How young is too young to get eye surgery?

Eye surgery with NYC plastic surgeonASK DOCTOR YAGODA

Question: How young is too young to get eye surgery? I’m only 28 but I’ve always had these dark circles under my eyes and my top eyelid is invisible with my eyes open. I live in the city so I’m very close to your New York office.

Answer: Unlike surgery to pin the ears back or to change the shape of the nose, there is no minimum age for eyelid surgery.  (Ear and nose surgery can be safely considered only after each has respectively reached its full adult size–for the ear it is after age six, and for the nose it is after puberty). Eyelid surgery can be done safely at any age.  But, rejuvenating the eye area does not necessarily require surgeryBotox/Dysport, peels, lasers and fillers can rejuvenate the eye area non-surgically.  A full exam is necessary in order to assess skin elasticity and to evaluate the cause of bulging and dark circles in the lower eyelid.  Make sure that you consider all of your options before you commit to a surgery that you may not need!

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Is there a way to remove dark under eye circles and bags without surgery?

Dark circles and baggy eyes without surgeryASK DR. YAGODA

Question: Is there a way to remove dark under eye circles and bags without surgery? I’m 42 and I’ve had a blepharoplasty in the past, so I don’t want to undergo surgery again.

Answer: Your question is a common one, but the answer is a bit complicated.  I am guessing you mean that you’ve had lower lid blepharoplasty?  If so, there should be no “bags” or bulging fat left.  However, on occasion, fat may be missed in the original surgery or it may appear later in the aging process.  If fat is left behind, it typically causes a bulge under the eye at the outermost part.  However, if the bulge is in the center or middle portion of the lower lid, this may be a muscle ridge.  A muscle ridge is caused by repeatedly squinting while in the sun.  The best treatment is actually prevention:  wearing sunglasses when you are outside.  If it’s too late for prevention, treatment may include Botox or Dysport to soften the area of muscular prominence caused by overuse.  Another option is judicious surgical excision. However, beware of aggressive removal techniques because they may leave you with a weakened lower eyelid muscle and difficulty in closing your eyes.

As for dark circles, the best treatment depends on the cause(s).  When the cause is genetic (especially common in people of Mediterranean descent), it may be due to pigmentation and it can be especially difficult to treat.  When the dark circles are related to allergies, nasal congestion and sinusitis, surgery of the nose and sinuses can help.  When the dark circles are present in fine, pale eyelid skin, the cause may be hemosiderindeposits (a component of blood) and non-invasive laser and light therapy may be of benefit.  While there are many options for treating dark circles and bulges under the eye, the best result will only occur with the right diagnosis.  Make sure to visit a specialist to fully evaluate your treatment options.

My eyes always look tired and I have eye bags

Tired baggy eyes - solutionsASK DOCTOR YAGODA

Question: My eyes always look tired and I have eye bags. I’m a 42-year-old man from Manhattan and I scar easily. Am I a candidate for an eyelid lift?

Answer: Yes, lower lid bags can easily be removed without leaving any visible scar.  This is through a transconjunctival approach.  In this surgery, an incision is made inside the lower eyelid and the fat is removedfrom the inside. This technique not only removes the unwanted fat bags, but it also preserves the strength and elasticity of the lower eyelid skin.

Can a blepharoplasty change my eye shape?

changing the shape of your eye with an eye liftASK DR. YAGODA

Question: Can a blepharoplasty change my eye shape? I’m Asian American, 33, living in New York City, and one of my eyes is rounder than the other, which makes me look asymmetrical.

Answer: Blepharoplasty can change the shape of the eye, if that is the goal, but routine eyelift surgery does not change its shape.  In some cases, Asian eyes can look rounder, or more Western, with incisionless double lid surgery as well.

Can an eyelid lift help me?


Question: I’m a 60-something year old woman and the skin around my eyes is just not what it used to be. The skin sags and I can’t wear eye shadow anymore because it barely shows. Can an eyelid lift help me or do I need a facelift?

Answer: The condition you are describing is known as hooding. Hooding occurs when upper eyelid skin becomes loose and hangs over the eyelid crease close to or onto the eyelashes.  Bothersome as it may be, the solution is fast, easy and virtually painless.  This excess skin, caused by the normal aging process or genetics in some cases, can be removed in the office under local anesthesia.  The incision, which is hidden in the normal upper eyelid crease, is nearly invisible when it heals.  And, here’s good news for the squeamish:  aside from the sensation of heaviness after surgery, there is no pain. This is because once the skin incision is made, the area can be numb for up to three weeks.  In addition, there is no need to worry about “seeing” something during the surgery. An opaque contact lens is placed into the eye, after it has been anesthetized with a topical eye drop.  As a result, you won’t feel the insertion or removal.