‘What’s Up Doc’ is a health column in association with The Crawley Observer, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions regarding general health and wellbeing.
Answers are provided weekly from our specialist consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Surrey. If it’s a long-standing illness or simply a worry which you would like to get off your mind then we would like to help.
This question appeared in The Crawley Observer on Wednesday 10 July, to readers across Surrey and Sussex. The question and answer is below, as it appeared in the newspaper.
Read the response by Mr Raman Malhotra, consultant ophthalmologist and oculoplastic surgeon :
I have really bad bags under my eyes and am interested in any getting rid of the, what are my options? How can I get rid of them as it just makes my face look droopy. Thanks.
Operations to remove under-eye bags have been common for years. Many people, however, have the opposite problem. As they age, they develop trough-like hollows where the top of the cheekbone meets the under-eye. These are known as tear troughs. They also accentuate dark circles under the eyes, making people look tired and worried, even when they're well-rested and happy.
Modern fillers are now effective, minimally invasive alternatives to surgery that offer reduced risk of complications and minimal recovery time. They can be used to add volume to the eye area restoring a natural-looking fullness.
The treatment comprises a series of micro-injections along the line of the hollow. The area is then gently massaged to ensure even distribution of the gel. The results are instant and last approximately 12 months.
Surgery, usually in the form of a lower eyelid lift (blepharoplasty), is not always appropriate to correct tear trough shadowing, although people with very loose skin or pronounced eye-bags will benefit.
Eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty may be more appropriate for tired-looking eyes caused by heavy eyelids or puffy, saggy under-eye bags. Surgery can restore a more energetic and youthful appearance — you should look refreshed, as if you're just back from holiday. Even so, the operation will not remove all wrinkles around the eyes, especially laughter lines.
A blepharoplasty may be performed on the upper eyelids, the lower eyelids, or all four lids. It may also be combined with other procedures, such as a droopy eyelid lift (ptosis surgery), brow lift, facelift, tear trough (under-eye hollow) fillers or skin resurfacing.
Blepharoplasty is often performed under local anaesthesia, with no need for an overnight stay in hospital. The operation lasts one to two hours. You can have additional sedation if you choose or opt to have a general anaesthetic.