“We don’t want people to look like they’ve had an operation” says Glenn W. Jelks, M.D., of the eyelid surgery (called blepharoplasty) that he has all but claimed as his turf. “We want them to look natural and have everyone around them wonder why the keep looking the same.”
State-of-the-art eyelid surgery has changed, says Jelks, in both aesthetics and technology. “The way the operation was performed by good surgeons ten or twelve years ago was to create the Brigitte Bardot look or the Sophia Loren look,” he says of the these actresses’s sexy slanted eyelids. “They were providing a product that people liked. Look at the textbooks on aesthetics from then, and the results would be unacceptable today.” (The current look is more natural.) Jelks has gone into his ophthalmic bag of tricks to anticipate and circumvent problem cases, to improve or prolong the results, insisting on at least two prep consultations in his elegant wood-panels office with a fireplace. “You can do ‘snap tests’ of the lower lids and look at the profile to see the relationship of the eyelid to the bony orbit,” he explains. “These things were never done in the past.”
“Blepharoplasty will only address excess skin and puffiness,” he says. Upper-eyelid surgery removes loose, pouchy skin, creating a youthful crease and a “platform” for eye shadow. Lower-eyelid (under eye) surgery takes away puffiness by removing fat. About a third of patients qualify for a simpler “transconjunctival procedure in which then fat is removed from behind the lower eyelid.