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The Eyes Have It
by Brian Deutsch, M.D.

The eyes have often been called the "windows of the soul." What others see in our eyes is often a reflection of our true self. But what if eyelid puffiness or drooping gives us a tired, aged look, one which does not reflect how we feel inside?

Gwen takes pride in her appearance. She exercises daily, eats a healthy diet, dresses nicely, and generally gets plenty or rest. When she looks in the mirror, however, she looks tired. Her eyelids are puffy with dark circles beneath them. Her daily make up routine helps, but cannot completely camouflage these features. She sighs, resigning herself to hearing her co-workers comment on how she ought to get more sleep and stop working such late hours. But does Gwen have to live with this?

More and more women are answering a resounding "No!" Blepharoplasty, cosmetic surgery of the eyelids, is designed to correct excess lower and upper eyelid puffiness and skin wrinkling or "hooding." Although these eyelid changes often become more pronounced with aging, sometimes these features are hereditary and become apparent at an earlier age. It is not unusual for women or men in their twenties or thirties to have puffy or droopy lids. The myth that eyelid surgery is for middle-aged or older people has been shattered by the increasing numbers of younger women and men choosing to have blepharoplastics.

Eyelid surgery is usually done under "twilight" anesthesia, with sedative medication given through an intravenous line. Incisions are hidden in natural skin creases or in the inner surface of the lower lid. Excess eyelid skin and fat are removed or repositioned to create a more natural appearance, a more rested an alert look. Some swelling and bruising may occur after the surgery, but this can be minimized by applying ice to the eyelids and resting with the head elevated. Stitches are removed between four and seven days after surgery, and improvement in the eyelid contour and shape is often already apparent.

Women are now seeing eyelid surgery and other cosmetic procedures as a natural extension of the care they already take in their appearance. Exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy diets, getting plenty of rest, dressing nicely. We do these things to maintain our health and appearance. For many, cosmetic surgery to correct less that desirable hereditary or age-related features is the logical next step. Surgery is more affordable now than in the past, and often payment plans are available. Make sure your surgeon is certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery or an equivalent board.

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