As we age, each part of the body shows it differently. Around the eyes, common aging signs include hooding of the upper eyelid skin, drooping eyebrows and constant scowl lines between the eyes. New Jersey plastic surgeon, Dr. Paul M. Parker, has a relatively simple solution to the problem.
“When I evaluate a patient’s upper eyelids, I look at the position and shape of their eyebrows as well,” says Dr. Parker. “As we age, our skin loses its tone and elasticity causing the skin of the upper eyelids to become lax. As aging progresses, the degree of laxity worsens and the eyebrows themselves descend. The excess upper eyelid skin over the outer aspect of the eye “hoods” over the corner of the eye, like a falling curtain. The overall effect is a tired, aged appearance.”
For patients in New Jersey, upper eyelid surgery and brow surgery is relatively straightforward. Dr. Parker begins each new patient consultation by handing the patient a mirror and asking them to identify their concerns. Patients bothered by their aging eyelids will often point out the “extra skin” which has developed in the upper lids. He will also discuss with them eyebrow position and shape as well as the vertical wrinkle lines in between the eyebrows.
In order to treat the extra upper eyelid skin, Dr. Parker makes a well-concealed incision in the crease of the eyelid to remove the excess skin. This procedure is called an upper lid blepharoplasty, or eyelidplasty.
At this time, he can use the same incision to take care of the scowl lines that collect between the brows.
“Between the eyebrows are the paired corrugator muscles. They are responsible for the vertical lines that form and leave a person looking angry all the time,” explains Dr. Parker. “Many people have Botox injected into these muscles to relax them and in doing so soften the scowl lines. The results from Botox will only last for 3- 6 months at a time, however.”
To correct these scowl lines, Dr. Parker carefully removes the corrugator muscles through the upper lid blepharoplasty incision. Whether this is performed at the time of the upper eyelid lift or not is determined during the patient’s consultation. While Botox is the least invasive way to correct this issue, Dr. Parker’s technique is minimally invasive and less expensive after adding up the cost of Botox two to three times a year.
In addition to treating the corrugators, Dr. Parker can elevate the outer aspect of the eyebrow, also known as the “tail of the brow” with a browpexy during this same procedure. Using the same upper eyelid blepharoplasty incision, he will insert several sutures underneath the eyebrow and elevate it to a more youthful position, improving the shape of the eyebrow. This form of internal brow fixation is indicated in patients with mild laxity of the eyebrow. For more serious sagging, a formal brow lift, which entails incisions in the scalp, may be necessary.
Many of Dr. Parker’s patients seeking New Jersey eyelid surgery will opt for this limited incision procedure which he has called a transpalpebral brow lift and blepharoplasty. Through one incision, they are able to have the redundant skin removed from their upper eyelids, scowl lines between their eyebrows erased and their eyebrows lifted and shaped in a roughly one-hour procedure.
Not only is the procedure short but the recovery is rapid accompanied by very little pain. “I recently had a male patient who had an upper lid blepharoplasty, removal of the corrugator muscles and a browpexy- ten days later he was enjoying himself at the US Open Tennis Tournament.”
“I think that’s the advantage of these minimally invasive procedures,” he says. “Because the recovery is so quick and the tell-tale signs are virtually nonexistent, patients are more inclined to have these procedures performed at a younger age.”