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Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid Surgery

Upper and lower eyelid surgery is a procedure performed at the Scottsdale, Arizona practice of Dr. Ronald J. Caniglia, to address sagging eyelid skin and muscle, as well as puffiness or excess fat pads, which appear over time. While the surgery can also improve wrinkles of the eyelid skin, additional procedures such as laser resurfacing are sometimes required. A successful outcome requires the skill of an experienced surgeon with an artistic understanding of the eyelid, its shape and position, and its relationship to the eyebrow and forehead. To learn more about eyelid surgery, or to schedule a consultation, contact our Scottsdale practice today.

Candidates for Eyelid Surgery

Aging changes are often visible sooner on the eyelids than on the lower face. It is for this reason that eyelid surgery, technically called blepharoplasty, is typically performed at younger ages, in the 30s and beyond. Once eyelid surgery has been performed, the surgery often does not have to be done again, though that is not to say that it cannot be repeated at a later age if necessary.

It is essential that the eyebrows be evaluated along with the upper eyelids prior to surgery. Some patients may require a forehead or brow lift rather than upper eyelid surgery. Many times, the upper eyelid surgery and the brow lift are performed simultaneously for optimal results.

Eyelid Surgery Procedure

Most eyelid surgeries are performed on an outpatient basis and typically take between thirty to forty minutes for upper eyelid surgery and about one hour for combined upper and lower eyelid surgery.

Dr. Caniglia performs all eyelid procedures under local anesthesia with intravenous sedation, also known as deep twilight sleep. This form of anesthesia keeps the patient from feeling any discomfort or remembering anything from surgery, while also allowing them to feel more alert and refreshed after surgery. The upper eyelid procedure is performed as follows:

  • The upper eyelid incision is placed in the natural crease of the upper eyelid.
  • The excess skin is then excised.
  •  A very thin strip of muscle is removed, though younger and heavy-skinned patients will require more muscle excision.
  • There is often an abundance of fat in the middle and inner part of the upper eyelid. If this is the case, these two fat pads are re-contoured to remove the puffiness from the upper eyelid.
  • The incision is then closed with a very fine suture, hidden underneath the skin, and a small piece of brown paper tape is placed on the outside of the incision to minimize any suture marks on the skin.

There are three different surgical approaches to the lower eyelids:

  • Transconjunctival
  • Skin-muscle flap
  • Skin flap only

For those patients with good lid tone, Dr. Caniglia prefers the transconjunctival approach, which goes as follows:

  • A laser is used to make a very precise incision hidden inside the lower eyelid.
  • A stainless steel contact is placed in the eye for protection.
  • The three fat pads in the lower eyelids, which create the puffiness one sees on the outside, are re-contoured to allow the eyelid to lay flat.
  • The lower eyelid is returned to its natural position.
  • The inside incision will close on its own and does not require stitches.
  • If there is excess skin and wrinkling, Dr. Caniglia uses the laser to tighten and smooth the skin. If there are no wrinkles, any excess skin is removed through a tiny incision hidden underneath the eyelashes of the lower eyelid.

In some cases in which the lower eyelid muscle has lost considerable tone, the skin-muscle flap technique is used. This technique is similar to the above but also involves a tightening of the lower eyelid muscle.

Eyelid Surgery Recovery

Eyelid surgery recovery is simple and quick. There is very little to no discomfort the next day. Bruising is minimal, particularly in the lower eyelids with the use of the laser and inside approach. All sutures are removed and patients can return to work in seven days. Dr. Caniglia asks all patients to wait two weeks before resuming heavy strenuous activity or exercise.

Risks of Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery is a safe, effective procedure. Major risks and complications are very rare but can include ectropian (eyelid turning out), hematoma, suture line complications, and blindness. Selecting a qualified and experienced facial plastic surgeon, like Dr. Caniglia, can help minimize risk and better ensure beautiful, successful results.

Learn More about Eyelid Surgery

If you are interested in undergoing eyelid surgery for a brighter, more vibrant facial appearance, Dr. Caniglia is more than happy to help. To learn more about eyelid surgery, or to schedule a consultation, contact our Scottsdale practice today.

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