An Eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty as it is more commonly known, is the surgical procedure performed to correct and lift drooping upper eyelids or ptosis. Drooping and sagging eyelids tend to make a person look tired all the time and older than they are. It can also interfere with vision, interfere with the ability to blink and in some cases, even cause headaches.
What is Eyelid Surgery?
Dr. Joseph Russell is a highly skilled and board-certified facial plastic surgeon who performs this surgery to lift and tighten the tissue and muscles that control the eyelid. He also removes fat deposits that can make the area around the eyes puffy. Puffy eyes make the patient look fatigued even when they aren’t. The surgery can be performed on both the upper and lower lids.
Eyelid Surgery Before & After Photos
Eye Lift Patient 1: This patient had an upper blepharoplasty performed to remove the excess hanging skin from the upper eyelids.
Eye Lift Patient 2: This patient had very heavy upper eyelids that made her appear tired. In addition to a deep plane face lift, she underwent an upper eyelid lift, and now her eyes are more open and she appears alert and refreshed.
Eye Lift Patient 3: This patient was experiencing severe obstruction of his vision from heavy folds of skin that were weighing down his upper eyelids. After he underwent an upper blepharoplasty by Dr. Russell to remove the excess skin, his visual obstruction is gone, his visual acuity is improved, and he looks less tired!
Eye Lift Patient 4: This patient was tired of looking tired and sad! She had obstruction of her vision in both eyes from excess upper eyelid skin, but also had ptosis in her right eye causing the extra droop on that side. Dr. Russell performed a combined bilateral upper blepharoplasty and ptosis repair. Now her eyes look vibrant and happy, and the visual obstruction is gone!
How is Eyelid Surgery Performed?
While the patient is awake and sitting upright before surgery, Dr. Russell determines how much tissue needs to be removed from around the eyes and marks the incision areas with a surgical marking pen. Usually, incisions are planned to incorporate the natural creases of the eyelids.
During the procedure, Dr. Russell will carefully make incisions along the natural creases of the eyelids or in some cases, inside the eyelid which will create no visible scarring. He will then proceed to remove any excess hanging or loose skin as well as remove or reposition any fat deposits that are causing puffiness in the eyelids. Sutures will then be placed carefully to ensure that no scarring will be visible; sutures are then removed five to seven days later.
Upper and Lower Eyelid Procedures Explained
Upper eyelid corrections performed by Dr. Russell can improve the eye’s appearance, and offer unobstructed vision and comfortable blinking, which becomes more important as we age. A simple upper blepharoplasty involves the removal of excess skin and fat. Sometimes, the attachment of the muscle that raises the upper eyelid to become stretched with overtime or after cataract surgery, causing the eyelid to droop—this is called ptosis. If ptosis is present, it can be corrected at the same time as the upper blepharoplasty to produce the best outcome.
A common reason patients request a lower eyelid blepharoplasty is because of noticeable bags under the eyes that create a tired, fatigued, or unhappy appearance. This usually caused by excess fat under the eyelid and loose skin. Dr. Russell creates careful incisions in the natural creases of the lower eyelid in order to better hide scarring. He then will remove or reposition these pockets of fat and trim the loose skin to create a smooth lower eyelid contour. The end result can offer a more rejuvenated and joyful appearance.
What Procedures can be Paired with Blepharoplasty?
It is not uncommon for Dr. Russell to simultaneously perform a brow lift, also known as a forehead lift, which is a separate procedure which also removes excess tissue in the upper eyelid region and lifts the sagging skin, making the brow and forehead area smoother with less visible wrinkles.
He also can combine Laser resurfacing with a blepharoplasty procedure. The resurfacing improves the appearance of the skin leaving it more youthful. This is accomplished by smoothing and reducing wrinkles and irregularities on the skin, such as acne scarring and blemishes.
For an overall facial rejuvenation, patients may desire a facelift to be paired with eyelid surgery, which will address the midface by correcting sagging cheeks, jowls, and jawline region of the face.
Frequently Asked Eyelid Surgery Questions
How Long will my Bruising Last, and How Can I Recover Quicker?
Bruising can last around 2 weeks before resolving. Immediately after the blepharoplasty, Dr. Russell applies ice to the eyes to reduce the formation of bruising and swelling. Patients should continue to apply ice to the eyes over the next week. After 1 week, concealer and makeup can be used to hide any remaining bruising. Additionally, Arnica gel can be applied topically to help speed resolution of bruising.
Will this Correct the Hollowness Under my Eyes?
Dr. Russell can inject fillers, like Restylane or Juvederm, in order to fill hollow areas under the eyes. Another way to fill these areas is by repositioning fat during a lower eyelid blepharoplasty. This will last much longer than injections and usually looks better.
Can you Correct my Upper Eye Lids, even if they are not Very Visible?
Excess and saggy skin or lowered brows can create the appearance of hidden upper eyelids. While blepharoplasties can remove excess eyelid skin, a brow lift repositions the forehead and lifts the brows. After Dr. Russell examines the eyelids, he can decide which procedure is right for the patient.
Will it be Hard to Close my Eyes After a Blepharoplasty?
The overall shape of the eye does not change much, so closing your eyes should not be any more difficult than before. However, as with all surgeries, there are risks of complications. There is a small chance for too much skin of the upper eyelid to be removed. This can result in difficulty closing the eyes; should this occur, it usually resolves in 1-2 weeks as the swelling in the eyelids resolves. Dr. Russell makes several precise measurements prior to making any incisions to avoid this complication.
What is a Transconjunctival Procedure, and will it Deliver Better Results?
A transconjunctival blepharoplasty is performed to correct fatty or puffy tissues of the lower eye lids. This approach is generally used when there is no excess or loose skin. The incision is created inside the lower lid, penetrating the conjunctiva and allowing direct access to fat deposits under the skin, which can be reduced or repositioned. This technique will avoid visible scarring. This procedure offers less risk of malposition after the surgery than the traditional approach to this surgery.
What is it Like After the Surgery?
Patients should feel much better, physically, in just about 1 week. However, it may take up to 2 weeks in order to feel fully confident being seen in a work environment or in public. Temporary dry eyes and some blurriness of vision are common for the first few weeks after surgery; artificial tears and gels are therefore used frequently during the first few weeks to alleviate these symptoms.
How to Determine Whether a Blepharoplasty is Needed or a Brow Lift?
Dr. Russell will provide an examination of these areas during your consultation. If the patient lifts his or her brow and an excess amount of upper eyelid skin is still visible, he or she may benefit from both. On the contrary, if excess skin is not visible and the patient enjoys the facial appearance that way, then a brow lift might be the only procedure needed.
Who is a Good Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?
A good candidate for an eyelid lift is about 35 years of age or older and in otherwise good physical and mental health; younger people may also consider the surgery if they have noticeable bags under their eyes. A good candidate has healthy skin, tissue, and muscle in their face and has realistic expectations, especially when it comes to lower lid surgery.
People who aren’t good candidates for blepharoplasty include those with glaucoma, high blood pressure, and dry eyes. Other people who may not be good candidates for the operation have Graves’ disease, a type of thyroid disorder; diabetes; cardiovascular problems or a detached retina.
“I was referred to Dr. Joseph Russell and immediately knew this was the outstanding surgeon I was seeking. He has excellent people skills, is compassionate and is a great communicator with his patients and their family. He was meticulous in planning the required surgery and the results were excellent. As my Ophthalmologist said, the sign of good surgery is you cannot tell surgery has been done, and those are my results along with significant vision improvement. I strongly recommend Dr. Joseph Russell as a facial plastic surgeon” – Jim, Charleston, SC
“By far the best medical procedure and aftercare I have ever received. Dr. Russell’s care and concern kept me at peace throughout every step of my plastic surgery. The care from the office staff was super! I would never even consider having another doctor touch my face other than Dr. Russell.” – Lisa, Charleston, SC
Eyelid Surgery Consultation
When a prospective patient arrives for a consultation with Dr. Russell, he will take the patient’s medical history. The patient should tell him if they smoke, drink, are on any medications or are taking any supplements or vitamins. The doctor will ask if the patient has had any prior surgeries, especially around their eyes and if they have any pre-existing condition that may compromise their ability to heal from the surgery. Dr. Russell will also ask what the patient wants from the surgery, and the two will formulate a plan to achieve the patient’s goals.
Learn More About Eyelid Lift Procedures
Dr. Joseph Russell graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. Following his 5-year residency, he was handpicked to complete a prestigious one-year facial plastic surgery fellowship in New York City. If drooping eyelids or bags under your eyes are interfering with your vision or making you look older and tired, call today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Joseph Russell.