Eyelid Surgery


The eyes are often the first thing that somebody notices about your face. They are also, unfortunately, one of the first places to show the earliest signs of aging. The skin around the eyes is extremely delicate. So, it’s more prone to environmental damage from sun and pollution. It’s also greatly affected by lifestyle choices such as smoking. A blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the upper lid, the lower lid or both.

Board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Bruce Van Natta loves performing eyelid surgery on his Indianapolis patients. In his opinion, no other facial cosmetic surgery gives you more “bang for your buck” than a blepharoplasty. It can not only eradicate the “heavy”, sagging skin on the upper lids that can make you look perpetually hung over, but it can also improve the under-eye bags, and dark circles that leave you looking exhausted. Even when you’re not.

Eyelid Surgery Consultation

If you are tired of looking tired, then it’s high time to schedule a consultation with Dr. Van Natta to discuss whether or not eyelid surgery can help. During your meeting, he will listen to what is bothering you about your face. He will then perform a physical exam to assess your skin tone and elasticity, muscle laxity and location of fat.

As we age, the fat pad underneath the eyes tends to shift. This happens because the skin and muscles that hold them in place become weak. The result is under eye bags. Men are particularly prone to this condition. Furthermore, while some patients have a genetic predisposition to dark circles under the eyes, shifting fat is also a contributing factor. As the fat pad shifts towards the outer corner of the eye with time, it can create a hallow area or shadow on the inside corner of the eye. On the upper lids, excess skin can pull the brows down, creating wrinkles on the upper lid and an overall heavy, tired look to your face.

In some patients, aging in the upper and lower lid can be addressed non-surgically with strategically placed filler or fat grafting to the face. Dr. Van Natta prides himself on always being honest. If he feels that a non-surgical blepharoplasty can deliver on your goals, he’ll tell you. But, in general, sagging skin on the upper lids and/or prominent eye bags are going to be best treated with an eyelid surgery.

His goal with every procedure is to deliver on your “wishes and wants.”

Are You a Candidate for Eyelid Surgery?

A blepharoplasty is typically the gateway for most patients into cosmetic surgery. It’s just such a simple procedure, but with a huge payoff. Great for both men and women, eyelid surgery can improve:

  • sagging, wrinkled skin on the upper lid
  • a “heavy” looking brow
  • under eye bags
  • dark circles
  • a jagged transition between the cheek and lower lid
  • fine lines and wrinkles

Eyelid surgery can be performed alone or in combination with another facial procedure such as fat grafting to restore volume and/or FaceTite™ to tighten early sagging jowls and neck. A laser treatment such as Halo may be recommended to rejuvenate your skin. Bottom line, your eyes never exist in isolation. As with any facial procedure, Dr. Van Natta can also show you a preview of your eyelid surgery results with a computer simulation. Most patients find this computer imaging to be invaluable in helping them make a decision. It’s like trying on a pair of glasses. You want to make sure that those particular frames fit your face.

Eyelid Surgery Procedure

Dr. Van Natta performs eyelid surgery as an outpatient procedure, under light general anesthesia at Meridian Plastic Surgery Center. For an upper blepharoplasty, he will make a tiny incision in the crease of your eye through which he will lift and trim the excess skin. The incision line is easily hidden, and with time, fades to near invisibility.

With a lower blepharoplasty, Dr. Van Natta takes a trans-conjunctival approach meaning that the incisions are placed inside you lower lid where they are completely hidden. Depending on your issue, he will perform one or more of the following:

  • remove excess bulging fat
  • tighten your loose muscles
  • trim away excess skin
  • fat grafting to the lower lid to restore lost volume

Eyelid Surgery Recovery

Your eyelid surgery recovery is really going to depend on what you had done. For an upper blepharoplasty, the stitches come out in just a few days. You can expect to be slightly swollen and maybe a little bruised, but you can typically return to your normal life within a week to 10 days. The recovery from a lower blepharoplasty is slightly more intense, but just in terms of bruising. Most of the swelling subsides within a week. Depending on how your individual body heals, however, you may be bruised for at least a couple of weeks. In general, these can be easily camouflaged with makeup. Neither the upper or lower blepharoplasty is particularly painful. You can usually return to normal exercise within a week. Most patients are so excited with their results that they wished they’d done it sooner!

To find out more about eyelid surgery with Dr. Bruce Van Natta at Meridian Plastic Surgeons in Indianapolis, contact us today or call (317) 575-0330 to schedule a consultation.