We all know how important our eyes are, both aesthetically and physically. They convey emotion, they allow us to see the world around us, and they are the part of the face that we are first drawn to. Looking into someone’s eyes is also how we assess how they are doing; if someone has circles around their eyes or their eyelids appear droopy, we assume they’re tired.
If you are insecure about the appearance or function of your eyes, you know how difficult it can be to feel confident. Whether you are considering eye surgery for aesthetic or functional reasons—or both—choosing a plastic surgeon who is additionally trained in ophthalmology is critical for optimum results. In this post, our new board-certified plastic surgeon and oculoplastic specialist, Dr. Marc Sarcia, explains why beautiful eye surgery results are in the details.
What is oculoplastic surgery?
An oculoplastic surgeon specializes in aesthetic eyelid and eye reconstructive surgeries, including:
- Eyelid lift surgery (blepharoplasty)
- Eye reconstructive surgery (oculoplasty)
- Droopy eyelid (eyelid ptosis) repair
- Ethnic eyelid surgery
- Brow lifts
These surgeries address aesthetic and functional concerns of the eyelids, the bony cavity around the eye (orbit), the tear (lacrimal) system, and even areas of the face that affect the eyes, such as the eyebrows, forehead, and cheeks. In addition to rejuvenating the appearance of the eyes by reducing wrinkles and under-eye bags, oculoplastic surgery is regularly performed to remove skin cancer near or on the eyelids and reconstruct the eyelids following surgery. This requires specialized techniques, such as complex skin closures, grafts, and flaps, to maintain the natural function and appearance of the eyelids.
Why are eyelid surgery results all about the details?
Eyelid surgery can be one of the most rewarding procedures for patients; it’s relatively short, provides dramatic results, and requires minimal recovery time. Even eyelid surgery performed for aesthetic purposes can have functional benefits, such as improving your field of vision and increasing eyelid comfort.
Eyelid surgery requires great skill and attention to detail, so it is critical to choose an experienced oculoplastic surgeon.
That said, just because eyelid procedures can be quick doesn’t mean they are easy to perform. Because eyelid surgery is performed on such a visible and sensitive area, it requires great skill and attention to detail—which is why it’s critical to choose an experienced oculoplastic surgeon.
Things a good eyelid surgeon won’t do
When performing eyelid surgery, a good oculoplastic surgeon will avoid the following:
- Pulling too tightly. Eliminating too much skin and pulling too tightly will result in an unnatural appearance. In extreme cases, this can lead to difficulty closing the eyes and dry eye issues.
- Too much upward tilting at the outer edges of the eye. This is an eyelid-lift giveaway, especially in older patients.
- Placing incisions too high or too low. The eyelids are one of the areas of the body that heals the fastest thanks to their thin skin, and scars are usually very minimal and easy to conceal. However, poorly placed incisions on the eyelids can make scars look misplaced and overly visible, and can be difficult to correct following surgery.
- Lower eyelid retraction. This is a condition in which the lower eyelid is pulled down, exposing more of the lower curve of the eyeball than is natural. It can cause significant eye discomfort and potentially lead to infection. Eyelid retraction can be caused by scarring from sun exposure, trauma, or a thyroid eye disease, but it is also commonly the result of eyelid surgery complications. This further emphasizes the need for a qualified eye surgeon.
Things a good eyelid surgeon will do
A skilled and experienced eyelid plastic surgeon will:
- Consider your whole face. Some surgeons take a cookie-cutter approach to eyelid surgery, giving most patients virtually the same treatment. A more refined, skilled surgeon will consider a patient’s age, facial structure, and ethnicity to create a natural, yet more youthful, appearance of the eyes. After all, no two faces are the same, therefore each requires unique consideration and care.
- Consider your gender. While you may think women’s and men’s eyes are largely the same, there are some classic differences that a surgeon needs to know. This can help men avoid getting a feminized appearance after an eyelid lift.
- Conceal your scars. A good surgeon will conceal the scars from eyelid surgery within the natural folds of your eyelids, or, if a brow lift is performed, in your hairline.
- Prioritize function. All patients want aesthetically-pleasing results from their eyelid surgery, and you shouldn’t have to sacrifice the function of your eyes. Poorly placed BOTOX injections or surgery that overly tightens the eyelids can impact one’s vision. Performed properly, eye surgery should not only enhance your appearance but also improve your field of vision and eye comfort.
Does an oculoplastic surgeon perform non-surgical eye procedures?
Yes, non-surgical eye procedures are often incorporated into surgical procedures to further decrease eye drooping, but they can also be used on their own to increase eye comfort and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and under-eye bags. We recommend adding on the following non-surgical eye treatments to your eye surgery (or having them performed on their own!):
- Skin resurfacing. We offer a variety of skin resurfacing treatments that utilize heat or lasers to target the skin’s deeper layers, stimulating the production of new collagen to tighten skin and reverse the signs of aging. Skin resurfacing treatments can take your eye surgery results to the next level by correcting crepey skin around the eyes. Plus, these treatments are especially effective at reducing sun damage and age spots, helping match your complexion to your newly rejuvenated eyelids.
- BOTOX & dermal fillers. Magnify the results of your eye surgery by refreshing the rest of your face using injectables. BOTOX can eliminate frown lines and dermal fillers, like JUVÉDERM, can add structure and volume to your cheeks and brow. As an added bonus, plumping up your cheeks can reflect more light into your eyes!
Schedule your Houston eyelid plastic surgery consultation
Board-certified plastic surgeon and oculoplastic specialist Dr. Marc Sarcia has over seven years of surgical experience and has performed thousands of cosmetic and reconstructive eye surgery procedures. Schedule a consultation online or by calling (713) 799-2278 to find out how Dr. Sarcia can enhance the appearance and function of your eyes.