Can you fix a droopy eyelid or bags under your eyes without surgery? Or is blepharoplasty – eyelid surgery – still the best option? As people age, many find that bags under their eyes make them look tired when they feel energetic. Some find that a droopy eyelid makes them look old when they feel young. It may even interfere with their vision. For them, blepharoplasty – eyelid surgery – is often the solution. In the last few years, though, new noninvasive or minimally invasive treatments have become available. In Inland Empire near Los Angeles, California where I practice, these include the Renuvion / J-Plasma System, Fillers, RF Devices and Botox. Let’s consider some of your options and see what their benefits and limitations include.
Editor’s Note: Dr. Brian Machida is a highly experienced, expert, board certified facial plastic surgeon. He taught for years at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. Dr. Machida is the Medical Director at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario, CA in California’s Inland Empire north of Los Angeles.
Noninvasive Blepharoplasty Options
Fillers for Bags under Eyes
Usually based on natural hyaluronic acid, fillers can provide good results under certain circumstances. As we age or lose weight, the fat pads in our cheeks can start to lose volume. When this happens, the natural fat pads under our eyes become visible. This is often the beginning of bags under your eyes. Fillers can be a good option if you see a facial plastic surgeon or other cosmetic physician fairly early in the process. Injecting fillers in the tear troughs under the “bags” can make them much less noticeable.
The advantage of using a natural substance like hyaluronic acid as a filler is that your body is likely to accept it well. But that’s also a disadvantage. Your body will absorb the filler in time. You’ll need to have injections every year with most fillers to maintain your new, more youthful look.
Botox, Laser Skin Resurfacing and RF Devices
Botox works by relaxing muscles that cause wrinkles on the surface of your face. Botox is most effective for dynamic wrinkles like crow’s feet that form when you smile. It can also be used to reduce the appearance of bags under your eyes. But it’s absolutely crucial to have an injector who is skilled and experienced in this procedure. Without the needed training and experience, your injector may not be able to give you the results you want.
RF devices like Alma Accent use precise radio frequency waves to heat the lower layers of the skin and stimulate collagen production, which can smooth wrinkles. They can effectively treat crow’s feet. But RF devices must be used in areas of the face where there are bones under the skin. Some areas around the eyes that lack bone below the surface are not appropriate places to use RF (radio frequency) devices.
Fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing can smooth out wrinkles and do some skin tightening around your eyes. But it’s not your most effective nonsurgical option.
Renuvion Cosmetic Technology powered by J-Plasma Energy – Effective Noninvasive Blepharoplasty
The Renuvion / J-Plasma System tightens skin better than laser, RF treatment or any other nonsurgical option. If your droopy eyelid or sagging brows are caused primarily by too much loose skin, Renuvion / J-Plasma could really help. In fact, for patients whose facial aging is primarily caused by skin that is loose but otherwise healthy, Renuvion Cosmetic Technology could help you avoid the need for eyelid surgery. After using both, my prediction is that one day the Renuvion/J-Plasma System will replace CO2 Fractional Lasers as the primary noninvasive blepharoplasty method.
The two keys to effective Renuvion / J-Plasma System blepharoplasty are:
- Healthy skin
- The skill and experience of your Renuvion Cosmetic Technology provider
If you want to tighten up a droopy eyelid or bags under your eyes without surgery, one step you can take before seeing a doctor is to make your skin as healthy as possible. As I pointed out in “Can Food Fight Wrinkles and Aging Skin?” an impressive body of research shows that certain nutrients, especially flavanol, can substantially improve skin health. In fact, flavanol has even been shown to reduce wrinkles to an extent. So, if your skin is healthy and your underlying muscles don’t sag, a noninvasive blepharoplasty could give you the refreshed new look you want.
Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery) CONTACT Dr. Machida Inland Empire, CA
However, in a number of patients, surgical blepharoplasty is by far the best option. To correct a droopy eyelid in one or both eyes, your plastic surgeon will make incisions where your upper eyelids fold, in the eyelid crease and right underneath your eyelashes. These incisions will be virtually unnoticeable when they heal. Then he or she will remove excess skin and fat from your upper eyelids. Using sutures and tissue adhesives, your surgeon will close the incisions, then smooth and reshape the skin.
Sometimes your droopy eyelids may be caused by a sagging brow. In that case, I would recommend adding a brow lift to your blepharoplasty. In a brow lift, your plastic surgeon will usually make an inch long incision behind your hairline above each temple. Then he or she will lift and move your upper brow tissues and eliminate frown lines by lifting the area between your eyebrows.
In doing a lower blepharoplasty in Inland Empire to get rid of the bags under your eyes, I will surgically remove the fat that makes them bulge. Then I’ll tighten the skin and remove any excess. At times, to ensure a smooth appearance, your plastic surgeon will redistribute the remaining fat. Then he or she will redrape the skin and seal the incisions with self-dissolving sutures or tissue adhesives. Any scarring from the procedure is normally quite hard to see. The result is a younger, more refreshed look that friends, business associates and clients will notice (although they may not be able to detect why you look so much better!).
How to best treat your droopy eyelid or bags under eyes
If a droopy eyelid or bags under your eyes are making you look old and tired, there are definite things you can do to get a younger, more energetic look. A surgical blepharoplasty has been the “gold standard’ for many years for rejuvenating your eyelids. But, as we’ve seen, the Renuvion / J-Plasma System, laser skin resurfacing, RF treatments, fillers and Botox can provide you with a noninvasive blepharoplasty under the right circumstances.
Which choice is right for you? An experienced plastic or facial plastic surgeon can evaluate your eye area and recommend the best options for you to consider. In Inland Empire, California to the north and east of Los Angeles you can find me at STC Plastic Surgery in Ontario. Check the Expert Doctors by Location section to see if one of our member surgeons works in your area.