As we age, our skin starts to lose elasticity and structure and the underlying muscles weaken, causing the common ageing changes in the face. The eye area is often the first place to see the marks of time, with folds of excess skin appearing on the upper lids and fat bags, lines or deep troughs to form under the eye.
What can a blepharoplasty do?
Eyelid surgery is actually two distinct procedures, tackling ageing concerns on either the upper or lower eyelid, although some patients require a combination procedure.
During an upper blepharoplasty, incisions are made in the fold of the eyelid, and then excess skin and muscle is removed to restore the natural shape, smoothing the skin on the upper lid. During a lower lid blepharoplasty, an incision can either be made just under the lashline or through the inside of the lid, in a procedure called a transconjunctival blepharoplasty.
The aim of a lower lid blepharoplasty is to remove any excess skin as well as strengthening the muscles that support the eye to correct the appearance of eye bags.
What can a blepharoplasty not do?
In terms of treating wrinkles around the eyes, a blepharoplasty can only remove those present in the skin that is being excised. So, any wrinkles that are present within the orbit, or bony structure, of the eye will be tackled, but wrinkles that extend onto the cheek and temple area, commonly called crow’s feet, will not be targeted.
Crow’s feet and the vertical lines that appear between the eyebrows, known medically as glabella lines, are dynamic wrinkles, caused by the action of the muscles. These muscles continually contract and relax as you make facial expressions, such as frowning and smiling, and this results in lines appearing in the overlying skin. These wrinkles respond very well to Botox, which temporarily blocks the signals from the nerves telling the muscles to move. The aim of any experienced practitioner is to soften these lines while ensuring the patient still retains natural movement in the upper third of the face.
If fine wrinkles under the eye are your chief concern, a non-surgical procedure such as a chemical peel or laser resurfacing may be appropriate at this stage.
Often, ageing on the upper lids can be the result of slackening in the brow muscles, causing descent of the brows and folds to appear on the upper lids. A blepharoplasty will not resolve this and often patients require a brow lift that repositions the muscles in the brow, opening up the eye area for a fresher, more rejuvenated appearance.
For a full assessment of your facial ageing concerns, book a consultation with Mr Afshin Yousefpour at either his Sheffield or Brussels cosmetic surgery clinics by calling 0114 266 1133.