Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
Although eyelid surgery targets a rather small area of the face, it can have dramatic impact on facial appearance. As we age, eyelid skin loses its elasticity, resulting in excess drooping skin and the actual eyelid may descend and rest on the lashes.
Blepharoplasty corrects the sagging skin, removes or repositions the fat deposits and may involve muscle tightening resulting in improvement of many of the signs of aging, including the fat bags of both upper and lower eyelids to produce a great result.
There are many factors that contribute to the aged appearance of the eyes such as:
• Solar Damage
• Genetic traits such as sleepy eyes or under eye bags.
How to prepare
Medical history: You will be asked about previous surgeries and past or current conditions, such as dry eyes, glaucoma, allergies, circulatory problems, thyroid problems and diabetes. Your doctor will also ask about your use of medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
Before your eyelid surgery, you'll undergo:
• A physical examination to test tear trough and different parts of the eyelid
• Eyelid photography from different angles. These photos help with planning the surgery, assessing its immediate and long-term effects, and supporting an insurance claim.
You'll be asked to:
• Stop taking WARFARIN, aspirin, ibuprofen and any other medication or herbal supplement associated with increased bleeding. Ask your doctor how long before surgery you need to stop taking these medicines. Take only medications approved by your surgeon.
• Quit smoking several weeks before your surgery. Smoking can reduce your ability to heal after surgery.
• Arrange for someone to drive you to and from surgery if you're having outpatient surgery. Plan to have someone stay with you for the first night after returning home from surgery.
What is done?
The skin is carefully measured and removed; the pads of fat that have developed over the years are repositioned or removed.
• Bruising and swelling will reach a peak approximately 12 to 24 hours after surgery.
• The discoloration generally lasts about 3 to 12 days.
• Cold packs should be used on and off for 48 hours after surgery to control swelling and bruising.
• You will need to sleep with your head elevated on several pillows to minimize the swelling.
After surgery you may temporarily experience:
• Blurred vision from the lubricating ointment applied to your eyes
• Watering eyes
• Light sensitivity
• Double vision
• Puffy, numb eyelids
• Swelling and bruising similar to having black eyes
• Pain or discomfort
Your doctor will likely suggest you take the following steps after surgery:
• Use ice packs on your eyes for 10 minutes every hour the night after surgery. The following day, use ice packs on your eyes four to five times throughout the day.
• Gently clean your eyelids and use prescribed eyedrops or ointments.
• Avoid straining, heavy lifting and swimming for a week.
• Avoid strenuous activities, such as aerobics and jogging, for a week.
• Avoid smoking.
• Avoid rubbing your eyes.
• If you use contact lenses, don't put them in for about two weeks after surgery.
• Wear darkly tinted sunglasses to protect the skin of your eyelids from sun and wind.
• Sleep with your head raised higher than your chest for a few days.
• Apply cool compresses to reduce swelling.
• After a few days, return to the doctor's office to have stitches removed, if needed.
How long do the results last?
Eyelid surgery is quite long lasting. You never lose the improvement you’ve gained, but the process of aging continues. Some individuals may require additional tightening of their eyelids in the years to come.
Are there any risks?
Possible risks of eyelid surgery include:
• Infection and bleeding
• Dry, irritated eyes
• Difficulty closing your eyes or other eyelid problems
• Noticeable scarring
• Injury to eye muscles
• Skin discoloration
• The need for a follow-up surgery
• Temporarily blurred vision or, rarely, loss of eyesight
• Risks associated with surgery in general, including reaction to anesthesia and blood clots