What Is Double Eyelid Surgery
Double Eyelids are one of those parts of your anatomy that you never really notice until it starts bothering you. They do serve an important function, but they can also cause a lot of problems if left untreated. This is because as we age our eye muscles lose their elasticity which causes folds in the upper lids called blepharochalasis. When this occurs the eyes become puffy making them appear larger than normal causing unsightly dark circles under the eyes.
The double eyelids hide most of what’s going on behind them. It protects them from the suns harmful UV rays, wind damage, dry air, pollution, etc., while at the same time serving to protect us from germs and dust particles when we close our eyes. However, if there is any excess fatty tissue hanging off the eyelids then it may start to show through creating bags under the eyes. Or sometimes these bags get infected by bacteria causing boils underneath the eyes.
To correct this problem, cosmetic surgeons perform a procedure known as double eyelid surgery. In order to understand how this works, first let’s take a look at the structure of the eyelids and where they come together forming the corner of your mouth.
Your eyes have two eyelids; the inner one is called the conjunctiva (meaning “together”) while the outer one is called the palpebrae superioris (“upper eyelid”). These two layers meet at the white part of the eyeball called the cornea. At the corners of your eyes, this meeting creates fold lines forming the eyelashes, the eyelashes themselves, the meibomian glands found in each gland cavity, and the lacrimal sac.
These eyelash-cornea junctions form creases or ridges, depending upon whether the eyelids are relaxed or contracted. Thus, when one closes his or her eyes, the eyelashes move inward toward the corneas. When the lid opens, the lashes lie outward.
There are three muscles that control the movement of the eyelids toward the cornea. The first is the levator palpebrae superioris muscle. The second is the retractor bulbi muscle. And the third is the tarsus muscle.
Next let’s talk about how single eyelids work. The eyelids are composed of several types of tissues. The tarsal plate consists mainly of fibrous connective tissue. The tarsus also contains fibers of skeletal muscle which helps pull down the lower eyelid. The upper eyelid has many more muscles including the medial and lateral rectus, inferior oblique, superior oblique, and frontalis muscles.
When only one eyelid is present, the lower eyelid tends to droop over the lower cornea. If both eyelids are present, however, the lower lid will usually cover less of the cornea.
In addition, the upper eyelid does not touch the eye itself. Instead, the palpebral ligament holds the upper eyelid in place.
Now that we know how the eyelids normally operate, let’s go back to the issue of aging. As we grow older, the natural process of collagen loss begins. Collagen fibers run throughout the body providing strength for the joints, bones, muscles, blood vessels, internal organs, etc. Over a period of time, these collagen fibers begin to break down resulting in wrinkles, sagging, loose skin, thinning hair, wrinkled nails, brittle bone, varicose veins, cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, hearing loss, vision impairment, and other conditions.
As mentioned earlier, among all of the changes that occur to the face during the aging process, two of the most noticeable are the appearance of crow’s feet around the eyes and nasally elongated nasal tip. Both of these effects result from decreasing collagen production and increased breakdown of elastin fibers.
One way to prevent these signs of aging is to use topical anti-aging products such as Retin A and Tazorac. Another method is to use laser resurfacing procedures such as PRP treatment. But for people who want to avoid invasive treatments, there is another option available.
It involves using lasers, radio frequency energy, intense pulsed light sources, chemical peels, dermabrasion, and microderm abrasion to remove the top layer of skin. Afterward, new skin cells are stimulated to multiply causing the skin to rejuvenate and tighten. This type of treatment is designed to treat the entire area of the eyelids, and it gives patients smoother, firmer, younger looking skin.
Although there are numerous benefits associated with having double eyelids, there are some risks involved in getting this done. One risk is postoperative infection. Other risks include bleeding, temporary blindness due to swelling, bruising, scarring, nerve injury, entropion, ectropion, and even permanent blindness if the surgeon accidentally cuts into the retina instead of cutting just beneath the eyelid.
Because of these risks, it is best to consult with your plastic surgeon before undergoing any surgical procedure. He or she should discuss all aspects of the operation and answer questions you might have regarding recovery time, possible side effects, pain management options, etc.
If you’re interested in learning more about double eyelid surgery or would like additional information on this topic, please feel free to contact Dr. Timothy J. Kelleher today. He is conveniently located in New York City at 518 East 31st Street. You can reach him toll free at 1-800-321-2094 or locally at 212-741-2200.
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