Dr. Terry Perkins, a Santa Barbara cosmetic surgeon, answers your questions and addresses your concerns about body shaping through liposuction, facial rejuvenation including face lifts and non-surgical procedures such as wrinkle reduction through BOTOX Cosmetic or Dysport. Email your cosmetic surgery questions to Dr. Perkins and look for his reply soon!
Q. Hi Dr. Perkins. I am a 65 year old woman who has never had plastic surgery. I am very interested in an eye lift
to make my face look more “refreshed” and would like to know more about the procedure and the anesthesia part of it.
A. Eyelid surgery
– medically known as blepharoplasty
– can significantly rejuvenate your appearance. Sagging skin above the eye or fat bulges (“bags”) under the eye can make one look tired or unhappy. To treat the fat bulges beneath the eye we usually make incisions in one of two locations: inside the eyelid or just below the lashes so the incision hides in the normal creases. Fat is removed and heavy muscle can be “thinned”. The fat can be transplanted into “hollows” or to the lid to be tightened.
For the upper eye, there are several options – and the first thing we do is determine if it is the brow or the eye that is sagging. Examining your brow in relation to your brow bone can help to determine if you will need an eye lift or brow lift. Upper eyelid lifts may involve removal of excess skin, muscle or fat bulges near the nose. However one must consider whether the problem is confined to the eyelid or if the forehead tissue is sagging and causing the false appearance of excess upper lid skin. By raising the brow to its normal position, one can see if the issue is primarily the upper eyelid, forehead relaxation or both.
Moving on to address your question about anesthesia – we can often do the surgeries discussed above using local sedation, which is a combination of local anesthesia and oral sedation. In my thirty years of practice, I have found using local sedation instead of general anesthesia makes a much easier recovery for the patient immediately after surgery and in the days following they tend to use less post-operative medication.
The down time for eyelid surgery is usually about one week.
I treat each patient on an individualized basis and will be able to know what option is best for you after discussing your concerns and an examination. Please call my office if you’d like to schedule an appointment
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