Eyelid Surgery Explained

According to Sydney cosmetic plastic surgeon Dr Darryl Hodgkinson, there is a common reservation in patients seeking cosmetic eyelid surgery to redress the effects of ageing: not wanting to look overoperated on.

This is the result of many patients having had too much skin removed, leaving them with a too-tight, surprised look, explains Dr Hodgkinson. ‘Most patients just want the extra skin that is hanging down over their lids to be trimmed,’ he says. ‘This is an outpatient surgical procedure, which requires careful assessment as to how much remaining skin should there be.’

The surgeon’s assessment of the amount of skin to be removed from the eyelid determines the final aesthetic outcome of the procedure, so it is important to engage a surgeon experienced in eyelid surgery or Blepharoplasty. In Dr Hodgkinson’s opinion, conservative upper eyelid blepharoplasty will result in a more natural-looking lid, rather than the stretched look resulting from the removal of too much skin.

The incisions for upper eyelid blephoraplasty are placed right in the original supratarsal fold just above the eyelashes, so they are virtually invisible after surgery. ‘Patients can apply makeup about five days after the operation when the stitches are removed,’ says Dr Hodgkinson.

Removing excess hooding can also improve the vision. According to Dr Hodgkinson, patients who have eyelid skin that is touching the eye lashes may have about a 15 percent area reduction in their visual fields. ‘Blepharoplasty can improve the vision,’ he says, ‘allowing more peripheral vision when the eyelid surgery is completed.

‘Another common symptom of ageing around the eye is protruding fat that creates bags. ‘In this case, we can remove or replace the fat so that patients’ extra baggage does not give them the drowsy or hung-over look,’ says Dr Hodgkinson. Best suited to the over-50 age group, eyelid surgery has the enduring benefit of very rarely needing to be repeated.

Removal of bulging fat and wrinkles from around the eyelids enhances facial appearance by removing the tired and ‘worn-out’ look. Droopy eyelids are caused by excessive skin. By surgically reducing this droop, vision can be enhanced by opening up the lateral visual field. The best candidates are men and women aged from 40 to 60.

Asian patients seek blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) for a different reason. One third of them do not have an upper lid fold. The surgical technique of ‘double eyelid operation’ produces a fold, which is regarded as more attractive in the Asian population. This fold, however, is lower than in their Caucasian counterparts. Traditional surgery and lasers are used to excise the skin and fat. When appropriately placed, by either technique, the incisions are imperceptible.

Before and After Blepharoplasty by Dr Hodgkinson

The patient can expect their new eyelids to be bruised for seven to 10 days, so time off work for a week is usually necessary. Their eyes may feel more dry than usual for several weeks, so lubricating drops might be needed.

Sometimes eyelid surgery is combined with other procedures including facelift, browlift and skin resurfacing.

An experienced surgeon can judge whether blepharoplasty alone or in combination with other procedures will meet the patient’s expectations.

Often blepharoplasty is the first cosmetic procedure to be sought after by a patient and hence apprehension needs to be overcome. Fortunately, as previously stated, in a healthy non-smoker, risks such as bleeding and infection are most uncommon.

Dr Darryl Hodgkinson

About Dr Darryl Hodgkinson

Dr. Darryl J. Hodgkinson is recognized world-wide as an expert in cosmetic plastic surgery with more than thirty years of experience in both cosmetic and plastic/reconstructive surgery.

Dr. Hodgkinson did his plastic surgical training at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in the United States and is amongst an elite group of a very few surgeons to hold two degrees in plastic surgery from American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons and the Royal College of Surgeons, Canada.

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