Lower eyelid blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure designed to reduce the appearance of bags and dark circles under the eyes. This procedure is highly sought-after because bags and dark circles affect many people, making them look tired and aged. Fortunately, lower blepharoplasty can achieve amazing results by refreshing and taking years off a person’s appearance (link to gallery). However, this operation is extremely delicate and must be performed by an experienced surgeon; otherwise, severe complications may ensue.
What causes eyelid scarring and retraction after blepharoplasty?
Eyelid scarring and retraction may occur after lower eyelid surgery to remove bags for two main reasons: excision of too much skin, or eyelid laxity not addressed during the operation. During lower blepharoplasty, if the patient presents excess skin and significant wrinkles, the surgeon may decide to make an incision below the eyelashes to remove the excess of skin. This step is perhaps the most difficult in lower eyelid surgery because of how easily too much skin can be removed. Thus, the rule of thumb for eyelid surgeons is to remove about 50% of the amount that seems necessary. Removing less skin will guarantee that eyelid retraction does not happen (see video).
Another cause of eyelid retraction after blepharoplasty is removing skin without addressing eyelid laxity at the time of the operation. The gravitational pull of the incision will cause eyelids to retract unless the surgeon strengthens the lateral tendon of the eyelids. Therefore, it is important to accompany most lower eyelid blepharoplasties with a canthopexy, a procedure that corrects laxity. Canthopexy tightens the eyelid tendon to the bone on the outer rim of the eye socket, providing firmness. If a patient underwent lower eyelid blepharoplasty without a canthopexy, and it resulted in retraction, a canthopexy may be performed under local anesthesia to try to correct the problem (see video).