Got bags under your eyes? Then this might be of interest to you.
Some new findings will give plastic surgeons pause as they evaluate and treat those bags. I interviewed Dr. George Rudkin, one of the lead authors of a new study out of UCLA Medical Center. The study is poised to be released in the September issue of The Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Rudkin, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Beverly Hills, indicated to me that this new information will really help surgeons to optimally treat this common cosmetic complaint.
HealthGal: So up until this study, surgeons who saw this increased volume in the lower eyelid area that caused the bags, assumed that it was due to what??
Dr. Rudkin: They saw increased volume but assumed it was mostly a "spread out effect of the fat - not new fat" that had formed during the aging process.
HealthGal: So because our faces tend to thin out with age, I assume they thought the same about this eyelid area?
Dr. Rudkin: There was a clear increase in fat with bags- it just was assumed that it was not due to new fat. We now know, based on looking at these 40 people, ages 12-80 (male and female) in the study, that the largest contributor to this increase in volume is actual fat increase or growth.
HealthGal: So the approach to surgery up to now was to typically try to preserve the fat and just re-position it so that the area would lose the baggy look, correct??
Dr. Rudkin: Yes, that's what many plastic surgeons were doing. Though clearly each plastic surgeon makes his own treatment determination, the working theory was that yes, preserve the fat at all costs, since the face thins out with age and you don't want to perform surgery that down the road creates a hollowed and aged eye area.
HealthGal: So now surgeons may re-think their approach if they were assuming that there was no extra fat growing in that area and possibly excise some fat and also use the re-positioning technique when appropriate, correct?
Dr. Rudkin: Right - we'll be more apt to really assess the area and not be so hesitant to remove some fat if it seems indicated.
The next step in the study will be to perform MRI's on people with baggy eyelids to further evaluate. Currently blepharoplasty is one of the top 4 popular cosmetic surgical procedures, with 241,000 performed in 2007. Board certified surgeons like Dr. Rudkin clearly use information like this study to help them create an optimal and individualized treatment plan for each of his patients.
Published On: September 02, 2008