Overview of Oculoplasty

Oculoplastic surgery is the cosmetic, corrective, and reconstructive surgery of the eye. It manages and repairs problems primarily related to the tissues or structures surrounding the eye, rather than the eyeball itself. These structures include the eyelids, the tear ducts, and the orbit (bony socket surrounding the eye). Ophthalmic plastic surgeons are board-certified ophthalmologists who have completed several years of additional, highly specialized training in plastic surgery.

Cosmetic Eye Surgery

Blepharoplasty, also known as an eyelift, removes excess skin and fat in the upper eyelids and excess fat in the lower lids. The procedure can also be done on just the upper or lower eyelids. It may be accompanied by an eyebrow lift and cheek lift as well.

This procedure is done for cosmetic reasons. Over time, the eyelids become baggy or droopy because the skin stretches and fat pockets become more prominent. This is most commonly a result of aging, but sagging eyelids also run in families. When eyelids droop, it may give the impression of being tired or appearing older.

Eyelid plastic surgery is usually done under local anesthesia in a plastic surgeon's office. The surgeon makes incisions in the natural creases of the upper lid and removes the excess fat and skin. The incisions are closed with fine stitches, and scarring is often completely unnoticeable because the incisions are hidden in the creases.

Lower lid surgery is performed much the same way. Incisions are made on the inner or outer surface of the eyelid, excess fat is removed, and the incisions are sutured. Inner incisions are not visible, and outer incisions are barely visible and fade over time.

Complications of Cosmetic Eye Surgery

Swelling and bruising is common after surgery and normally heals within a few days. Blepharoplasty is sometimes performed in conjunction with facial resurfacing, in which lines around the eyes are removed with a laser or a chemical peel.

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at HealthCommunities.com

Published: 02 Feb 2002

Last Modified: 16 Dec 2014