How to Correct Sunken Eyes with Non-surgical and Surgical Plastic Surgery Procedures
When it comes to visible signs of ageing, sunken eyes are a common cosmetic issue that affects many people. With ageing, the area around the eyes can become hollow-appearing and sunken due to loss of facial fat and reduced skin elasticity.
Some people have sunken eyes that have occurred or gotten worse as a result of previous cosmetic surgery treatment. If you have had lower eyelid surgery that was poorly performed or too aggressive, hollow-looking eyes can occur as a result. Sunken eyes can also occur as a consequence of surgery to reduce the appearance of eye bags if too much of the fat in the under-eye area is removed, making the darker colour of the muscle and tissue under the thin skin more visible. Fortunately, no matter the cause of your sunken eyes, there are multiple plastic surgery solutions to correct sunken eyes and alter your eye contour.
As a Specialist Plastic Surgeon located in Sydney, Dr Michael Kernohan has years of in-depth experience in eyelid surgery and facial cosmetic procedures to correct hollow or sunken-looking eyes. He will work alongside you to create an individualised plan.
Click to Download Dr Michael Kernohan Blepharoplasty Guide
Less Invasive Solutions to Treat Sunken Eyes
· Facial Fillers
A common cosmetic surgery solution for resolving sunken eyes is the use of injectable facial fillers. This is a very popular option if you are reluctant to have invasive surgery.
A natural filler made of a naturally occurring substance called hyaluronic acid is often used to correct sunken eyes. Hyaluronic acid fillers have a subtle appearance, and they are not visible under the skin even in the delicate areas around the eyes.
The type of facial filler that is right for your specific aesthetic goals will be discussed during the consultation. An experienced injector knows that every patient is different, and there is no “one size fits all” answer to correcting sunken eyes.
Usually, recovery after having filler injected is relatively fast, with minimal discomfort. Often, patients will experience bruising in the delicate skin around the eye area. For most people, this bruising will fade within one week following your procedure, and applying cool packs and resting will help the tissue to heal quickly and comfortably. The filler will “settle” into its final appearance at around two weeks after your injection.
If you would like to have more intense results, there might be a need to add additional filler later in your treatment regime. However, it is always better to start small with your first filler injection and work your way up to larger amounts of filler if this is what you prefer. Keep in mind that excess filler can be dissolved safely if you feel that the amount of filler you have had is too much, or your results are less subtle than you planned.
For most people who have chosen to have facial filler to correct sunken eyes, their results will last between six and twelve months. After this time, you will need to have another injection of fillers to keep your results looking their best. However, the longevity of your results from injectable facial filler depends on a range of individual factors, including:
- How much filler you have chosen to have injected
- Your age and degree of eye hollowness
- The health of your skin
· Facial Fat Grafting (Autologous Fat Injections)
For a more natural, longer-lasting solution to sunken eyes, many of Dr Kernohan’s patients choose to have facial fat grafting. While facial fat grafting is more invasive than an injection of synthetic fillers, it produces results that are more long-lasting, and even permanent.
During facial fat grafting, Dr Kernohan will collect unwanted fat from a target area of the body such as the stomach. This “excess” fat is then expertly treated and injected into the area around the eyes to correct the appearance of sunken eyes.
The final results from having facial fat grafting to correct sunken eyes can take as long as 3-4 months. This is because the transplanted fat needs time to reconnect to your body’s blood supply. Not all of the fat cells will survive the fat grafting procedure, but Dr Kernohan makes sure to transfer enough fat cells to ensure long-lasting results. Results vary and a further treatments are sometimes needed.
The benefits of having facial fat grafting to correct sunken eyes include:
- Longer-lasting (and sometimes permanent) results
- Results that both look and feel subtle and natural
- Fast recovery and minimal time off work
- Bonus reduction of fat from a problem area, such as the thighs or stomach
- Reduced dark circles under the eyes due to the protective layer of fat
Surgical Solutions to Correct Sunken Eyes
· Lower Blepharoplasty (Lower Eyelid Surgery)
If your sunken eyes are caused by issues such as loose skin around the eyes, excessive under-eye bags or sagging of the under-eye bags, lower blepharoplasty surgery may be the appropriate solution for you. A lower blepharoplasty, or lower eyelid surgery, helps to correct the appearance of drooping eyelids which can be caused by changes in fat tissue and skin elasticity due to ageing.
Depending on the shape of your under-eye area, under eye bags and dark circles can cause you to appear tired and un-alert, even if you have made sure to get a full eight hours of sleep!
It can be hard to know exactly which procedure to choose when it comes to correcting hollow-looking. That’s why it’s always a good idea to consult with an experienced Plastic Surgeon, such as Dr Michael Kernohan, who is happy to use his knowledge to provide you with the guidance and education you need to make a well-informed choice.
Lower blepharoplasty surgery can help to:
- Reduce loose skin in the under-eye area
- Improve the contour of the under-eye area and reduce under-eye bags
- Reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines
- Remove excess or bulging fat in the under-eye area
- Correct sagging or down turning of the lower eyelid
Lower Blepharoplasty Consultation with Dr Michael Kernohan
With his extensive experience in performing lower eyelid surgery, Dr Kernohan knows that every person requires a unique approach. In your consultation, Dr Kernohan will ask you about your goals, insecurities, medical history and concerns.
Dr Kernohan will use this information to make sure that lower blepharoplasty is the right surgery for you, and he will also help to address any questions you might have about the procedure or results. Next, Dr Kernohan will create an individualised plan for your lower blepharoplasty surgery, which will help you to address your sunken eyes and any other cosmetic goals you might have.
What to Expect On the Day of Your Lower Blepharoplasty Surgery
Usually, Dr Kernohan performs lower blepharoplasty surgery as a day procedure. He uses local anaesthesia to reduce discomfort during your surgery.
You will need a support person who can take you home after your procedure has finished, as you will not be able to drive right away after your lower blepharoplasty. Lower blepharoplasty surgery requires some amount of downtime after the procedure, there may be some discomfort in the days following your surgery. You might experience normal side effects of the surgery, such as:
- Watery or sensitive eyes
- Changes in your vision, such as blurry vision or double vision
- Discomfort in bright light
- Bruising or swelling in the area around the eyes
- Discomfort in the sensitive skin under the eyes
Making the Decision to Have Plastic Surgery to Correct Sunken Eyes
Make sure to choose an experienced plastic surgeon, such as Dr Michael Kernohan, when you are researching who you would like to perform your procedure. Researching surgeon experience and qualifications is one of the best ways to ensure that your plastic surgery journey goes smoothly, and that your results are aligned with your body and goals.
When you are choosing a surgeon to perform your plastic surgery procedure for sunken eyes, make sure that they:
- Are highly experienced in performing the specific procedure you would like to have
- Are happy to answer any of your questions and provide you information about your procedure
- Have before and after pictures of patient results available upon request
- Are a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons
To help you carry out your own research, we recommend reading through the information provided on our Frequently Asked Questions page.
FAQs about Solutions for Sunken Eyes
Can Lower Blepharoplasty be combined with another procedure?
There are many complimentary plastic surgery procedures which can be combined with lower blepharoplasty depending on your goals, either on the day or at a later date as a part of your treatment plan. These include:
- Fat grafting to improve eye contour, or to create more volume in other areas of the face for more balanced results
- A brow lift to alter the appearance of the upper face
- Facial fillers or dermal fillers
- A surgical facelift to reduce sagging skin
If you are unsure if you should combine another procedure with your lower blepharoplasty surgery, or if you are unsure which complimentary plastic surgery procedure is right for you, Dr Kernohan is happy to provide you with guidance and evidence-based suggestions.
How is the Lower Blepharoplasty recovery?
- All of these symptoms are normal following a lower blepharoplasty, and for most people, most of these effects will be gone 2-3 days after your procedure. Dr Kernohan recommends resting and relaxing in the days after your lower blepharoplasty so that your body can recover and heal. Before your lower blepharoplasty surgery, Dr Kernohan and his team will advise you on the best ways to remain comfortable and ensure optimal healing when you are recovering from your procedure. For most people, the results from lower blepharoplasty will reduce the appearance of sunken or sagging eyes.
Further Reading about Eye Plastic Surgery Procedures
- Read Dr Kernohan’s Upper Eyelid Surgery page
- Read Dr Kernohan’s blog about How to Fix Tired Eyes
- Read Dr Kernohan’s blog about having a Blepharoplasty VS Forehead Lift
- Read Dr Kernohan’s blog about Recovery after Eyelid Lift Surgery
- Read Dr Kernohan’s Blog about Eyelid Surgery in Your 30s, 40s, 50s and 60s