The idea incorporates new thinking about how plastic surgeons approach lower eyelid surgery today into a procedure we perform in our practice in New York called a mid facelift. For the right patient, the result is a refreshed, rejuvenated appearance from the eyes to the mouth.
Many men and women in their 40’s and 50’s complain of bags under the eyes, along with hollows and fine wrinkles. The traditional approach to lower eyelid surgery, also called blepharoplasty, has been to remove the fat deposits that cause the eyelid bags and to eliminate small amounts of droopy skin.
New ideas about the role of fat are changing facial cosmetic surgery strategy, including eyelid surgery. Most plastic surgeons recognize that, for the most part, facial fat is a good thing. Youthful faces appear soft and rounded, while sharp angles and hollows are the hallmarks of an aged appearance.
For this reason, when patients consult us about ways to combat early signs of aging, we may recommend a mid facelift including blepharoplasty for the lower lids. We perform the procedure via tiny incisions along the lower lash line that extend to the outer corner of the eye and slightly downward. The tiny scars that result are well hidden in a small squint line.
We usually handle wayward fat deposits by repositioning rather than removing them. This often means moving fat to fill a line that has formed between the lower eyelid and cheek, covering and enhancing the cheekbones. We then turn our attention to elevating saggy skin to cover the repositioned fat, essentially “sandwiching” it between the skin and deeper facial structures while smoothing fine wrinkles.
Benefits of the procedure include a brighter, more alert look for the eyes, more youthful cheek contours and smoother skin around the mouth. In fact, the action of gently pulling facial skin upward—instead of outward as in a more traditional facelift—can rejuvenate the appearance with a more natural look for many people. There’s no need to worry about an overly tight or even cat-like appearance.
The lower eyelid surgery/mid facelift procedure comes with other advantages as well. Recovery is generally pretty easy, with most patients experiencing little discomfort. Bruising and swelling are usually minimal and last just several days. And the procedure costs less than a traditional facelift.
When considering eyelid surgery—in fact, any procedure involving the eye area—the most important thing a prospective patient can do to ensure a good outcome is to seek a plastic surgeon with excellent credentials and a great deal of experience with blepharoplasty and related procedures. This area of the face is extremely delicate and the potential for complications does exist. A qualified surgeon will have hundreds or even thousands of eyelid and facial procedures to his or her credit, as well as the satisfied patients to prove it.