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Blepharoplasty or upper eyelid surgery to restore saggy upper eyelids

As we age, our bodies tend to change. Sadly, these changes aren’t usually ones we would like to see. Extra pounds, wrinkles, and loose skin are a few of the unhappy signs of aging. And they can be especially prominent when they occur in the face.

People say that the eyes are the “windows to the soul.” They are where we focus our gaze to let another person know that we are listening and paying attention.

Unfortunately, by the time you reach your late 30s or early 40s, the skin of the eyelids is already beginning to stretch and lose elasticity. This can cause sagging and bags around the eyes which result in a sleepy or droopy appearance. For some, the problem becomes so severe that it begins to impede peripheral vision.

If you’re frustrated by sagging eyelids or bags under your eyes then a surprisingly simple and routine cosmetic eyelid surgery known as “blepharoplasty” might be to solution for you.

(This video contains before and after photos, See our disclaimer)*

“It’s not just vanity, this is starting to become a real issue”

“Of all the places to age on the body, why does it have be the upper eyelid? Right in the middle of the face? And after all this time this is why my eyesight is becoming a problem!?”

Unfortunately, due to the passage of time, some parts of the body can start to march on down, seemingly bound by the forces of gravity. And yet, you can never predict just which area is going to affect you.

You might be experiencing the upper eyelid droop. That unsightly droop that not only ages your face, but can lead to occlusion of the eye which masks your eyesight – making seeing correctly a real issue. Propping your eyelids up is a temporary fix, and is both an irritation and somewhat embarrassing.

Cosmetic eyelid surgery can assist in correcting droop, removing excess fat and skin from the area.

A brief history of blepharoplasty surgery

Eyelid surgery is certainly nothing new. In fact, it’s been around for at least 2,000 years. As early as 25 A.D., the Roman philosopher Aulus Cornelius Celsus detailed a rudimentary blepharoplasty in his tome De re Medica. Though this laid the groundwork, it wasn’t until much later that surgeons were able to refine blepharoplasty into the procedure we recognize today.
Throughout the 19th century, a number of physicians continued to seek techniques for correcting relaxed or aging eyelids. In 1818, the German surgeon Karl Ferdinand von Graefe coined the term “blepharoplasty” to describe eyelid reconstruction. Even so, procedures still had mixed results at best because surgeons still did not understand the structure of the eyelid. It wasn’t until the mid-19th century that the Austrian ophthalmologist Ernst Fuchs recognized that the fascia attachments of the eyelid – the connective tissue that holds together skin, fat, and muscle – needed to be surgically reconstructed in order to perform a true blepharoplasty.

At the turn of the century, the American surgeon Conrad Miller set the stage for the modern blepharoplasty with his book Cosmetic Surgery in the Correction of Facial Imperfection. Many of the incisions that he sketched in his diagrams are still preferred today. This led to major innovations in eyelid surgery. Important improvements included better pre-operative markings, precise and symmetrical incisions, and minimizing post-procedure scarring.

In the 1920s, with the spread of photography, more doctors began using before and after displays to show the efficacy of the technique. Increased popularity drove doctors to dedicate more research to the procedure and between 1924 and the mid-20th century doctors continued to refine techniques for removing orbital fat, re-sectioning of the orbicularis, and fixation for the low eyelid crease.

Recently, the focus has turned to improving recovery times and avoiding complications. Today, the average recovery time for the procedure is a little as a week for those performed under local anesthetics. Complications have been minimized as well with current standard is well over 99 percent without issue.

Check out our before and after gallery

Want to see lots of before and after photos and videos of patients just like you? Click here.*

(This video contains before and after photos, See our disclaimer)*

Is blepharoplasty right for me?

For many people, sagging eyelids can be more than issue of appearance. Quality of life can become seriously affected. Loose skin which hangs over the upper eyelids can limit vision to the point that daily tasks such as driving can become problematic. One patient testified, “My droopy eyelids were driving me crazy, [even] putting on makeup was difficult.” Furthermore, patients can may use other facial muscles in order to compensate – the same patient recalls how keeping her brow muscles tensed caused her to develop permanent creases in her forehead.

Blepharoplasty can have a major positive impact on your life. The procedure can correct a number of deformities or maladies around the eye. For the eyelid, blepharoplasty can correct puffiness and sagging skin in the upper or lower eyelid by removing excess skin or fat deposits. By tightening the affected area, the procedure can also eliminate wrinkles or folds in the eyelids and bags underneath the eyes.

The blepharoplasty procedure

The specifics of the surgery depend on the patient’s needs, but blepharoplasty can be performed on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. In either case, the surgeon will determine what skin, muscle, or fat needs to be removed prior to the surgery.

Precise markings, drawn prior to the surgery, are used to indicate where excess tissue is to be removed. For the upper eyelid surgery, the doctor will create an incision within the natural fold of the eyelid. Working through the incision, the surgeon will remove any excess tissue. In patients with bags or bulges underneath the eyes, it is possible to redistribute the removed fatty tissue to create a smoother and fuller appearance.

For the lower eyelid, an incision is typically created just underneath the lower eyelashes. Through this incision the surgeon is able to cut or re position excess fat and skin, as well as tighten the lower eyelid muscle. For patients who are removing fatty tissue from beneath their eyes a “transconjunctival incision” made inside of the lower eyelid is the preferred technique. This is not good for patients with sagging, as it does not allow the surgeon to remove excess skin.

Once the procedure is complete, the surgeon will close the incisions using miniature sutures or adhesive in order to smooth the areas. The sutures typically dissolve on their own, and are so small that they are often invisible to the eye. In most cases, patients are left with no detectable scar whatsoever.


Upper eyelid surgery has a high satisfaction rate with patients

Patients who have undergone the blepharoplasty procedure report a both physical and psychological benefits. Though the procedure is relatively minor, its effects are anything but. “It never ceases to amaze me how life-changing seemingly small amounts of lid lifting and skin removal can be,” says Dr. Tamara R. Fountain a surgeon and clinical correspondent for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

Those who have undergone the procedure are overwhelmingly positive about their outcomes. In a study published in the journal Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 100 percent of patients rated their blepharoplasty procedure as either “excellent” or “good.” Not one patient classified their procedure as even “average,” “fair,” or “poor.” Additionally, 97 percent of patients of patients reported that they would be willing to undergo the procedure again. Many patients even suggested to procedure to family or friends.

With this type of success, it’s not surprising that eyelid surgery is currently the fourth most popular cosmetic surgery, with over 206,000 performed last year. Furthermore, as the procedure continues to simplify and recovery times improve, more patients are beginning to seek it out. According to the American Academy of Facial and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery (AAFRPS), blepharoplasties were one of the three biggest trends in 2015, with 71 percent of surgeons saying that they had noticed an uptick in patient requests.*

Dr Beldholm's approach to upper eyelid surgery

At Specialist Cosmetic Surgery we focus on working with you to create the results that you desire. We know that no two patients are the alike and that your needs are specific to you. As a result, we take a holistic approach to our work and make sure that you fully understand every aspect of your treatment. This mindset starts with Dr. Bernard Beldholm, as our dedicated specialist surgeon, Dr. Beldholm takes a personal interest in every step of his patients’ treatment.

We understand that blepharoplasty surgery is a big decision. To ensure that all your questions are answered, your first step with us will be your one-on-one consultation with Dr. Beldholm. This provides you with an opportunity to discuss your expectations and create a course of action. After your first consultation, Dr. Beldholm offers unlimited free consultations, both before and after your procedure. It is our aim that you will be fully informed and confident in your decisions with us. By working closely with Dr. Beldholm you will have a thorough understanding of the process from start to finish.

Specialist Cosmetic Surgery offers two options for surgery depending on what works best for you. If you’re your procedure is outpatient, your surgery will performed under local anesthetic in our modern and well-equipped day hospital in Newcastle. For patients whose procedure requires general anesthesia, Dr. Beldholm conducts the surgery at an accredited private Hospital with the option to remain overnight.

No matter which route you choose, Dr. Beldholm’s advanced approach ensures that all patients will have minimal pain and discomfort, well-concealed scarring, quick recovery times, and great results. Patients typically can go home the day of their surgery, and return to non-manual work within one to four weeks.

How do I get started?

If you want more alert looking eyes and improved vision, give Specialist Cosmetic Surgery a call to set up an initial consultation. Our warm approach, expertise, and state-of-the-art equipment and techniques make us a leader in the industry. In depth one-on-one consultations with Dr. Beldholm will enable you to thoroughly understand the options available to you. Working together with us, we can choose a course of action that best suits your needs. Allow us to help you regain the eyes that make you feel confident and comfortable in your skin.

Check out our resources for upper eyelid surgery

Before and after images

Check out before and after images and videos of our patients.

Find out how upper eyelid surgery is done

Want to know how upper eyelid surgery is done? This articles goes through the steps and techniques. Check it out!


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There is no guarantee of specific results and the results can vary from patient to patient. The photos shown have not been altered, other than removing identifiable marks such as tattoos and birthmarks at the request of the patient. If any such alteration has been done then it has been done equally on both before and after photos and there is a notation under the photo stating what alteration has been done.

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AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) disclaimer, required by Australian Law

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.