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Eyelid Procedure: Surgical Vs. Non-Surgical

Eyelid Procedure: Surgical Vs. Non-Surgical

These days, there seems to be a procedure you can have done for any issue under the sun. Sometimes these procedures are purely for aesthetic reasons, but sometimes they can improve upon an issue you may be having.

Eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty is a procedure in which excess skin is removed from the upper and/or lower eyelids reducing that baggy tired look. This procedure is generally performed for aesthetic purposes, but it can also help improve the vision of people with saggy eyelids. The causes of saggy or droopy eyelids vary. Dr. Stephen Mulholland, a board-certified plastic surgeon working in Toronto, says, “Heavy upper eyelids are one of the more common facial complaints that I see as a plastic surgeon.  Droopy upper eyelids project a sense of tiredness, heaviness or sadness.  Often heavy eyelids will be hereditary in nature with some aging changes such as droopiness of the brow and weight loss, weight gain and even allergic reactions.”

The surgical method for the blepharoplasty procedure can be done to the upper eyelid, lower eyelid or both and involves making an incision along the eye. Through these incisions, tissue will be removed. Other small adjustments may be made based on each person’s unique situation. Then the surgeon will use special glues or sutures to reconstruct the eyelids. Depending on whether the procedure is for the upper or lower eyelid, the resulting scar can be hidden accordingly. For the upper eyelid, the incision is usually hidden in the natural folds of the upper eye. For the lower eyelids, the incision is hidden just below the lower lashes.

There are non-surgical methods for helping with the appearance of droopy or saggy eyelids. Dr. Mulholland says, “Non-surgical techniques to improve droopy eyelids include non-surgical elevation of the eyebrow with Botox brow lifting, soft tissue filler injections to elevate the brow, as well as bulk heating radio frequency devices such as the Forma, the Venus Freeze, Exilis, Thermage, or subdermal heating techniques such as the FaceTite or ThermiRF.” He continues, saying, “These techniques all result in the soft tissue elevation of the eyebrow, which lifts some of the droopy tissue off the eyelid.  Other techniques such as fractional CO2 resurfacing of the upper eyelid skin and other tightening devices can improve droopiness of the upper eyelids.”

The non-surgical techniques won’t necessarily be as long lasting or effective as a surgical blepharoplasty. A surgical blepharoplasty is mostly permanent, but the normal aging process of the skin will continue after the procedure. Significant complications from eyelid surgery are uncommon, but keep in mind that all surgical procedures have some degree of risk.

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