Lower eyelid surgery, also known as lower eyelid blepharoplasty, is a process by which bags under the eyes are reduced so that the skin is tighter and smoother. During the process of lower eyelid surgery, fat deposits are removed from the bags under the eyes and often loose skin is also tightened. The procedure is usually done for cosmetic purposes, though sometimes deposits of skin are removed because they obstruct the patient’s vision. Often other procedures, such as a face-lift, a brow lift or surgery of the upper eyelids, will be performed in the same session as the lower eyelid procedure.
The process of lower eyelid surgery depends on whether fat or both fat and loose skin needs to be removed. If there is not loose skin, then it is usually only necessary for a small incision in the inner eyelid to be made, through which the fat is removed. Then a suture may be required, though sometimes the incision is small enough to heal without being manually closed. This procedure is typically performed on patients who have bags under the eyes due to genetics.
If excess skin will need to be removed in addition to fat, the surgeon will make an incision along the line of the eyelashes. When there is an adequate opening, the fat is removed and the excess skin is trimmed, as is any excess muscle in the area. Then the surgeon will close up the incision with a series of small sutures.
Before performing lower eyelid surgery, the surgeon typically has a consultation with the patient. The surgeon will get the patient’s medical history and perform an exam to include tear ducts, eyesight, and peripheral vision. It is important to disclose all issues with the eyes, such as pain, dryness, or vision changes during this consultation. Other eye conditions, such as glaucoma and detached retinas should also be discussed.
There are some conditions which increase the risks of lower eyelid surgery and should be discussed with the surgeon prior to the procedure. These include diabetes, high blood pressure, thyroid problems, and cardiovascular disease. Any other general medical problems should also be disclosed so that the surgeon can make an informed decision as to the patient’s eligibility for the procedure. The procedure is typically only performed on adults.
The bags that are reduced in lower eyelid surgery can be caused by age, excessive sun exposure, or heredity. Patients typically undergo the procedure in order to achieve a more alert, youthful look. The procedure only treats the bags, and not wrinkles or dark circles under the eyes.