Q. I'm about to have eye surgery and I'm really scared. One of my friends told me that they liposuction the fat out of my lower eyelids. Is that possible?
A. You must have misunderstood your doctor. He might have said that it's like having liposuction where you remove the fat. If you do call him and he tells you that he is going to liposuction your eye, you best run!
When undergoing lower eyelid surgery, fat is removed or repositioned for the eye to look better. Generally, the lower eyelid surgery is done with an external incision. For younger patients, the same operation may be done transconjunctival (an inside incision). Once the external skin incision is made, the skin and muscle are elevated. Usually, there are three fat pads that are removed or repositioned.
The reason that the fat is removed and cauterized at the same time is so that there is no bleeding associated with it. In body liposuction, if you bleed it will not cause any harm to the surrounding tissue. With eye surgery, however, if you bleed you may cause pressure and become blind. When pressure builds in and around the eye, it can cause a permanent injury to the optic nerve. This is why I don't believe that your doctor is going to be doing liposuction in your eye. Lower eyelid surgery is a very popular and satisfying procedure for patients when done properly.
Dr. Carlos Wolf is a partner in Miami Plastic Surgery and is board certified. Email your questions to him at Cwolf@miamiplasticsurgery.com.