April Feature: Dr. Junhee Lee answers your questions about Blepharoplasty and Eyelid Surgery!
Our oculoplastic specialist, Dr. Junhee Lee, sees patients from across the nation that come to him for eyelid help. We asked him to share with us the most common misconceptions and questions about blepharoplasty that he hears on a day to day basis. Surprisingly, they were the same exact questions I hear from patients who want to meet him.
If you read the questions below and know someone who is interested in eyelid surgery or “blepharoplasty,” please forward this info to them and have them call our office for a consultation at our Miami, FL office with our highly talented oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Junhee Lee today 305-598-2020.
(1) “Will upper eyelid blepharoplasty make me look surprised?”
No, blepharoplasty involves removal of skin and fat from the upper eyelids and does not directly raise the eyelid nor change the size of the opening between the eyelids. So if your eyes do not look surprised prior to surgery, they won’t afterwards, either.
When people look surprised after surgery, it is usually because they have had eyebrow lifting surgery. Also called ‘browplasty’, ‘browlift’, or ‘forehead lift’, surgery to raise the eyebrows CAN make you look surprised.
(2) “I don’t want to look like I’ve had plastic surgery. Will upper eyelid blepharoplasty look unnatural or change the character of my face?”
Following properly performed blepharoplasty (either upper or lower eyelid), it is extremely difficult to identify that surgery has been done. In many patients, I cannot see my incisions at all, even with magnification. In some patients, the incision is very slightly visible when the eyes are closed and an observer is very close, but because the incisions are hidden in the eyelid skin crease, they are invisible for all practical purposes. After surgery, most patients tell me that acquaintances compliment them and may notice something different, but cannot identify what has changed. This is how they know their eyes look natural.
(3) “I heard about somebody who had their eyelids done and couldn’t close her eyes afterwards. Could this happen to me?”
While it is possible to remove so much skin from the upper eyelids that they cannot close afterwards, it is actually extremely difficult for a careful surgeon to make this mistake. I have been in practice for 14 years and have performed well over 2000 blepharoplasties; I have encountered only two or three patients who have had too much skin removed from their upper eyelids and this was certainly not done by me. Unfortunately, such patients need skin grafting to release the skin tension.
More commonly, patients will have slept with their eyes partially open for their whole life (this is surprisingly common), but will only notice this after blepharoplasty and blame the surgery. In these patients, I am able to see that they have enough skin for full closure during my exam.
(4) “I’m getting divorced and I want to look twenty again. Can you help me, doctor?”
Patients definitely look better after surgery, but, in my opinion, most do not look younger.
Upper eyelid blepharoplasty can do many wonderful things, including:
- raise droopy skin folds to where they used to be
- make your eyes look prettier or more handsome
- make them look neater, by cleaning up complicated or irregular skin folds
- open up space between the eyelid skin fold and eyelashes for makeup
- make your eyelids feel lighter
- lift heavy skin off your eyelashes
- increase your upper peripheral vision
- decrease strain on your eyebrows and forehead (which must work to pull up excess skin)
Upper Lid Blepharoplasty
Lower eyelid blepharoplasty likewise can do many fantastic things, including:
- flatten bags below the eyes
- make you look less tired,
- take up some excess skin in the lower eyelids
- diminish a sunken canal along the lower bony rim of the eye socket (by decreasing shadow effect from above or by repositioning fat into canal)
(5) “If I wait to get my blepharoplasty, will I decrease the chances that I will need another blepharoplasty in the future?” or “How long do the benefits of blepharoplasty last?”
Upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty are not like a haircut. The skin and fat I remove do not grow back, so you will keep a permanent benefit for the rest of your life. This does not mean, however, that the aging process will stop. The remaining skin will continue to lose elasticity like an old rubber band and will hang more over time. Eyebrows will drop over time, which will also allow the upper eyelid skin folds to droop lower on the eyelids. Cheek descent and sagging of skin will likewise age the lower eyelids. How quickly the aging process will cause bothersome changes in the eyelids depends on the person, but in my experience, typically requires decades. Usually, by the time aging changes significantly impact the results of the blepharoplasty, patients have reached an age where they really do not mind.
There is a second consideration regarding timing of surgery. Because younger patients have better quality skin and tissue, they typically have a prettier result than older patients. No surgery should be undertaken lightly, but it is true that the earlier the surgery is performed, the sooner the patient enjoys the benefits.
For more information, before/after images and patient testimonials, please visit our EYELID SERVICES page on our website where you can click to learn about upper eyelid surgery, lower eyelid surgery, and more eyelid magic that Dr. Lee can provide! For any other questions or for a consultation with Dr. Lee, please call our office today at 305-598-2020!