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What’s the difference between upper and lower eyelid surgery?

What’s the difference between upper and lower eyelid surgery?

Charlotte eyelid surgery

As people age, it’s very common to develop concerns about the area around the eyes. Problems like eye bags and drooping eyelids can make someone look older or permanently tired, and can be very difficult to disguise with makeup. It can be frustrating to have friends and family constantly asking why you’re so tired, when you actually slept well and feel great.

In order to address these issues with the eyelids, some patients turn to a surgical procedure known as blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery. There are two different types of eyelid surgery – upper and lower. Even though they sound similar, these are actually two very different procedures, with different goals. 

What’s the difference between upper and lower eyelid surgery? How can you know which one is right for you?

Upper eyelid surgery

Upper eyelid surgery is primarily intended to address sagging or drooping of the upper eyelids. The incision is made along the natural crease at the top of the eyelid. Excess tissue is removed, and the remaining tissue is tightened. After healing, the scar is well-hidden in the natural eyelid crease.

As people age, the skin all over the body starts to lose its structural support, as the levels of collagen and other proteins decline. When this happens in the upper eyelid, the skin of the eyelid begins to sag downward. This creates a “hooded” look, leading to the permanently tired appearance that so many patients are concerned about. With upper eyelid surgery, the excess sagging tissue is removed, leaving behind a smoother, tighter, and more youthful-looking upper eyelid.

Lower eyelid surgery

Lower eyelid surgery is primarily intended to address bags under the eyes. The incision is usually made inside of the lower eyelid. The surgeon repositions the fat pads under the eyes, bringing them back into a more youthful position. Some excess tissue may be removed, although it’s important not to remove too much tissue, because this can create a “hollow” or skeletal appearance around the eyes. After healing, the scar is hidden inside of the eyelid.

There are fat pads located beneath the eyeballs. Aging causes these fat pads to migrate downward, as the tissues that hold them in place begin to sag. This creates the appearance of bags under the eyes, and can also lead to permanent dark circles, due to the shadows caused by the eye bags. Lower eyelid surgery addresses these issues by repositioning the fat pads back into their more youthful positions.

Can you have both upper and lower eyelid surgery?

If you have both drooping upper eyelids and bags under the eyes, it’s possible to perform both upper and lower eyelid surgery at the same time. This allows you to go through just one recovery period, while addressing all of the concerns that you have with the appearance of your eyes.

Surgical technique is very important in getting a good result from eyelid surgery. For example, removing a little too much tissue from the upper eyelids can create an unnatural “surprised” look. This is why it’s important to choose a well-qualified surgeon with experience in performing these procedures.

As a double-boarded plastic surgeon who has gotten great results for thousands of patients, Dr. Miles definitely has both the training and experience necessary to get the great results that you’re looking for. If you’re considering eyelid surgery or are wondering whether it might be a good fit for you, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Miles to get personalized advice. Simply contact our office to get the process started.

Dr. Erik J. Miles
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