I know an eyelift would work for my sagging eye lids....but what about non surgical ways to improve eye lids?
Droopy Eyelids - Alternatives to Eyelift Surgery?
Doctor Answers (74)
Alternatives to eyelid surgery
A quick alternative to Eyelift Surgery for upper eye lid hooding: The Ten Minute Eyelift
Hooding of the upper lids is a fairly common problem with aging. Shrinkage and the downward displacement of the supporting fat pads under the eyebrows, coupled with an overall loss in both the amounts and quality of collagen and elastic fibers are contributing factors.
While blepharoplasty remains the gold standard for treating this problem, many people wish to avoid the expense, risks and downtime of traditional eyelift surgery. For these people, the Ten Minute Eyelift, a minimally invasive technique, offers a viable and quick alternative.
The procedure is simple. The redundant portion of the underside of the hooded area of each upper lid, which is hidden from view, is first marked and then injected with a tiny amount of a local anesthetic.
Next, a heated probe is run along the marked areas until visible shrinkage and retratction of the hooding is observed and the underlying true upper eyelid exposed sufficiently. Once done, the resulting line-like wound is covered with an ointment and is left to heal spontaneously.
Each eyelid takes about five minutes to treat in this fashion, hence the name the Ten Minute Eyelift. Most people return to their daily routines immediately afterward, although some prefer to do so the following day.
Slight swelling, tenderness, and a tiny amount of drainage and scabbing along the treatment line are common and are simply treated by cleaning and the application of a bit of Vaseline or antibiotic ointment. Wounds are generally completely healed in seven to ten days.
A fine, linear scar eventually results, which remains hidden under the remainder of the now shortened and less droopy upper lid.
Overall, patients have been quite gratified by the results and by the ease, rapidity, relative inexpensiveness and lack of need for traditional eyelift surgery.
Treatment options for sagging lids
Sagging eyelids are usually associated with advancing age, but the truth is, many different underlying conditions may affect the appearance of the eyes. As Dr. Gaborieau has mentioned, getting plenty of sleep, adequate hydration, and avoidance of salt may help some of the common causes of sagging eyelids. Other important ones are allergies, and chronic edema or swelling that is non-allergic in nature.
In the case of the upper eyelids, BOTOX injections placed correctly can result in a slight elevation of the brow, and consequently raise the skin of the upper eyelid to "open up" the upper eyelid area. These results are not consistent, and may vary between patients. Certain amounts of droop in the brow, or excessive skin in the upper lids, may have to be corrected surgically.
In the lower lids, several other factors come into play. Some of the first signs of aging are seen in the lower eyelid area resulting from a decrease of fat under the skin of the lower eyelid. This exposes not only the bone of the eyesocket, creating a "tear trough deformity", but in some cases may expose the normal fat of the lower eyelid, resulting in the appearance of lower lid "bags".
It is essential for the treating physician to recognize this condition prior to recommending removal of fat. Such surgical treatment can lead to hollowing and a gaunt appearance postoperatively.
While surgery and fat removal certainly have a place in lower eyelid bag treatment, younger patients with loss of fat in the lower lids benefit most from addition of volume in this area. Volume can be added with fat grafting, or simpler procedures such as Restylane injections. This is a treatment we call "Thirties Eyelift" in my practice. Restylane injections can be done with mild discomfort in the office, and some of my patients have had their results last up to one year with a small touch up.
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The best non-surgical way to reduce the appearance of...
The best non-surgical way to reduce the appearance of sagging eyelids is to avoid salty food, drink loads of water and get lots of sleep. This is especially useful to reduce the sagging of the lower lids.
Botox can raise the upper eyelids. Any other form of rejuvenation would require surgery.
Nonsurgical approaches to droopy eyelids
Droopy eyelids can be improved non surgically with the use of neuromodulators like botox or Dysport which can raise your eyebrows lifting some of the droopy lids as well. Results typically last from 3 to 6 months. Other alternatives include fillers like restylane or juvederm strategically placed to elevate the corners of the brows pulling the lids with them. Finally, you can do an endoscopic browlift that helps to raise the brows which can create some mild elevation of the lid skin as well. I hope this information helps.
Alternatives to Surgical Blepharoplasty
Any responsible decision about alternatives to Blepharoplasty require a consultation and evaluation with a well experienced and qualified Board Certified surgeon.
Alternative considerations might include:
- Adequate sleep
- good nutrition
- skin care
- Injectable fillers
- chemical peel
- laser resurfacing
If you have truly droopy upper eyelids, surgical Blepharoplasty and/or brow lift are probably best considerations.
Multiple Alternatives to Eyelid Surgery - Blepharoplasty
There are multiple alternatives to blepharoplasty:
- Botox Brow Lift
- Exilis or Thermage Radiofrequency
- Mixto Laser Skin Resurfacing
- Restylane, Artefill or Juvederm to lift the Brow
- Fat transfer to Brow
A complete evaluation is necessary prior to deciding which procedure or mix of techniques may work best for each client.
If the eyebrow is pressing down upon the eyelid, the eyes can be opened by using Botox to lift the brow. Fillers can be used to improve the volume underlying the brow which can lift and recontour the brow. Exilis, thermage and Mixto can be used to tighten the skin of the eyelid.
There are multiple choices and a well skilled Ocular Plastic Surgeon can help you to make the right choices. That said my favorite method to rejuvenate the eyelids is laser blepharoplasty - eyelid surgery. No scalpel blade - the laser helps to remove and recontour the eyelid skin and fat. The Mixto laser can also be used simultaneously to tighten the skin.
Nonsurgical eyelid lift
There are some nonsurgical ways to improve sagging eyelids, but surgery is the most effective. I use Fraxel Laser Resurfacing and Ultherapy to lift and tighten the excess skin over the upper eyelids. Botox can also be used to lift the brows which can temporarily improve excess upper eyelid skin.
Non Surgical Eye Lifts, Brow Lifts Can be Helpful
There are a number of very useful non-surgical approaches to improving a drooping forehead, brow or eyelid. Of course the mainstays of skincare will always apply. Stay hydrated, avoid sun exposure, and use high quality skin products.
Assuming this has been tackled, I find that neuromodulators such as BOTOX and DYSPORT can really make significant improvements in contour of the brow-lid complex. Truly these areas are interrelated and do respond nicely to carefully placed medications. Remember that the lateral orbicularis muscle is treated to soften crows feet or smile lines. This is also the strongest brow depressor of the lateral brow and coincidentally will allow a slight brow lift as a response. Great news!
Although off-label, filler agents can be placed into the lateral brow complex over the boney rim to improve the appearance of crows feet and can raise the brow complex to a more youthful arch. This also nicely augments the natural youthful highlight in this area. I would inject any of the hyaluronic acid (JUVEDERM) (PERLANE) or calcium hydroxylapatite (RADIESSE) products here.
I don't advise chemical peels, laser treatment, or radiofrequency devices on the upper eyelid skin. These do have applications for the lower lids in certain limited patients. I have all of these available and use them as indicated.
Certainly surgery is necessary for some patients. I think it is a matter of how much skin is present and where an individual patients goals are. Certainly speaking to a qualified board certified surgeon is a great place to start.
When significantly more eyelid skin is there than needs to be (sagginess), surgery is the best option to remove this.
For patients who do not want surgery, it is possible to resurface the eyelid skin with a laser. This will produce some tightening. Ironically, it tends to produce much more swelling than a blepharoplasty would.
Botox to the corners of the eye allows the eyebrow to rise somewhat, giving the eyes a more rested appearance. This effect of the Botox tends to wear off fairly quickly, usually before the Botox does.
Regular use of retinoid creams such as Retin A can tighten eyelid skin a bit.
Avoidance of salty foods and alcohol, and use of cold compresses can temporarily make the eyes look better.
Not great options, but they do not involve cutting surgery.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.