As we age, our skin starts to produce less elastin and sagging occurs. When your upper eyelids sag, you can look older and more tired than you are. Even worse, your vision may be affected to the point you can no longer drive safely or enjoy a good book. Today, our experts at Kagan Institute in Los Angeles, CA are discussing who qualifies for blepharoplasty, a minimally invasive procedure designed to youthen the eyelids.
Who Is a Good Candidate for Blepharoplasty?
You may be considered a good candidate for blepharoplasty if you have cosmetic or medical concerns about your eyelids. Both cosmetic and medical concerns may arise at any age. However, they usually develop after the age of 35 due to the skin becoming inelastic. Sometimes, the upper eyelids can droop to the point vision becomes impaired. This can have a significant impact on your daily life.
Other times, people seek this procedure because they want to look younger and more awake. To determine whether you are a good candidate for this procedure, you must come in for an initial evaluation. During this evaluation, we will discuss the concerns you have about your eyelids, your overall health and the results you are expecting from the procedure. With this information, we can determine whether this procedure is ideal for you.
Your General Health
We strongly recommend bringing your medical records to your initial consultation because your health is the most important factor affecting whether you will qualify for this procedure. It is essential that we get a clear understanding of your health so we can ensure there will be no contraindications. Specifically, if you have been diagnosed with a medical condition related to your eyes, like retinal detachment or glaucoma, you may not qualify as a candidate.
Your lifestyle choices, such as whether you smoke or drink alcohol regularly, also affect your candidacy. Both cosmetic and medical procedures are safer for non-smokers. If you consume tobacco regularly, we strongly encourage you to consider quitting. Not only will you recover from the procedure faster, you will also enjoy longer-lasting results.
Eyelid-Related Health Concerns
This procedure may be your best bet if your vision is impaired due to sagging upper eyelids. Regardless of the strength of your glasses or contact lenses, you won’t be able to see well if your vision is obstructed by your eyelids. You will likely be considered a good candidate for this procedure if your quality of life is affected by heavily drooping upper eyelids.
Note, you should strongly consider this procedure if your upper eyelids are drooping noticeably but your vision is not yet impaired. If left uncorrected, your eyelids may droop to the point that you won’t be able to drive safely or relax and enjoy your favorite book or video game. The sooner you correct upper eyelid sagging, the more enjoyable your life will be.
The State of Your Eyelids
While impaired vision develops due to drooping eyelids eventually, upper eyelid problems usually start with a few mild-to-moderate wrinkles or an extra skin fold. As noted above, these problems usually arise due to inadequate elastin production. This results in noticeably inelastic skin. However, they can also come about due to a significant reduction in the rate of collagen production. Another common sign of aging is the development of fat deposits around the eyes.
This typically results in the appearance of puffiness, but it can also cause your eyes to look swollen. When combined with dark circles beneath your eyes, fat deposits can make you look exhausted or on edge regardless of how relaxed and well-rested you are. You may be the perfect candidate for blepharoplasty if you are concerned about upper eyelid wrinkles, lower eyelid bags or general puffiness around the eyes.
To reiterate, we will discuss your expectations in addition to your health and current concerns. This procedure was designed to restore youthful smoothness to the eye area and reduce puffiness. While you will look significantly younger, it will not correct natural asymmetry caused by the underlying structure of your face.
Furthermore, you must be confident you can adhere to all post-op care guidelines. For example, if you can’t stand the idea of focusing on rest for several days, you will not qualify for this procedure. This procedure is extremely safe for individuals who are good candidates, but you need to rest once it is over.
What to Expect
Now that you understand the factors that affect whether you’re a good candidate, you’re probably wondering what to do before and after your treatment and what to expect during the procedure itself. Here’s what you need to know about each step of the process.
Before Blepharoplasty Procedure
If you think blepharoplasty can improve your appearance and quality of life, the first step in the process is coming in for an initial consultation. As noted above, we will talk about your overall health, cosmetic and medical concerns related to the eye area and expectations. We may also administer tests to ensure you’re a good fit for this procedure. If we determine you are a good candidate for this procedure, we will advise you on how to prepare.
Keep in mind, the best possible outcome can be expected if you are healthy. Before your procedure, you should drink alcohol in moderation, refrain from smoking, exercise regularly and make healthy food and beverage choices. You should also make sure you have all of your post-op prescriptions prepared before you come in for your procedure. You should also prepare anything else you may need during your recovery, like healthy meals and relaxing entertainment that is easy on your eyes.
During Blepharoplasty Procedure
When you come in for your procedure, we will prepare your skin for the procedure and anesthetize you. Then, tiny incisions will be made in your eyelid area. Through these incisions, excess skin and fat tissue will be removed. However, you should not expect noticeable scars after your procedures. These tiny incisions are hidden within your eyelids’ folds. Depending on the scope of your procedure, this process may take between one and three hours.
Note, your vision will not be impaired after your procedure. Additionally, due to the minimally invasive nature of this procedure, it is performed on an outpatient basis. In other words, you are free to go home once your procedure is over.
After Blepharoplasty Procedure
During your initial consultation, we will advise you on how to care for yourself after your procedure. We will review these instructions again once your procedure is complete to ensure you understand them. Applying antibiotic cream to the eye area is the most important thing you can do during the first week following your procedure. This cream is so important because it keeps the area from drying out.
You will also be provided with a fluid that acts like teardrops. If your eyes feel dry, you can use this fluid. However, it is advisable to limit screen time so your eyes are less likely to feel dry. Furthermore, you should try to sleep upright for the first few nights following your procedure. If you can’t fall asleep upright, do your best to ensure your head remains above your heart. Additionally, you may apply a cold compress or ice gently around the eye area.
How Long Your Recovery Will Take
How long your recovery will take depends on the scope of your procedure. If you are receiving corrections for both your upper and lower eyelids, your recovery may take a little longer. Generally, you should expect to take five days off from work if you are receiving upper or lower eyelid correction. You should expect to take roughly 10 days off from work if you are receiving upper and lower eyelid correction.
How to Make Your Recovery Easier
There are a number of things you can do to make your recovery easier in addition to the guidelines we’ve already mentioned. For example, you should clean your eyelids gently during the first few days post-op. Additionally, you should avoid rubbing your eyes. If your eyes are itchy, apply a dose of artificial tears. If you find yourself rubbing your eyes unintentionally, wear gloves so you notice every time you touch your eye area.
Furthermore, you should refrain from smoking until you have finished recovering from your procedure. Additionally, do not wear contact lenses during the first 14 days following your procedure. Other things you should avoid include any drugs or supplements that can thin your blood, such as NSAIDs and supplements containing cranberry extract, ginseng, vitamin E or garlic.
One Final Tip Regarding Your Recovery
We’ve mentioned avoiding too much screen time if your eyes are feeling dry. However, we should clarify that this applies to all screens. Besides not watching too much TV, you should do your best to avoid checking your email on your tablet and think carefully before you scroll through social media on your phone.
Maintaining Your Final Results
You will notice a significant improvement in the appearance of your eye area once your recovery period is over. You will look years younger than you did before your procedure and feel more confident. To ensure these results last as long as possible, protect your eye area by wearing sunglasses and a brimmed hat, applying sunscreen regularly and doing your best to avoid strong winds.
The healthier your lifestyle is, the longer your results will last. That said, the results of the aging process are inevitable, so it’s important to manage your expectations. If you receive this procedure to correct the appearance of your lower eyelids, you will probably never need a follow-up procedure. If you receive this procedure to improve upon your upper eyelids, you may need a maintenance procedure every five to seven years.
Restore Your Aesthetic and Quality of Life Today
Blepharoplasty is a minimally invasive procedure that can improve your vision and quality of life by lifting your upper eyelids. It can also be used to eliminate bags and dark circles beneath your eyes and correct an overall appearance of puffiness. While most people who are concerned about the appearance of their upper eyelids are considered good candidates, it is important to understand we will take into account the condition of your eyelids, overall health and expectations.
Contact our experts at Kagan Institute in Los Angeles, CA today to book an initial consultation and find out if you qualify for this procedure. Also, let us know when you book your appointment if our Encino, CA office is more convenient for you. We look forward to meeting you soon and helping you restore your aesthetic and quality of life.