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The eyes, commonly referred to as “the window to the soul,” are one of the most important aspects of your appearance, and one of the first areas to show signs of aging. This can even occur early in life. If there are bags and puffiness in the area underneath the eye, you may appear older and as though you need a good night’s sleep, even if you have just had one. Conversely, when your eyes are more open and have no puffiness, you will probably seem more rested and youthful even after a night on the town.

Lower lid blepharoplasty (blef-er-o-plasty) is a procedure performed to improve the appearance of the lower eyelids, which is the anatomic area that extends from the lower lid eyelashes to the bony rim of the eye socket. Lower lid blepharoplasty is one of the least traumatic procedures for someone to undergo, but one that can create a most dramatic effect.

About the Procedure

Lower lid blepharoplasty can be performed under general anesthesia or twilight anesthesia. The choice of anesthesia depends on multiple factors -including whether other procedures will be performed at the same time, the age and health of the individual, and the patient’s preference.

There are two different surgical approaches to remove the fat. The more common technique utilizes an inconspicuous incision that runs just beneath the lash line. An alternative is to enter the fat pockets through an incision made in the inner lining of the lower eyelid. If excess skin needs to be removed, this can only be accomplished through an external approach. The procedure is long lasting and usually never has to be repeated.

Recovery and Healing

The skin of the eyelids is very thin and even slight bruising is clearly evident, though it can be covered by makeup. Healing is very rapid, so much so that sutures are removed in five to seven days to prevent over-healing and the formation of little bumps called melia. Your doctor will instruct you to keep your head elevated for several days, and to use cold compresses to reduce swelling. Many physicians also prescribe eye drops as a precautionary measure to help with possible dryness. This may occur and be present until the eyelid’s lubricating ability returns to normal.

During the week after surgery, you will be able to assume a light schedule. However, there should be no strenuous activity and no heavy lifting whatsoever. This includes lifting small children! All bending should be at the knees, not at the waist.

Risks

As a rule, discomfort is minimal. A mild pain medication can be taken as needed. As with any surgical procedure, there is always the possibility of infection, or reaction to the anesthesia. Blepharoplasty complications are very rare, but could include a pulling down of the lower lid or visual impairment.