Mamamia Interview with Dr Naveen Somia on Eyelid Lifts

What is an eyelid lift procedure?

“An eyelid lift, or ‘eyelift‘ is a marketing term referring to a plastic surgery procedure, or a combination of procedures performed on the upper eyelid to make the eyes look more open and bright, resulting in the patient looking rested and youthful,” explains Dr Naveen Somia.

Eyelid lift surgery is also known as a blepharoplasty (if you wanna get fancy) and is one of the most popular cosmetic procedures in Australia.

However, it’s important to note that it’s not a one-size-fits-all kind of procedure. There are actually many different types of eyelift surgery – and which one is right for you will depend on your individual concerns.

“An eyelid lift is not one specific operative procedure, but a combination of techniques that produce the same final outcome,” he adds. “This includes skin removal and or correction of drooping eyelids (ptosis correction) or a combination of the two.”

An eyelift procedure is commonly used in combination with other treatments such as brow lifts for best results.

What does an eyelift procedure do?

While it’s most commonly used to address age-related concerns, eyelid lift procedures can also offer an effective solution for those who are looking to improve their vision due to dropping skin around the peepers.

“Aside from the obvious anti-ageing benefits – a more rested, bright and youthful appearance – an eyelid lift can, in some cases, improve your field of vision,” explains Dr Somia.

As we age, our eyelids will begin to sag or droop (c’ya, elasticity!), and can often end up restricting your field of vision, which Dr Somia said many people are not always aware of.

“Correcting hooded eyelids, droopy eyelids or removing excess skin off the eyelids can have both functional and cosmetic benefits.”

Who is a good candidate for an eyelid lift?

According to Dr Somia, anyone with symptoms associated with droopy eyes, hooded eyelids or people who are unhappy with the visual appearance of ageing around the eyes can benefit from this surgery.

“Candidates for this procedure will often share that they look tired, or don’t like photographs being taken of themselves because they look ‘sleepy’ in photos,” said Dr Somia.

“But some also report having headaches at the end of each day, or from sitting in front of their computer screens. Some experience difficulty driving at night or reading in dim light,” he adds.

Obviously a face-to-face consultation will help your surgeon determine whether this procedure is right for you.

What does an eyelid lift procedure involve?

Good question! Important question.

“An eyelid lift is a surgical procedure that is best performed under anaesthesia with a specialist anaesthetist for comfort and safety, either as a day surgery case or overnight stay depending on what needs to be done.”

“It is usually performed in a hospital or licensed facility with all the safeguards, including post-operative monitoring.”

According to Dr Somia, the surgery can involve one of the following three procedures, performed individually or in combination:

1. Removal of excess skin and creating an eyelid crease.

2. Removal of excess skin and correcting eyelid ptosis (drooping eyelid).

3. Removal of excess skin and correcting eyelid ptosis (drooping eyelid) and either a brow fixation or a brow lift.

“After the surgery you may have medication and eye drops prescribed, and important post-operative instructions that you should follow.”

You’ll then be reviewed one week later for the removal of your stitches and to make sure everything is healing up okay.

Is there any downtime?

While healing and recovery obviously differs between individuals, the whole process can generally take up to two weeks. During this time your surgeon will advise you to rest your eyes as much as possible.

“There is a myth with eyelid surgery that you can return to work the next day,” said Dr Somia. “This is not true, and not advised.”

So, yeah. Take that leave and plan to stay home and limit your activities for the next couple of weeks while your lids heal.

In terms of what to expect after eyelid surgery, Dr Somia said it is normal to experience some swelling and bruising, which can last for up to two weeks.

He said reduced, smaller amounts of swelling can last for up to six weeks.

“The patient’s age, general health, lifestyle and post-operative care will influence recovery rates. With younger patients noticing the resolution of swelling and bruising earlier.”

How long do eyelid lift results last?

In terms of results, Dr Somia said a well-performed eyelift can last eight to 10 years. Obviously your eyes will still age after the procedure.

“It is important to be aware that the eyelid and surrounding tissues will continue to age, and will influence the results of the eyelift surgery.”

What other non-surgical options are available for more lifted eyes?

If you’re looking for other options, there are some non-surgical procedures such as skin tightening devices and injectables that can be used to tighten the eyelid skin, minus the downtime. However, the results are obviously dependent on the individual concerns.

“Non-surgical solutions such as anti-wrinkle injections and fillers are not as effective, nor as long-lasting as full eyelift surgery.”

“However, they can be very useful in maintaining the results of eyelift surgery and can help with specific concerns like wrinkles and hollows, which occur as a result of volume loss around the eyelid (mainly in the eyebrow crease), temple and cheek as part of the ageing process, or weight loss.”

Dr Somia also recommends the regular use of medical grade skin creams and serums for the eyes and eye area in order to help maintain the skin health, adding that “laser resurfacing can be very effective in some cases”.

“A well-performed surgical eye lift will offer better value in the long run, as it avoids having to have multiple non-surgical interventions that often require regular top ups.”

As always, it’s best to have a chat with a qualified and experienced surgeon in order to suss out the best options for you.

It’s also crucial to remember that every surgery carries risks – this is a medical treatment, so you want to make sure you’re in the best hands possible.

Eyelid surgery is often trivialised or deemed a ‘tweakment area’ because the eyelids are small structures,” said Dr Somia.

“However, it is important to remember that the eyelids are complex and delicate structures that perform an extremely important function of eye protection, and greater care should be taken when undergoing eye procedures.”

The bottom line? Make sure you do your research and steer clear of any flashy marketing or cheap deals.

“All patients are strongly advised to do their research when it comes to seeking these types of services, or any surgical procedures.”

To make sure your eyelid surgeon is a registered specialist plastic surgeon, or a specialist who specialises in eyelid surgery, you can head to Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) and use the Find A Surgeon portal to identify registered specialists.

“ASAPS also advises that you get multiple opinions on your surgery before going under the knife, to ensure you are fully informed on the pre and post-operative details to make an informed decision.”

This article by Erin Docherty originally appeared on on 31 August 2021. Excerpts pertaining to what ASAPS Past President Dr Naveen Somia has said for the interview have been republished here with permission. Read the full article here.


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