Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty
Excess skin and tissue of the upper eyelid is probably the earliest and most common sign of facial aging, causing drooping, sagging, and “frown lines” that give us a tired, sad look. Today there are many options for eyelid rejuvenation surgery, or blepharoplasty, to lift and reshape your upper eyelid area and create a younger, well-rested look.
Choosing the Best Option for You
At your initial consultation, Dr. Parker will help you determine the best option(s) for upper eyelid lift surgery, which will depend on your age, your desired results, and also the condition of the skin, muscle, and fat around your brow and eyelids. An upper eyelid lift can be performed as a single procedure or in combination with other facial procedures such as facelift, browlift, lower eyelid surgery, or non surgical options.
Upper Eyelid Lift Alone
Prior to surgery, with the patient sitting upright, Dr. Parker will draw an elliptical incision for skin removal on the patient’s upper eyelids. The lower incision is placed in the upper eyelid crease, called the “supra tarsal fold.” The upper incision is carefully placed to remove the excess skin, yet allow eyelid closure after surgery. Dr. Parker will review the operative plan in detail with you using a hand-held mirror.
Dr. Parker will then remove the excess skin, fat and a small amount of underlying muscle to help sculpt a cleaner, crisper, and more youthful upper eyelid. Finally, Dr. Parker will close the incision with very fine sutures. The incision almost always heals as a thin, inconspicuous scar hidden in the supra tarsal fold. The blepharolplasty alone takes about 45 minutes to perform.
Corrugator Muscle Removal with Upper Lid Blepharoplasty
During your initial consultation, Dr. Parker will discuss the option of removing your corrugator muscles during your upper lid blepharoplasty procedure. These are paired muscles located at the inner aspect of your eyebrows. They are directly responsible for causing frowning and wrinkling in between your eyebrows, and they also contribute to the horizontal wrinkles that occur in your forehead. BOTOX® or Dysport® are commonly injected into these muscles and are very effective in softening these wrinkles for three to six months.
During an upper lid surgery, Dr. Parker can remove these muscles through the same incisions. This procedure adds approximately 30 minutes to the blepharoplasty procedure and very little additional time to the recovery afterwards. The removal of the corrugator muscles should provide long-term correction of frowning as well as softening of the forehead wrinkles.
Lateral Browpexy with Upper Lid Blepharoplasty
During your initial consultation for blepharoplasty surgery, Dr. Parker will comprehensively evaluate your face, including the position of your eyebrows and their relationship to your upper eyelids. One of the goals of forehead rejuvenation is to reposition or reshape the eyebrows into a more youthful position or desired shape. This is discussed in greater detail on our brow lift page. Options for repositioning and reshaping the eyebrows include brow lift procedures performed through scalp incisions as well as a lesser procedure performed through the upper lid blepharoplasty incisions called “lateral browpexy.”
Lateral browpexy can be performed during upper lid blepharoplasty through the same incisions. Using this approach, Dr. Parker can moderately elevate the outer aspect of your eyebrows by suspending them internally with sutures. Doing this adds approximately 30 minutes to your upper lid blepharoplasty procedure and very little additional time to recovery. Lateral browpexy should provide long-term mild elevation of the outer aspect of your eyebrows, as shown by the patient above.
Surgery & Recovery
An upper lid blepharoplasty alone takes approximately 45 minutes to perform, using local anesthesia, alone or with intravenous sedation, to keep you comfortable. You will briefly be monitored in our recovery room, and then discharged home. If Dr. Parker performs another facial procedure at the same time, the time for surgery and method of recovery might be somewhat different. Dr. Parker will fully explain the details of your procedure(s) at your consultation.
Following surgery, there is little postoperative pain. The eyes are not bandaged. Sutures are removed within five to six days. Swelling and discoloration subside within 10 to 14 days. Camouflage make-up may be applied after one week. Patients may return to normal activities in seven to ten days and exercise in two weeks.
Our Signature Rapid Recovery Program
Most of our patients lead active lives and are anxious to return to their activities as soon as possible after surgery. With that in mind, we have tailored our surgical procedures, anesthesia, and medications, and we have developed a unique Rapid Recovery peri-operative program to accelerate our patients’ recuperation after surgery. During both your consultation with Dr. Parker and in your pre-op education visit with our Nurse Educator, we will discuss your anticipated recovery in detail.