Should You Get Upper or Lower Eyelid Surgery? By Jaime Perez on July 19, 2014

An older woman with minimal signs of agingAs people grow older, they will inevitably encounter changes to their appearance that may seem premature or unwelcome. Common signs of aging, such as wrinkled or loose skin, can negatively affect how people are viewed or received, leading some to pursue plastic surgery. The eyes can be one feature that play a particularly strong role in one’s overall appearance, as they exude expression even when we don’t intend them to. Eyelid surgery can therefore be an effective way of improving one’s look by combatting the results of aging fat, muscle, and skin around the eyes.

When you visit our Tampa office for eyelid surgery, it is important to consider your goals for surgery. What is it about the eyes that you wish to correct, and where are these problems located? Although the procedure may be similar for upper and lower eyelid surgery, each eyelid must be treated separately. Take a moment to compare and contrast the purposes and processes for upper and lower eyelid surgery.

Why Undergo Upper or Lower Eyelid Surgery?

Signs of aging around the eyes tend to result in similar complaints from patients. These include a fatigued, haggard, angry, or simply elderly appearance, which can be particularly disconcerting for those who do not view themselves in any such regard. With eyelid surgery, the shape and contours of one or both eyelids can be corrected, helping patients revert to their younger look or even improve upon it.

However, each eyelid tends to produce slightly different problems, which should be evaluated prior to deciding on the type of surgery:

  • Upper eyelids can become puffy or heavy from fat deposits, leading to poorer definition and sagging. In many cases, excess skin and fat create an appearance of permanently lowered eyelids. Even when patients purposefully raise their brow to appear more alert, there is little movement in the upper eyelid. In some cases, this tissue can hang over the eye, obstructing vision via a condition called hooding.
  • Lower eyelids can also carry excess skin and fat, although this is primarily seen as “bags” under the eyes and is thus associated with exhaustion or illness. For others, lower eyelids may droop further below the eyes than normal or have folds of skin that result in a wrinkled appearance.

Procedural Differences

Upper and lower eyelid surgery are performed through similar surgical steps, with the primary difference being where the incisions are placed. For upper eyelids, an incision is made along the crease between the eyelid and eyebrow. After initial healing, this allows the scar to be conveniently hidden within the fold. For lower eyelids, an incision can be made just below the eyelashes or, in some cases, on the inside of the eyelid. Each technique has different benefits and can be used to produce varying results, so be sure to speak with your doctor regarding which incision technique is recommended.

When you do undergo eyelid surgery, you can expect the following procedure:

  • General anesthesia or local anesthesia and sedation will be administered to curb any pain during surgery.
  • Incisions will be made in the upper or lower eyelid. If you are having surgery on both eyelids, many patients opt to have the procedures performed together. 
  • Unwanted fat and excess muscle may be removed from the eyelid for a smoother appearance.  
  • Excess skin may also be removed, and remaining skin may be tightened.
  • Small sutures will be used to close the incisions.

Depending on the type of sutures used, they may need to be removed in a few days or they will dissolve naturally over time. Most patients return to work within five to seven days of surgery with little pain or discomfort. After roughly two weeks, you should see a dramatic improvement and can begin to truly benefit from your new appearance with minimal bruises or scarring.

Visit Our Office

If you are considering upper or lower eyelid surgery, a consultation at our office will help you understand the procedure and how it may benefit you. If you would further benefit from an alternative procedure or another treatment option alongside eyelid surgery, Dr. Perez can help you create a personalized treatment plan. Contact us to get started on your revitalized appearance.

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Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa

Dr. Jaime Perez offers state-of-the art-cosmetic procedures utilizing the most high-tech equipment available at Plastic Surgery Center of Tampa. Dr. Perez is a board-certified plastic surgeon who is a member of a number of professional associations including:

  • American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • American Board of Surgery
  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

To schedule a consultation at our Tampa, FL ,office, or to learn more, contact us online or call (813) 877-3739 today.

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