Droopy or sagging eyelids and under-eye bags can add years to your appearance, making you look tired and worn out. In moderate to severe cases, your lids may partially block your vision, especially your ability to see out of the corners of your eyes (your peripheral vision). Blepharoplasty (or eyelid surgery) uses special techniques to remove excess tissue around the eyes, improving eye contours so that San Antonio men and women look refreshed, rested, energized and more youthful.
What issues can blepharoplasty correct?
Your eyelids are controlled and supported by an underlying network of muscles and connective tissues, supporting your eyelids can become worn and “tired” as a result of aging, sun exposure, weight fluctuations, hormones and even genetics. Eyelid surgery can be an ideal solution for drooping and sagging that occurs as a result of these factors, correcting issues like:
- excess upper eyelid skin
- baggy skin in the upper or lower eyelids
Eyelid surgery can be performed on the upper lids, the lower lids or both.
How should I prepare for my blepharoplasty procedure?
Before you have eyelid surgery in San Antonio, you’ll meet with Dr. Baumholtz to discuss your treatment goals and to provide a complete medical history, including any medications or supplements you’re using. You also may need to have an eye exam to check for issues like dry eyes that could influence your recovery and healing. If you have photos of yourself that show your eyelids at a younger age, you should bring those as well. Dr. Baumholtz will carefully evaluate the eye area, including your upper and lower lids and your brow and forehead areas, to determine the best plan of treatment to help you achieve your goals. He may take photos of your eyes from different angles as well. There are several medical conditions which can impact both the appearance of the eyelids and your response to surgery. Dr. Baumholtz will discuss those with you and may ask you to see both your medical doctor and your eye doctor prior to proceeding with surgery.
Once your treatment plan has been determined, Dr. Baumholtz will provide you with some specific guidelines to follow before your surgery, like quitting smoking for 6 weeks prior to surgery to promote better healing and to stop other medications like aspirin for a 2 weeks before your procedure. Blepharoplasty is an outpatient procedure, which means you’ll be discharged a few hours after your surgery, and you’ll need to arrange for someone to drive you home. Dr. Baumholtz also will discuss your recovery with you prior to your surgery so you know what to expect. You’ll also receive detailed instructions regarding your postop care to minimize both discomfort and the risk of infection.
How is blepharoplasty performed?
On the day of your surgery, you’ll arrive at the surgery center where your vital signs will be taken and you’ll receive medications to help you relax. You’ll meet with Dr. Baumholtz who will walk you through the steps of the procedure and mark your lids to indicate where the incisions will be placed. Then, it’s on to the procedure itself. Depending on your preferences and other factors, blepharoplasty can be performed using general anesthesia delivered through an IV in your arm or using local anesthesia to numb your lids, combined with sedation to help you relax. For upper eyelid surgery, Dr. Baumholtz will make the incision in the eyelid crease where any tiny scar will be hidden from view. For lower eyelid surgery, there are two possible incision locations:
- just below the lash line for patients with excess skin that needs to be removed
- just inside the lower lid when fatty deposits are being removed to eliminate under-eye bags and puffiness (this approach is also called a transconjunctival incision)
Once the incisions are made, Dr. Baumholtz will carefully remove excess tissue, sometimes redistributing fatty tissue under the eyes to reduce puffiness while “smoothing out” the area. If you have dry eyes, Dr. Baumholtz may remove less tissue to avoid exposing too much of your eye which could increase your dry eye symptoms. Other techniques may be used to correct muscle laxity and other specific issues based on your anatomy, eye health and treatment goals. Finally, the incisions will be closed using tiny sutures and you’ll be moved to a special recovery area. Dr. Baumholtz may apply an ointment or drops to your lids or eyes that can make your vision blurry for a short period of time. Most eyelid surgeries take from one to two hours.
What will my recovery be like?
Immediately after your surgery, you’ll have some mild swelling and soreness around your eyes, and the incisions will appear red. Many patients experience sensitivity to light, mild double vision, and tearing right after their blepharoplasty procedures. You’ll also have some bruising around your eyes that can last for a week or two. Applying cold compresses or ice packs regularly and keeping your head elevated as much as possible can help reduce swelling and discomfort while promoting healing in the area. You may be given some ointment to apply to the lids to lubricate the incisions as well as lubricating eye drops. Non-dissolvable stitches typically are removed about 7 days after your surgery. During the first couple of weeks after your surgery, you should sleep with your head elevated to minimize swelling in the area. You’ll also need to avoid strenuous activities like heavy lifting, aerobics and jogging, and limit bending and other activities that increase the pressure in your head and face.
Some people find their eyes tired easily for several weeks following surgery, and it’s important to avoid activities that can cause eyes to become dry, including prolonged periods of reading, watching TV or computer use. You should also avoid wearing contacts or using eye makeup for two to four weeks after your surgery to avoid irritating your eyes. Wearing sunglasses during this period is also a good idea to prevent irritation from bright sunlight, wind and dry air. While it’s very important to avoid rubbing your eyes while they’re healing, you may be asked to perform very light massage on the lids to promote circulation and healing. Special tape placed under the eyes following surgery can also help in healing. Smoking can interfere with healing (in addition to making you squint), so you should avoid the habit until after your recovery is complete.
When will I see results?
Your results will become visible as soon as swelling and puffiness resolve, usually within a couple of weeks after your surgery. The incisions typically take a few months to fade, and it’s very important to shield your eyes from the sun during these weeks and months to enable scars to fade more quickly and completely. Blepharoplasty results are long-lasting and most people only need to have the surgery performed once during their lifetimes. As the effects of aging continue, you may need a browlift to address forehead sagging, which can cause your eyes to appear less wide-open. Many patients opt to have a browlift completed at the same time as blepharoplasty to enhance their results and avoid the need for brow surgery in the future. Blepharoplasty can also be performed in conjunction with a facelift to achieve overall effects that can help you look and feel younger and refreshed.
Scars are an inevitable part of having surgery. However – eyelid scars tend to heal well and are often hard to see after healing is complete (typically 1-2 years for the scar maturation). As a top-ranked fellowship-trained plastic surgeon in San Antonio, Dr. Baumholtz is skilled in surgical techniques designed to minimize scarring, including optimal placement of incisions. In addition, the sutures he uses are very tiny and carefully placed to encourage complete healing in the delicate lid tissues.
The most common risks include lid malposition and asymmetry between the lids. Dr. Baumholtz takes great care to achieve symmetry, but some mild asymmetry may occur as a result of anatomical differences and underlying structural features as well as factors that affect healing. Once healing is complete, any symmetry concerns can be addressed. A few patients may be unhappy with their scars.
Please contact our office to find out prices associated with blepharoplasty.
Whether used as a standalone procedure or in combination with a facelift or browlift, having eyelid surgery in San Antonio can be a great option for people who have:
- excess upper eyelid skin that covers the lid’s natural folds, droops over the eyelashes or interferes with normal vision
- puffy “bags” on the upper or lower eyelids
- droopy lower lids that expose the white portions of the eyes below the iris
- deep grooves under the eyes
- crepey under-eye wrinkles
- good general health, including good eye health
- a positive attitude and realistic expectations about what the surgery can achieve
Learn more about eyelid surgery in San Antonio.
The best way to decide if eyelid surgery is the best choice for your treatment goals is to schedule an evaluation at our San Antonio practice to learn more about the procedure as well as other options that can help you look and feel your best. To schedule your consultation and evaluation with Dr. Baumholtz, call the office at 210-880-3708 today.
To learn more about the Baumholtz Plastic Surgery treatments and procedures performed by Board Certified Plastic Surgeon and Reconstructive Surgeon, Dr. Michael Baumholtz please contact us.
Dr. Baumholtz receives patients from San Antonio, Shavano Park, Texas and surrounding areas.