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Who Is a Good Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?

Dr. Derek Ford explains what makes a good candidate at his plastic surgeon practice in Toronto.

One of the most common questions I see on communities such as RealSelf.com is people wanting to know whether they are good candidates for the plastic surgery treatments they’re considering. This goes for many treatments, but one of the most popular is eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty. I get inquiries from people in Toronto and beyond, who often share photos and ask about their candidacy before requesting a consultation.

Eyelid surgery removes extra tissue above or below the eyes — or both — revealing a more rejuvenated, rested appearance, among other lesser-known benefits, as I discussed in a previous blog post.

Some patients may benefit more from a facelift, brow lift, blepharoplasty, or some combination of those, so how can you tell? There are a few things to look out for before you head in for a consultation with a plastic surgeon.

Extra Skin or Bags Around the Eyes

The purpose of eyelid surgery is to remove drooping tissue or excess fat from the upper eyelids, “bags” underneath the eyes, or both. If you have any of these concerns, you may be a candidate.

Sometimes, patients come into my office knowing they want their faces to look younger and thinking that a facelift is the natural solution. A facelift actually addresses the lower portion of the face, including the cheeks, jawline, and neck. People with signs of aging on the upper portion are often better candidates for eyelid surgery or possibly a brow lift. These treatments may also be combined to complement each other for lasting, natural-looking results.

Realistic Expectations

This is one of the most important features I look for in my patients. I am a plastic surgeon with extensive experience specializing in facelift and eyelid surgery, but I cannot make you look like your favorite actress or turn back time to help you look like you did 20 years ago. I can, however, create a refreshed, rejuvenated result that makes you look rested and a few years younger. You can see the results of some of my eyelid surgery patients in my before-and-after gallery, including this exciting example, below. This patient had lower eyelid surgery to treat the drooping bags beneath her eyes.

See before-and-after photos of real eyelid surgery patients at Ford Plastic Surgery in Toronto.

Good General Health

To ensure a safe surgery, speedy recovery, and satisfactory results, it is critical that patients maintain a healthy lifestyle. Existing medical conditions, from allergies to high blood pressure, should be discussed between patients and surgeons before plastic surgery. This open communication will help to ensure the patient is given proper care and the best results possible.

Additionally, patients should not smoke. As a doctor, I advocate a tobacco-free lifestyle to all of my patients, but this is especially important before and after undergoing surgery. Smoking can have a detrimental effect on the healing process, making it slower and causing complications.

No Eye Health Problems

In addition to having good general health, patients should also be free of eye health problems. Infections, scratches, or other eye issues can cause problems during both the operation and the healing process. All eye problems should be treated before undergoing blepharoplasty.

Ability to Take Some Time Off

Eyelid surgery, as with most forms of surgery, requires patients to rest for at least a few days afterward. This downtime is essential to the healing process as the body works to close incisions and adjust to the changes that have been made. With eyelid surgery, this is especially important. For the first few days after eyelid surgery, patients may experience swelling that slightly impair their line of vision. This may make it difficult to see clearly and perform everyday activities such as driving. Plus, you’ll experience redness and bruising, so patients may want to avoid going out in public. Taking time to rest after surgery in the comfort of your home or a hotel is always a good idea.

While this list of characteristics is not a strict set of rules, it may be used as a helpful reference for people considering eyelid surgery. If you’re interested in learning more about the procedure, I invite you to contact us for a consultation so I can evaluate you and make a recommendation.

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Derek T. Ford, MD, FRCSC