Although people of African American descent may share similar facial characteristics, every person has a different facial anatomy and structure; therefore, not all upper and lower eyelids are the same. Some people have thicker skin, deeper tear troughs, and various eye socket shapes.
African Americans tend to have less fat in the orbital area, which is important to consider when performing blepharoplasty surgery to avoid an overly aggressive or unnatural looking appearance. Also, the maxilla (upper jaw bone) tends to be more level, which can further exacerbate the appearance of dark circles and make African Americans great candidates for lower bag surgery or tear trough treatment.
The following will give you some additional information on African American blepharoplasty surgery. If you would like to schedule a consultation to talk about this procedure, please contact Sistine Facial Plastic Surgery.
The characteristics of the African American eyelid
African Americans share a similar eyelid crease when compared to Caucasians. The upper eyelid is well developed, unlike the epicanthic fold seen in many Asians. However, there can be a slight almond shaped appearance to the eyes, which many African Americans may wish to maintain. In addition, African Americans tend to form less wrinkles as they age (however, this is not the case for the area around the eyes). The skin around the eyes is much looser when compared to Caucasians and has more lines and creases.
The appearance of the surgical scar is also more prominent in those with darker skin tones. This is less of an issue when it comes to lower blepharoplasty surgery, since the eyelid crease conceals the scar, but can be evident after lower blepharoplasty surgery. The formation of keloids (elevated, shiny and thick scars) is also a potential concern and more common in the African American population. Because of this, finding a surgeon experienced with African American blepharoplasty surgery is crucial.
The transconjunctival eyelid approach
When there is an abundance of fat underneath the eyes and excessive eye bags, it is often best to perform lower blepharoplasty surgery using a transconjunctival approach. The transconjunctival is the most widely used approach and leaves no external scar (due to the incision being made on the inside of the lower eyelid). When it comes to excessive skin, a canthopexy or tarsorrhaphy procedure can be performed to tighten and smooth out the skin, rejuvenating the appearance of the under eyes.
What happens during the eyelid surgery consultation?
Each patient is allotted an hour for their eye surgery consultation to ensure that the procedure is discussed at length and that surgical expectations are met. Throughout my surgical consultations with various ethnic groups, I have noticed that many wish to retain subtle characteristics associated with their ethnicity. Research reveals that 40% of women of African American descent worry about losing their ethnic appearance after blepharoplasty surgery. Therefore, it is important to find a true specialist in the field who appreciates the different ethnic features and characteristics that make us unique.