Skin pinch blepharoplasty is a minor excision (removal) of a small amount of excess skin from the lower eyelid. It is less extensive than a formal lower eyelid blepharoplasty and is less likely to weaken lower eyelid support. In this blog I’ll discuss what is skin pinch lower eyelid surgery, who is the ideal candidate for the procedure and the risks associated with it.
The lower eyelids are extremely delicate and complex structures containing skin, muscle, and connective tissue. A skin pinch lower eyelid surgery is a minimally disruptive method to remove excess skin from the lower eyelids, without disturbing the deeper muscle or connective tissue layers. This method is good for people who have strong lower eyelid support. The scar can be cleverly placed just below the lower eyelid lashes, and generally heals well. It’s important to note that the eyelid scar can be visible for up to 3 months after surgery.
Skin pinch lower eyelid surgery is combined with transconjunctival fat removal from the eyebags to rejuvenate the lower eyelid. With the transconjunctival method the surgeon goes through an incision on the inside of the lower eyelid to remove or reposition the fat of the lower lid bags. The surgeon then assesses if there is redundant skin in the lower eyelid, and using a pinch technique accurately estimates and removes excess skin just below the eyelashes. The cut edges of the skin are then stitched using fine sutures. This works well to tighten the lower lid skin with a very low rate of eyelid retraction.
Who is suitable for skin pinch lower eyelid surgery?
Despite sounding simple and attractive, the skin pinch procedure is not one that is right for everyone. If the lower eyelid is lax, the skin pinch may still distort the eyelid margin. Some individuals need more skin removed than just a "pinch". However, if you are a candidate for the skin pinch, i.e. you have only mild to moderate lower lid skin excess, it is a very good option.
What are the risks?
Any surgical procedure carries with it certain risks, but skin pinch lower eyelid surgery is considered one of the safer options. The biggest risk is Ectropion (pulling down of the eyelid) if too much skin is removed, which can result in distortion and drying of the eye. Whether or not skin pinch is the right procedure for you depends on your anatomy. All eyelid surgery needs to be performed with care and accuracy after appropriate assessment. A personal consultation with a plastic surgeon experienced in various techniques of eyelid surgery is your best bet.