AAFPRS Names Second Most Popular Cosmetic Surgical Procedure in 2012


The eyes tell all, as they say—even your age. Due to the delicate, extremely thin skin around the eye area, eyes are generally the first facial feature to show signs of aging including dark circles, crow’s feet, and bags or swelling. These age-related changes have a huge impact on your appearance, making you look and feel older and more tired than you really are.

It’s no surprise then that Americans are dead set on disguising aging eyes. According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), blepharoplasty (eye lift) was the second-most popular cosmetic surgical procedure performed in 2012. The majority of patients who elected to have blepharoplasty were 35–60 years old. The procedure is also the most popular surgical procedure among Asian Americans looking to lift lids and create the appearance of wider, more western eyes.

Long considered the gold standard for eye rejuvenation and to remove puffiness or lower eyelid bags, loose skin and hooding of the eyelids, the AAFPRS reports that blepharoplasty on average costs less than $4,000. Thanks to advances in esthetic technologies however, there are other options that help rejuvenate eyes and bridge the gap between surgery and eye creams.

  • Fillers—Hyaluronic fillers can help relieve dark under eye circles and make the skin look tighter in areas like the lids, eyebrows and crow’s feet area. These fillers bind to water and fill in the under eye hollows or plump facial folds.
  • Botulinum toxin—It is able to relax the muscles around the eyes, lift heavy eyelids and open the eyes. It is a popular remedy for the removal of crow’s feet.
  • Light therapy—Fraxel is one of several different non ablative fractional lasers which uses infrared light and other forms of energy to boost and grow new collagen, giving skin an improved appearance. If you undergo three to six sessions, results can last a year or more.
  • Microdermabrasion and chemical peels—The process of using micronized crystals to remove dead cells and discoloration helps make crow’s feet and forehead lines look smoother. A chemical peel, performed by a facial plastic surgeon, removes a superficial layer of skin, boosting collagen production. Monthly use will ensure a glow and added texture.
  • Autologous fat transfer—The patient’s own fat can be used to reduce the tired appearance by filling the dark circle below the eyes. Similar to the affect that is achieved with Fillers but with the potential of being permanent. A small amount of fat is harvested from somewhere on the patient’s body and is then injected beneath the skin and muscle of the cheek and lower eyelid.

“The eyes are expressive, and can convey a tired, sad or angry appearance as the result of aging or genetic features, not reflecting the true emotions,” says AAFPRS President Edward H. Farrior, MD, FACS. “A blepharoplasty improves the appearance of the upper and lower eyelids by removing excess fat and redundant eyelid skin. No matter what option you choose, make sure you trust your face to a facial plastic surgeon.”

The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is the world's largest specialty association for facial plastic surgery. It represents more than 2,700 facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons throughout the world. The AAFPRS is a National Medical Specialty Society of the American Medical Association (AMA), and holds an official seat in both the AMA House of Delegates and the American College of Surgeons board of governors. AAFPRS members are board certified surgeons whose focus is surgery of the face, head, and neck. AAFPRS members subscribe to a code of ethics. In addition, the AAFPRS provide consumers with free information and brochures and a list of qualified facial plastic surgeons in their area by visiting the AAFPRS website, www.AAFPRS.org.

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