Drooping upper lids and puffy under-eye bags can make you look older and more tired than you feel, and may even interfere with your vision. If you wish to regain a more youthful and refreshed look, you may want to consider eyelid surgery.
Eyelid surgery, also called an eyelid lift or blepharoplasty, involves the removal of fat, excess skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. While it can add an upper eyelid crease to Asian eyes, it will not erase evidence of your ethnic or racial heritage. Blepharoplasty can be done alone or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a facelift or brow lift.
Several hundred patients come to The Plastic Surgery Clinic in Toronto every year for cosmetic facial procedures, making Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin some of the most experienced cosmetic facial surgeons in Canada. Our main philosophy is to achieve a soft and natural look for all our patients, and to perform the operation as safely as possible. We employ innovative techniques that allow us to provide our plastic surgery Toronto patients with more precise results and quicker recovery times.
If you are an eyelid lift patient considering this type of surgery, please explore the links on the left to learn more. If you have more questions about whether eyelid surgery is for you, please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a complimentary consultation with Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin.
For most of our eyelid surgery patients, the operation takes several hours. A friend or relative will need to come and pick you up, take you home and stay with you for 24 hours.
In a typical procedure, incisions are made in the creases of your upper lids and just below the lashes in the lower lids, possibly extending to the outer corners of your eyes. The plastic surgeons then separates the skin from underlying fatty tissue and muscle, removes excess fat, and often trims sagging skin and muscle. The incisions are then closed with very fine sutures. If you’re having all four eyelids done, your surgeon will probably work on the upper lids first, then the lower ones.
Underlying fat, along with excess skin and muscle, can be removed during the operation.
If you have a pocket of fat beneath your lower eyelids but don’t need to have any skin removed, a transconjunctival blepharoplasty may be performed. In this procedure a tiny incision is made inside the lower eyelid and fat is removed with fine forceps. No skin is removed, and the incision is closed with dissolving sutures, leaving no visible scar. It is usually performed on younger eyelid surgery patients with thicker, more elastic skin.
In some cases an additional procedure may be needed to help you achieve the results you want. An endoscopic brow lift can lift the eyebrow, with minimal incisions, in patients with baggy eyebrows. Laser treatments on the lower eyelid may help reduce wrinkles and crow’s feet. Your surgeon will help you make choose the procedures that will enhance your natural beauty in the best way possible.
Blepharoplasty usually takes one to three hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. If you’re having all four eyelids done, your surgeon will probably work on the upper lids first, then the lower ones. In a typical procedure, incisions are made following the natural lines of your eyelids; in the creases of your upper lids, and just below the lashes in the lower lids. The incisions may extend into the crow’s feet or laugh lines at the outer corners of your eyes. Working through these incisions, the surgeon separates the skin from underlying fatty tissue and muscle, removes excess fat, and often trims sagging skin and muscle. The incisions are then closed with very fine sutures.
In a transconjunctival blepharoplasty, a tiny incision is made inside the lower eyelid and fat is removed with fine forceps. No skin is removed, and the incision is closed with dissolving sutures.
In order to achieve the best possible result, some patients require additional procedures to be performed at the same time as their eyelid surgery. Very wrinkly skin of the eyelids and wrinkles in the crows-feet area may require lasering of the lower eyelid skin. Some patients with very droopy upper eyelids may have a problem with droopy eyebrows. If the droopiness of the upper eyelid is due to sagging of the eyebrow, then a brow lift may be necessary. A brow lift or lasering of the skin may be performed at the same time as an eyelid lift if necessary. Newer techniques, such as endoscopic brow lift, allow this procedure to be performed with minimal incisions.
The best candidates for eyelid surgery are men and women who are physically healthy and psychologically stable. Most of our Mississauga/Toronto eyelid surgery patients are 35 or older, but if droopy, baggy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have eyelid surgery at a younger age.
Medical conditions such as thyroid problems, hypothyroidism, Graves’ disease, high blood pressure or other circulatory disorders, cardiovascular disease or diabetes make blep
haroplasty more risky. If you suffer from a detached retina or glaucoma you should check with your ophthalmologist before you have surgery.
While blepharoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, it may not change your looks to match your ideal. It is important that you carefully deliberate about your expectations and discuss them with your plastic surgeon before undergoing the operation.
Your eyelid surgery can be performed right on site in the state-of-the-art facilities of The Plastic Surgery Clinic. If you prefer, you can choose to have your eye lift at one of the hospitals where our highly skilled plastic surgeons, Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin, enjoy privileges. These include the Mississauga site of the Trillium Health Centre, where Dr. Lista was Past Chief of Plastic Surgery, and the University Health Network, where Dr. Ahmad and Dr. Austin continue to provide their services.
No matter where you choose to have your surgery, there is always a surgeon on call to respond to your concerns. In addition, a board-certified anesthesiologist will administer your local or general anaesthetic, stay with you during the entire operation, and will be there as you wake up.
As eyelid/eye lift surgery is a very individualized procedure, the first thing we do is listen: we listen to your needs; we ask you to describe, and have you bring in photos of, your ideal look.
Your consultation will also involve a physical examination, including an evaluation of your skin, the underlying bone structure of your face and a careful medical history. Dr. Lista, Dr. Ahmad or Dr. Austin will spend as much time as you need to make sure both you and your surgeon know exactly what you want. It may not always be possible to meet all your expectations with surgery, so it crucial that you understand what is a realistic outcome.
Your plastic surgeon will also instruct you on how to prepare for surgery in order to achieve the best result, including guidelines on eating, drinking, and taking certain vitamins and medications. Smokers must plan to suspend smoking for a month before and a month after the surgery. This is because smoking complicates the healing process and can greatly affect recovery.
We follow our blepharoplasty patients’ progress very closely for the first week or two. After surgery your eyelids may feel tight and sore as the anesthesia wears off, but any discomfort can be controlled with the pain medication prescribed. If you feel any severe pain you should call your surgeon immediately.
We will lubricate your eyes with ointment but will not bandage them. You will need to clean your eyes regularly, as they may be gummy for a week or so. We may also recommend eye drops, since your eyelids may feel dry at first and your eyes may burn or itch. For the first few weeks you may also experience watery eyes, sensitivity to light, and temporary changes in your eyesight, such as blurring or double vision.
You will have to keep your head elevated for several days, and use cold compresses to reduce swelling and bruising. Bruising varies from person to person, but typically reaches its peak during the first week, and generally lasts anywhere from two weeks to a month. The stitches will be removed two days to a week after surgery. Once they’re out, the swelling and discoloration around your eyes will gradually subside, and you’ll start to look and feel much better.
You will need to keep your activities to a minimum for a week and to avoid strenuous activities for about three weeks. It’s especially important to avoid activities that raise your blood pressure, including bending, lifting, and rigorous sports. You may also be told to avoid alcohol, since it causes fluid retention.
Most Toronto surgery patients who receive eyelid surgery feel ready to go out in public and back to work, in a week to 10 days. By then, depending on your rate of healing and the surgeon’s instructions, you’ll probably be able to wear makeup to hide any bruising that remains. You may be sensitive to sunlight, wind, and other irritants for several weeks, so you should wear sunglasses and a special sunblock made for eyelids when you go out.
When eyelid surgery is performed by our qualified cosmetic surgeons, complications are infrequent and usually minor.
You can reduce the risk of complications, including infection or a reaction to the anesthesia, by closely following your surgeon’s instructions both before and after surgery.
Minor complications include double or blurred vision for a few days, temporary swelling at the corner of the eyelids, and a slight asymmetry in healing or scarring. In addition, tiny whiteheads, which may appear after your stitches are taken out, can easily be removed by your blepharoplasty surgeon with a very fine needle.
Major complications can include difficulty closing one’s eyes during sleep, a condition which, in rare cases, may be permanent. Another very rare complication called ectropion, a pulling down of the lower lids, may require further surgery.
Most of our blepharoplasty patients look and feel revitalized. While the surgery will not remove all your wrinkles, you will certainly have a more alert and youthful look.
Your scars will eventually fade to a thin, nearly invisible white line, although they may remain slightly pink for six months or more after surgery.
To see more procedure results, visit our photo galleries.
An eyelid lift, though frequently a necessary procedure, is not usually paid for under provincial health plans, OHIP, or corporate group benefit plans. Because costs can vary so much based on many factors we do not publish figures on our website or in brochures, but most people are pleasantly surprised to learn the real cost of an eyelid lift. Consultations at The Plastic Surgery Clinic are free, and during this time you will be able to speak one-on-one with an expert surgeon who will be able to give you an accurate estimate of what your eyelid lift will cost.
To find out more about the cost of an eyelid lift, please contact us by phone or e-mail or by filling out the Request for Information form below.