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When Is it Safe To Have An Eyelid Lift?

Posted:9:14 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, 2013

By Anita Mandal, M.D.
Question: I am 72 years old and was told I should not have eyelid surgery due to my poor eyelid tone? Can you explain the reason as my surgeon never took the time to?

Answer: Blepharoplasty, also known as an eyelid lift is performed to remove excess skin, fat and/or muscle from the upper eyelids lids, lower lids or both. In some patients who are at higher risk, blepharoplasty can be performed in a more conservative manner, enabling both satisfactory rejuvenation as well as minimal risk.

Because there are certain instances under which having eyelid surgery increases risk, it is important that your surgeon is skilled in identifying the risk criterion prior to surgery. Your surgeon can then either modify the procedure to make it safe or, in higher risk cases, advise not do it all. Of course, as part of being a realistic patient, it is important to understand that all surgery comes with some risk, however small.

Situations that may alert the surgeon to higher than usual risk include:

  • A bulging or prominent eyeball
  • Very flat or recessed cheekbones
  • Poor lower eyelid skin/tissue tone
  • Dry eye syndrome or similar symptoms
  • Certain thyroid conditions
  • Excessive show of the white part of the eyeball

While the above list highlights some of the important reasons why a surgeon may advise against eyelid surgery, In milder cases, eyelid surgery can be performed safely by modifying the procedure. When it comes to choosing a Facial Plastic Surgeon, experience and sound judgment in knowing when and when not to perform surgery can be as crucial as technical expertise.

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