With age, drooping of the eyebrows, looseness of the eyelid skin, and bulging fat cause loss of definition of the upper eyelids and bulging of the lower lids. Because the natural position of the brows and fullness of the eyelids varies among individuals, aging changes manifest themselves dramatically in some and much less so in others. The result in affected individuals is a tired, sad, or even angry appearance or an apparent decrease in the size of the eye. In an aesthetically pleasing face, the eyes are open and are the focal point of the face.
What is Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery or eyelid lift surgery) is designed to restore the eyes as the natural focal point of the face by reversing age-associated changes. Before proceeding with blepharoplasty, it is essential to undergo a comprehensive evaluation by a facial plastic surgeon. Many patients present requesting eyelid surgery when in actuality a sagging brow or midface may be the source of their concern. Drs. Thompson and Henstrom will be able to assess what is needed at an initial consultation in Draper and Layton, Utah.
Eyelid Surgery FAQ
An ideal candidate for blepharoplasty (eyelid) surgery is typically age 30 or older with a desire for eye rejuvenation.
It’s important that the patient is in good to excellent health and does not smoke or stops temporarily before and after surgery. It’s also important that the patient doesn’t have serious eye conditions or life-threatening illnesses with healthy facial tissue and muscles.
Dr. Scott Thompson and Dr. Henstrom, both double board-certified facial plastic surgeons in Utah, have extensive experience performing eyelid lift (blepharoplasty) surgery. During your consultation, they will discuss your concerns as well as your goals and motivations for surgery. An exam and review of your current and previous health history will also take place.
They will then examine the structures of your face and eyes and will make recommendations he feels will help you achieve your aesthetic goals. Your surgeon will discuss the procedure(s) he recommends and give information on where incisions will be placed, possible risks and complications, and make any non-surgical recommendations to enhance the overall surgical outcome. These options may include dermal fillers and/or botox.
It is advised that you avoid taking aspirin, ibuprofen products, Vitamin E and certain herbal medications before surgery, as these medications can cause increased bleeding and/or bruising. It is important to discontinue smoking for at least one month prior to surgery to ensure proper healing, if applicable.
A Patient Care Coordinator will then provide you with all the financial details on any procedure discussed at your consultation and give financing options if applicable. They can also help facilitate the next step in the process and/or provide additional resources, such as before and after photos, articles, educational videos, etc.
Upper eyelid surgery is performed under deep sedation if done in the surgical center or can be done under local anesthetic in the office. It depends on your surgeon’s recommendation as well as the patient’s personal level of comfort regarding the location of surgery. Having the procedure done under local anesthetic in the office does significantly reduce total cost as there are no anesthesia & facility charges involved. A lower blepharoplasty or combination (upper & lower) would need to be done in the facility under deep sedation.
With upper eyelid surgery, incisions are hidden in the natural eyelid crease and extend laterally so as to remove excess skin and to prevent an unnatural, “operated” appearance. Lower eyelid incisions are made either along the inner lining of the eye or just below the lower lashes. Excess skin and underlying fat are removed, and the incisions are closed with fine sutures. Early on, incisions are easily camouflaged with makeup and with time fade to the point of imperceptibility in most patients. The benefits of an eye lift include:
- Corrects droopiness, puffiness, and bags
- Eliminates the tired, angry, or sad look
- Restores the eyes as the focal point of the face
- Restores eyelid contour
- Safely and easily combined with other facial plastic surgical procedures
Fat Repositioning with Lower Blepharoplasty Surgery
A traditional lower blepharoplasty typically involves the removal of fat and/or excess skin in the under-eye area. Fat repositioning is not so much a distinct operation as it is a different method of handling the bulging fat under the eye. During surgery, Dr. Thompson or Henstrom surgically distributes a layer of fat over the rim of the orbital bone and advances it into areas of depression or hollowing. By doing so, deep troughs and puffiness are addressed for a well-rested, rejuvenated appearance with no visible scarring.
The approach your surgeon will take for under-eye rejuvenation depends not only on the evaluation of the lower lid but also of the cheek region. When patients have lower lid bulging and a pronounced lid/cheek junction (tear trough), simply removing fat will not correct the aged appearance. In such cases, Dr. Thompson or Henstrom would perform fat repositioning to smooth the under-eye area for a more natural and aesthetic result. If skin also needs to be removed, this can be through the same fine incision under the lower eyelashes. In many cases, he will also recommend lifting the cheek upward simultaneously to meet the lower eyelid and achieve a more youthful lid/cheek junction.
Under correction or over correction are not uncommon so it’s important to see an experienced facial plastic surgeon when it comes to any cosmetic eyelid procedure.
Lower Lid Skin Pinch Procedure
For patients concerned with mild to moderate excess skin and crepe-iness under the eyes, a lower lid skin pinch may be recommended by your surgeon as a stand-alone procedure or in conjunction with blepharoplasty and/or browlift surgery. This procedure is best for patients who need more than Botox to smooth under-eye wrinkles and whose skin resurfacing is not a good option for. Patients are typically younger and do not have excess fat under the eyes (eye-bags).
A lower lid skin pinch is usually done in-office under local anesthesia and takes approximately 45 minutes from start to finish. Valium can be prescribed to take just prior to surgery to help patients feel more comfortable and relaxed. The skin is then “pinched” or elevated below the lower lashes where an incision is made to trim away the excess skin. It is then closed with fine sutures that are removed 3-4 days following surgery. Mild swelling is typical and resides within 3-7 days.
Ice packs are applied immediately following surgery to minimize swelling and bruising. Sleeping with the head of the bed elevated for several days helps as well. Pain is generally minimal with this procedure, and the sutures are removed three to four days following surgery to prevent suture marks. Although most patients feel ready to return to work within one week, bruising often remains into the second week.
Expect to be very happy with your blepharoplasty results and the rejuvenated appearance you will regain. Your eyes will be more open and restored to a more youthful state. Results are completely natural and many patients report that others do not know exactly what is different but compliment them on how rested and energized they appear.
For hollowing under the eyes, there are alternative options available that Dr. Thompson or Henstrom may recommend. Many patients are treated with a dermal filler, such as Restylane, to the under-eye area, also known as the tear troughs. Our injectors use a blunt cannula when injecting the dermal filler which minimizes bruising and swelling. The actual treatment takes approximately 15 minutes, is done in the office with no downtime involved.
Fat injections are another great way to restore lost volume in the under-eye or tear trough area and are a more permanent option. This is where fat from a different area of the patient’s body is injected under the eyes and is often done in conjunction with a lower blepharoplasty. It can be a great treatment in and of itself and Dr. Thompson or Henstrom can treat patients with fat injections in the office under local anesthetic or in a surgical center if the patient is more comfortable under general anesthesia.
Learn more on our tear trough rejuvenation page.
Blepharoplasty Patient Testimonials
“I attended one of his conferences in Salt Lake City. I wanted only the best surgeon to do it. For me, that doctor was Dr. Thompson. He is very professional and has a great bedside manner. I made the appointment for the consult. He answered my many questions, addressed my concerns, and also discussed with me what I wanted and expected from the surgery. Of course, I was a bit nervous, however, I was reassured by not only Dr. Thompson but his staff as well. I can’t adequately tell you how happy I am with the results. Dr. Thompson is very meticulous, honest, and skilled. His methods are state of the art and mostly, he wants his patients to be happy. His staff is knowledgable and supportive. My results have always been natural and not overdone. Thank you, Dr. Thompson and staff! You are the best!” ~ Lyn84501
“Dr. Henstrom, Marcy and staff are fantastic to work with!! I had a brow lift and eyelid surgery. They were very thoughtful and caring, they made my surgery very enjoyable and fun! That is the first time I’ve ever said that about a surgery. They answered any and all concerns I might have about the procedures. They didn’t treat me like “just another patient”. I highly recommend Dr. Henstrom he is a 10 in my book.” ~ RK
Eyelid Surgery on The Younger You with Troy Thompson!!
Eyelid Lift Resource Guide
- Eye Lift Surgery – Utah Blepharoplasty
- Blepharoplasty Salt Lake City
- Salt Lake City Blepharoplasty – What To Expect
- Eyelid Rejuvenation
- Meet Utah’s Top Plastic Surgeon
- Tear Trough Rejuvenation
- Non-Surgical Facial Rejuvenation on The Younger You with Troy Thompson
- Cosmetic Surgery Rises in Popularity
- Best Treatments for Droopy Eyelids, Bags & Dark Circles