Eyelid Surgery Mobile, AL
Cosmetic Surgery to Correct Baggy Eyelids
Eyelid surgery can treat unwanted eye bags that hang over the upper eyelid, or sag below the lower eyelid. Also known as blepharoplasty, this procedure is an excellent way to rejuvenate your eyes and provide a more youthful appearance.
Who’s the Right Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?
According to the most recent statistics released by the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, blepharoplasty was ranked the most commonly performed aesthetic procedure. The procedure is most often performed on patients between ages of 35 and 64, and 15% of eyelid surgery patients are men. They’re bothered by conditions such as:
- Loose skin on upper eyelids
- Bags under lower eyelids
- Tired appearance
Although these are relatively minor imperfections, they can diminish your appearance significantly. To be considered for eyelid surgery, you should be in good health – especially when it comes to your eyes. Dr. Proffitt may advise you to see an eye doctor before surgery. People with dry eye, hypothyroidism, Graves disease and glaucoma are not considered good candidates.
Dr Proffitt frequently employs a laser to perform a transconjunctival lower blepharoplasty. The laser allows a bloodless incision inside the lower eyelid to remove or re-position the fat that causes unsightly bulges. There are no sutures used in this technique minimizing the the risk of scarring from pulling the lower eyelid down.
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Your Eyelid Surgery Consultation in Mobile
To learn more about eyelid surgery, we recommend that you schedule a personal consultation with a board certified plastic surgeon. When you visit Dr. Proffitt in Mobile, he can educate you about the benefits, risks, techniques and expected results of eyelid surgery.
Dr. Proffitt will also evaluate factors like your medical history, surgery goals and eyelid conditions. Using this information, he’ll determine if you’re a suitable candidate for the procedure. A consultation may also include a review of eyelid surgery photos.
How Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) Works
Blepharoplasty is an outpatient surgery. The procedure only takes 1 hour for 2 eyelids or 2 hours for 4 eyelids.
Upper eyelid surgery is designed to address dermatochalasis, a condition of loose skin that can interfere with vision in severe cases. Upper eyelid skin is very thin, so it is prone to stretching over time. When this occurs, you begin to show wrinkles and skin crepiness above the eyes. To remedy this situation, Dr. Proffitt makes careful incisions in the crease of the eyelid. He then removes loose skin and a very small amount of fatty tissue.
Lower eyelid surgery is performed to address eye bags. The goal of this technique is to remove the small fat deposits that have collected below the eyes. To prevent undesirable results – a hollow appearance in particular – after lower eyelid surgery, the doctor must remove only a conservative amount of fat. The incision can be placed within the lower eyelid or just below the lower eyelashes.
When Dr. Proffitt performs lower lid surgery, he prefers to incorporate the use of the Coherent CO2 laser system, which he also employs for laser skin resurfacing. By performing the procedure in this manner, bruising and swelling post-surgery are greatly diminished. Dr. Proffitt also finds that the lower eyelid approach eliminates the risk of visible scarring around the eyes.
In some cases, the doctor may recommend double eyelid surgery to address both upper and lower eyelids. Another technique variation is known as Asian eyelid surgery (or epicanthoplasty) which can make the eyes appear larger.
After Eyelid Surgery in Mobile, AL
Recovery time for blepharoplasty is about ten days. After surgery, Dr. Proffitt will lubricate your eyes and apply a bandage to the treated areas. As the anesthesia wears off, you may feel some tightness and soreness in the eyelids. Medications can be prescribed to help control discomfort. Sutures are removed in 5 days for upper lids, and no sutures are used for lower lid transconjunctival blepharopalsty (inside the lower lid).
Dr. Proffitt will give you specific post-operative instructions, which may include instructions to keep your head elevated, use cold compresses, postpone exercise and wearing of contact lenses, and take prescription medications.
More Information About Blepharoplasty – by Dr. Randy Proffitt
Blepharoplasty is a procedure that I frequently perform as a board certified plastic surgeon. Blepharoplasty just means eyelift and the term is used both for upper as well as lower eyelids. For upper blepharoplasty or surgery on the upper eyelids, usually an incision is made on the outside of the skin where the excess skin and fat is removed at which point the incision is closed with a small suture. The sutures are removed in approximately 5 days.
Who is a good candidate for an upper blepharoplasty?
I tend to see two different groups of patients. Those who are younger, in the 30-40 year old range who have a family predisposition for redundant skin in the upper eyelid, and then those who are older, who have undergone relaxation of the skin and have fullness or in extreme cases, excess skin which hangs down onto the upper eyelids and actually can obstruct some of their vision. For patients with a large amount of redundant skin that obstructs their vision, insurance will often pay for the surgery if they meet a certain percentage of decreased vision. The patient has to have a test called a peripheral field test, which is usually done by an optometrist, and if the obstruction is more than a certain percentage (depending on the criteria set by the insurance company) frequently the insurance will pay for this.
Unfortunately, Medicare and some other insurance will not tell you ahead of time whether or not they going to pay for it, even with a significant decrease in vision. The best we can do is perform the surgery as if it was a cosmetic procedure and then bill Medicare or other insurance after the fact.
An upper blepharoplasty can be done as an “awake” procedure with sedation. It usually takes 30-40 minutes to do. A light layer of antibiotic ointment is applied to the area and usually we do not use any dressings except for some cold, light compresses over the eyes to add soothing sensations and help decrease some of the swelling.
Good candidates for lower eyelid blepharoplasty are people who have redundant or excesses skin or who have baggy and/or tired eyelids. The lower blepharoplasty can be done with a couple of different techniques. One is the traditional technique, which uses an incision just below the lash line and elevates the skin and muscle of the eyelid to remove the excess fat. Frequently those people with eyes that have not only bags but also hollowness under them can be remedied by transposing the fat, instead of completely removing it, so it fills in the hollowness under the eyes. Once the fat is either removed or transposed then the excess skin is removed and the incisions closed with a fine suture. These sutures are taken out at approximately 5 days. The other technique, which is more modern, is to do what is called a transconjunctival lower blepharoplasty. This involves making the incision on the inside of the lower eyelid. The nice thing about this is that it does not violate the eyelid itself and reduces the risk of scarring and pulling of the eyelid down after the surgery. The fat is removed through this incision. No sutures are used. Frequently if there is some crepiness or aged skin, this can be treated with either a laser or chemical peel on the outside of the skin. The chemical peel or laser is used to tighten the loose skin.
Frequently in older patients the eyelid becomes lax with age and needs to be tightened somewhat. It is not uncommon to do a blepharoplasty in the lower eyelid and to tighten the eyelid so it does not pull down with scarring. I like to do this through an incision in the lateral aspect of the upper eyelid. This only adds 5-10 minutes to the procedure and is a nice adjunct and helps to create a youthful appearance to the eyes. After the surgery, strenuous activity should be curtailed for 3 weeks. The patient is, however, able to do normal things around the house for at least a week. This procedure rarely causes pain requiring pain relievers.
The patient can expect to have a more youthful appearance and to appear more rested.
To Schedule Your Eyelid Surgery with Dr. Proffitt
When you’re prepared to discuss eyelid surgery with a board certified plastic surgeon in Mobile, contact our office for a consultation. You can reach our friendly and helpful staff by calling 251-344-0322 or by sending an email with the online form. Our plastic surgery practice is conveniently located at 6317 Piccadilly Square, Mobile, AL 36609.