Focus on Eyes | Restoring Volume to Eye Hollows

Woman with her hand on her face

Eyes are getting a lot of focus these days. Women are ferociously fixated on eyebrow symmetry, fullness, shape, and thickness. Eyeshadows come in more colors than the rainbow ever included. Eyelash extensions and are so coveted that even the strongest animal advocate is tempted by real mink lashes. For all the fuss about eyes, in order to look truly rejuvenated (and yes, younger) the most effective cosmetic enhancement for eyes is a restoration of volume loss.

The natural process of aging results in an average loss of facial fat of roughly one teaspoon each year. This includes the loss of fat in the eye socket.

The eye sockets (known as orbits) contain the eyeballs (globes), the extraocular muscles which turn the eyeballs, and fat which pads the globes. As we age, we lose that cushioning fat. As the fat within the orbit resorbs, the eyelids sink into the orbits, causing a deepening of the crease above the upper lid. This gives people a hollow, skeletonized and aged appearance.


Fat Loss in Aging
Fat loss in aging stages



Fat loss occurs in both the upper and lower lids. Bringing the fullness back into the orbit can be performed with injections of hyaluronic acid-based fillers such as Restylane or Juvederm or with fat grafting.

Restylane and Juvederm offer a temporary correction as most fillers suitable for the orbit are resorbed by the body in 6 to 9 months.

Autologous fat grafting uses a person’s own fat as a natural filler. Fat is extracted (harvested) from the waist or thigh through liposuction. The fat is then purified and drawn into syringes for injection into the orbit. This transferred fat can be considered a permanent filler, although the fat survival can be unpredictable. 


Volume Added to Upper and Lower Eyelids
(Fat Grafting)
Before and after fat grafting



The orbit can be a tricky area to treat for obvious reasons. Some practitioners are not comfortable treating the upper and lower eyelids. Choose wisely for this procedure. Thoroughly research your injector and ask to view before and after photos of other patients who have had injections into the eye sockets for volume correction. Flawless injection technique and knowledge of the anatomy of the eye are paramount.

Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa in San Diego, CA is home to Dr. Gilbert Lee, a board-certified plastic surgeon.

Learn more about treating the eye area for volume loss.

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