorporates both upper and lower eyelid surgery. Younger patients, on the other hand, sometimes only need lower eyelid surgery. Here’s a quick way to tell which procedure is right for you:

If you have puffy bags under your eyes but the shape of your upper lids is normal, and you don’t yet have crow’s feet, you probably only need lower eyelid surgery. If you have droopy upper eyelids, and crow’s feet but the area under your eyes appears normal, you’re a good candidate for an upper eyelid lift. If you have droopy upper eyelids, wrinkles around your eyes, and bags under your eyes, then you almost certainly need both an upper and lower eyelid lift.


Schedule a Consultation

At Gilpin Facial Plastics, you can get both types of eye lifts at the same time. Dr. Gilpin will combine them into one safe, convenient procedure to shorten your recovery period and keep your procedure affordable. You’ll be glad to know that recovering from eye lift surgery is both quick (most patients feel better after just one week) and comfortable.

Don’t let droopy eyes make you selfie-shy or limit your ability to drive or read comfortably. If you are in the Nashville, TN area, fill out our online form to learn more about how upper and lower eyelid surgery can help you rejuvenate and awaken your appearance.



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