Does Removal Of Eye Bags Require Surgery? Singapore Plastic Surgeon Shares His Experience
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types of eye bag condition

Does Removal Of Eye Bags Require Surgery? Singapore Plastic Surgeon Shares His Experience

Plastic surgeon A/Prof Vincent Yeow, shares his insights into non-invasive and surgical eye bag removal techniques and if they can be removed without the need for surgery.

In my 20 years of being a plastic surgeon, I’ve seen how surgical techniques for eye bag removal have advanced over the years. I’m here to address one of the most common questions I get from patients on whether their eye bag condition can be treated without surgery, as well as a few other techniques I commonly use for eye bag concerns.

I will go into more details on the following topics.

  • What are eye bags?
  • What causes eye bags to form?
  • Classifications of the various types of eye bag conditions.
  • Do all eye bag conditions require surgery?
  • If surgery is not for you, will a non-surgical option still benefit you?
  • In general, the cost of eye bag surgery in Singapore

WHAT ARE EYE BAGS?

Eye bags are swelling or puffiness around the under eye region.

You have probably heard the Korean term, “aegyo sal”, which when translated means “charming fat”, and refers to small fatty deposits under the eyes that naturally occur in children. The presence of aegyo sal gives you a youthful look.

Eye bags are a different matter however, as they rest below the aegyo sal region. Some common characteristics of eye bags are:

  • Bulging in the under eye region
  • Bulge outlines that stretch downwards
  • Indentations or lines along the tear trough that may be accompanied by discolouration, appearing darker than the surrounding skin

WHAT CAUSES EYE BAGS?

Excess swelling and sagging under the eyes can be caused by one of the following conditions:

  • Movement of fat from the upper eye area to down below the eyes
  • Excess fluid build-up under the eyes
  • Loss of collagen under the eyes
  • Weakening of muscles below the eyes
  • Aging, leading to thinner skin and wrinkles, making bags more noticeable

Most of the time, the onset of bags under the eyes are purely a cosmetic concern, unrelated to any underlying health problems. Aging is the inevitable and primary cause of bags under the eyes, but many people are also just prone to them due to their genetics. Just as family members share a similar nose or face shape, how likely you are to have eye bags runs in the family.

The appearance of eye bags is a very common aesthetic issue however, and thus a major point of concern for many people. Eye bags can make you look tired, and as a result, older and more haggard. The good news is, you do not have to live with your eye bags. With medical advancements, you can choose from a range of non-surgical options to surgery treatment that can reduce your eye bags safely and effectively.

TYPES OF EYE BAG CONDITIONS

My recommendations for eye bag treatments vary depending on a patient’s eye bag condition.

Some key characteristics that affect eye bag severity are the fat bulge, the laxity of the eye bag skin, and the associated tear trough depression.

I look into these 3 characteristics when assessing eye bag condition:

1. Bulge

This refers to the degree of protrusion of the eye bags.

2. Skin Laxity

Skin laxity determines if the skin under the eye can recover and adjust to the new contour after fat is removed. Any presence of unremoved excess skin could give the appearance of wrinkles or less firm skin.

3. Sunken or hollow areas under the eye

Usually caused by downward migration of fat pads or loss of fat as you age, hollow areas under the eye can sometimes make you look like you have multiple eye bags. Any creases along the tear trough tend to appear deeper as well, making the eye bag look even more pronounced.

In addition to these, any hollowing of the midface cheeks aggravates the appearance of eye bags.

Types of eye bag conditions

DO ALL EYE BAG CONDITIONS REQUIRE SURGERY?

Mild to moderate eye bag conditions do not require surgery treatment and can be addressed using the Scarless Eye Bag Removal Treatment.

This treatment uses a Nano Optic Fibre Laser, which works by running a laser beneath the skin. All that is needed is a needle-sized prick for it to access fat tissues beneath the skin.

Some advantages of this treatment method:

  1. Precision – Because the optic fiber is small, precise delivery of laser energy only to areas that require treatment is made possible. This is great for delicate areas such as the lower eyelids.
  2. Less Trauma – Laser energy delivery is well controlled when using the nano optic fiber, meaning that unnecessary heat damage and trauma to the skin can be avoided. This reduces downtime post-treatment.
  3. Quick Recovery – You avoid cuts or risks associated with surgery as it only requires a needle prick.
  4. Ideal laser wavelength – The laser’s wavelength has the added benefits of melting fats while tightening skin at the same time. Fats that have been melted are disposed of by the body’s natural drainage system.
  5. Keeps the original eye shape – There is no need to remove excess skin surgically, which may alter the shape of the eye slightly.

Consider Scarless Eye Bag Removal Surgery if you are:

  • Afraid of surgery
  • Unable to take long leave from work
  • Have health conditions that prevent you from getting surgery

I HAVE SEVERE EYE BAGS AND I’M AFRAID OF SURGERY. WILL THE SCARLESS EYE BAG REMOVAL STILL BENEFIT ME?

I understand that surgery is not something everyone is open to.

Patients with heavier eye bags will still enjoy some improvements following this procedure. For example, it can still help to debulk puffy eye bags. However, where excess skin is present, the Scarless Eye Bag Removal has its limits when it comes to skin tightening. This technique will not be able to tighten the skin enough to eliminate or reduce wrinkles.

Hence for moderate to severe eye bag conditions, I would still recommend surgical techniques for better results. Read on to see my comparison of treatment benefits below, where I indicate the parameters of each technique to help you understand what each of them can or cannot achieve.

Eye bag removal technique comparison

COST OF EYE BAG REMOVAL AT DREAM PLASTIC SURGERY

Scarless Eye Bag Removal treatment generally ranges from $1800 – $2800.

In comparison, eye bag removal surgery prices range from $5,500 to $9,500 in Singapore, not including anaesthetist and operating facility charges.

For surgical techniques the actual cost depends on:

  • The type of surgical technique used
  • The complexity of the case

In straightforward cases where light sedation is sufficient, the total cost of the procedure can be expected to fall between $5,500 – $6,500.

Other factors affecting the cost of eye bag surgery include:

  • Procedure fee
  • Anaesthetist’s fee
  • Operating facilities fee
  • Surgical consumables
  • The need for stitch removal
  • Medication