Eyelid surgery- Is it better than Botox®?

You’ve probably heard of the wrinkle-relaxing injectables Botox®and Dysport®, but have you heard of blepharoplasty?  This facial rejuvenation procedure is a surgery Dr. David Whiteman performs to eliminate the excess skin and puffy fat pads on the upper and/or lower eyelid that contributes to an aged, tired appearance.  Dysport® and Botox® are also designed to rejuvenate the appearance of the skin around the eyes, but there are a few differences that should be explained.

Botox® Cosmetic and Dysport® contain a purified form of Botulinum that temporarily relaxes the muscles that cause wrinkles between (glabellar lines) and around (crow’s feet) the eyes that form with age and repeated facial expressions.  Because the products are injected into the muscle, they are eventually absorbed and eliminated by the body, and must be re-injected every 4-6 months to maintain the facial rejuvenation results.

In addition to the wrinkles that injectables treat, the inelastic skin of mature eyes can begin to droop and cause a “hooded” appearance.   Upper blepharoplasty permanently removes the excess skin and fat pads (if necessary) of the upper eyelid with an incision hidden neatly within the eye’s natural crease.  Many patients assume that they need an upper blepharoplasty when their eyebrows begin to droop and sag. However, as you age, the skin on your forehead begins to stretch, causing wrinkles and even droopy eyebrows. In this instance, a brow lift (forehead lift) can better rejuvenate a more youthful appearance.  Sometimes, this procedure is even combined with blepharoplasty for total eye rejuvenation.

As the skin ages, it also becomes thinner and easier to see the fat pads and dark vessels that appear under the eyes. Lower blepharoplasty utilizes a discrete incision along the inside of the eyelid to remove fat from underneath. In addition to fat pad removal, some patients may also benefit from laser skin resurfacing or removal of excess skin in the area to treat the surface symptoms of aging.  If necessary, both blepharoplasty and skin resurfacing/ skin excision can be performed simultaneously.  While the eyes do continue to age after any facial cosmetic surgery procedure, be it surgical or temporary, the signs become much less pronounced by addressing the folded, excess tissue.

In answer to the question, blepharoplasty is a better procedure for excess skin and lax muscles around the eyes.  Botox® and Dysport® are suitable treatments for mild to moderate wrinkling between and around the eyes.  To learn more about the cosmetic facial procedures performed at Southern Plastic Surgery, visit Dr. Whiteman’s website and continue to read his blog.