As people age, muscles weaken, skin stretches and fat accumulates around the eyes causing the appearance of fatigue and stress. More than 230,000 people a year undergo eyelid lifts to regain a younger, firmer looking eye area. The eyelid lift procedure can be performed on either the lower or upper eyelids or both and can be combined with other facial procedures.
Typically performed under local anesthesia with sedation, or sometimes general anesthesia, eyelid surgery can last between one to two hours. Incisions are made along the crease of the upper eyelid and just below the lashes of the lower eyelid. The skin is separated and underlying fat is repositioned, the muscle trimmed or tightened, and the skin repositioned, trimmed of any excess and stitched closed.
Pockets of fat in the lower eyelid are removed through a small incision inside the lower eyelid. Called transconjunctival blepharoplasty, this technique is usually used on patients without excess skin, who only need fat removal from the lower eyelid.