What is eyelid tightening?

A woman with wrinkles around her eyes.

Eyelid tightening is a cosmetic surgical procedure performed by a plastic surgeon to eliminate or reduce drooping or sagging eyelids. The medical term for eyelid tightening is blepharoplasty. Although eyelid tightening is a procedure that reduces eyelid drooping and can be performed on both the upper and lower eyelids, it does not reduce or eliminate the fine wrinkles known as crow’s feet or frown lines.

A candidate for eyelid tightening.

Typically, patients undergoing an eyelid tightening procedure are healthy middle-aged individuals who would like to eliminate sagging or drooping around the eyes. Younger patients with drooping eyelids, which can be a hereditary feature, are also candidates for eyelid narrowing. It is not a procedure that drastically changes a person’s appearance, but it can be done in conjunction with other procedures if more specific results are desired. A consultation with a plastic surgeon is necessary to determine if eyelid tightening is right for any patient.

The procedure is performed under local anesthesia to numb the area around the eye. The incisions are made following the natural creases on the upper eyelid and just below the lash line on the lower eyelids. The skin is then separated from the fatty tissue and excess fat is removed. It may also be necessary to cut some muscles. The excess sagging skin is then trimmed and the incision closed with extremely fine sutures.

After the procedure, patients can expect mild to moderate pain and discomfort, which can be controlled with pain relievers. Dry, itchy, or burning eyes are not an uncommon side effect of eyelid tightness, but intense burning or discomfort could indicate a problem. A qualified plastic surgeon will closely monitor their patient for one to two weeks after an eyelid tightening procedure, and while every surgical procedure carries some risk, the most common risk associated with eyelid tightening is infection.

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Most patients undergoing eyelid squinting are prevented from watching television or reading for two to three days and can return to work or normal activities within seven to ten days. Although everyone has a different cure, complete healing can be expected for most patients within a month. Some eye diseases, such as glaucoma, can affect the risk of eyelid squinting, so a proper pre-appointment with an ophthalmologist may be recommended.

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