Lower Eyelid “Bags”- Fat Herniation & Lower Eyelid Cosmetic Surgery
Eyelid bags or lower eyelid bulges may appear as we age. However, despite a common misconception, fat around the eyelids does not increase with age. Instead,a layer of tissue below the skin called the orbital septum acts like a barrier that prevents the orbital fat from protruding forward.As we age this layer becomes lax.Fat that normally would sit behind the eye passively flows forward and appears as lower eyelid bags or bulges. In the past,most plastic surgeons would remove this herniated fat.This fat removal technique often created depressions and hollowed out areas around the eyes that actually made the person look older. Concepts have now changed – Doctor Kopelman was one of the first eyelid specialists to champion the technique of retaining as much of your natural fat as possible to restore your natural eyelid contours. Instead of removing fat pads, as embraced by the majority of plastic surgeons, he restores your natural eyelid contours by redistributing the “bulge” of fat to fill in depressions that surround the eyelids. In essence he utilizes your own fat as a long lasting natural filler to give you a more youthful appearance.
Q: Where are the incisions made to gain access to the lower eyelid fat to reduce eyelid bags?
A: Most incisions are performed on the inside lining of the lower eyelid (the conjunctiva) so that no external scars are seen when treating eyelid bags.
Q: Is it ever necessary to remove skin and muscle from the lower lids to treat eyelid bags?
A: In most cases skin and muscle are not removed when treating eyelid bags. Instead, in his operating room in Ridgewood,N.J., Dr. Kopelman utilizes lasers or chemical peels to “resurface” and tighten the lower eyelid skin without the need to make additional external incisions. Trimming lower eyelid muscle is rarely performed because it may precipitate a downward retraction of the lower eyelid that creates exposure of the eye and an unnatural appearance.
Q: How long does it take to recuperate from cosmetic eyelid surgery when fat redistribution is necessary to reduce eyelid bags?
A: Recovery from traditional lower eyelid cosmetic surgery usually takes 1 to 2 weeks. Some bruising and mild discomfort is expected for the first 24 hours which is well controlled in most cases with Tylenol®. You should expect swelling and bruising to persist for approximately 7 to 10 days. The lower eyelid surgery will not impair your vision except when you instill antibiotic eye drops. You should refrain from vigorous exercise and any straining that could raise your blood pressure. Walking is permitted and encouraged. When fat is re-distributed it may take an additional 2-4 weeks before the swelling subsides. Because incisions are made inside lining of the lower eyelid no sutures have to be removed.The suture material will dissolve.
Q: If the recovery from fat redistribution is longer is it worth it?
A: If your goal is to look rested and more youthful then Dr. Kopelman believes a superior result is well worth the extra downtime but he will tailor your lifestyle and expectations to the techniques that he uses.
Q: What other techniques does Dr. Kopelman employ to diminish lower eyelid wrinkles and reduce eyelid bags?
A: In most cases Dr. Kopelman prefers to use either an erbium -YAG laser or Fraxel® laser. Patients who have active daily schedules and therefore little “down time”are ideal candidates for Fraxel® laser treatments of their lower eyelids. These patients will be treated several times with “lighter”sequential treatment sessions. This will allow faster recovery with minimal down time.Those patients who have deeper wrinkles may require deeper therapy with an erbium laser which requires a longer period of recuperation.Both techniques will result in long lasting improvement.
Interested in reducing your eyelid bags and learning more about the benefits of the latest techniques in lower eyelid cosmetic surgery?
Contact Ms. Anne Lembersky our patient care coordinator @ 201-444-4499 to arrange for an in-depth consultation to discover how a lower eyelid blepharoplasty can rejuvenate the appearance of your lower eyelids.