About Eyelid Surgery
Eyelid surgery, also known as eye lift or blepharoplasty.
Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure designed to correct deformities or defects of the eyelid, or to modify it for aesthetic purposes. The particular problems of the patient are resolved by either removing or repositioning excess eyelid tissue from the upper and lower eyelids. Some surrounding tissue may be altered as well as the eyelids, such as the nose, eyebrows or cheeks.
Eyelid surgery has long lasting results and should not normally need to be performed more than once. Significant physiological changes, such as weight gain or aging, may cause the eyelids to droop or sag as before. The cost of eyelid surgery depends on where they are having surgery and the experience of the surgeon performing the procedure.
How is it performed?
Eyelid surgery can be performed on either the upper or lower eyelids, or both if required. Your surgeon will decide how much tissue to remove, based on your consultation, bone and muscle structure in the face, and general health. Depending on your unique situation, your surgeon may make some other small adjustments, for example to tighten the muscles around the area. They will then use special glues or sutures to smooth and reconstruct the areas around the eyelids. These types of suture are invisible to the eye and usually dissolve by themselves. In most people, there are virtually no detectable signs of scarring. Patients who have naturally dry eyes will have less tissue removed, so as to avoid exposing the eye to the air too much, and causing further problems
What are my options?
Based on your unique physical characteristics, your surgeon will select the appropriate combination and method of surgery to achieve your aesthetic goals.
Your surgeon will place the incision line at the natural eyelid crease through which he or she will remove excess skin muscle and fat. Lasers may be used to remove this excess tissue to reduce swelling and bruising.
There are a number of options available to your surgeon when performing eyelid surgery. The traditional blepharoplasty places the incision beneath the lower eyelashes, trimming excess fat and skin and tightening the muscle of the lower eyelid.
What result can I expect?
Eyelid surgery is almost completely permanent, with any hooding or loose eyelid skin being removed only once. As aging causes your brow to descend further, excess skin can appear on the upper eyelid. In these cases a brow lift is preferred over a blepharoplastyIt is important that you return to your doctor’s office for regular checkups. Do not hesitate to contact your surgeon when you have any questions or concerns about your healing.
- You will eliminate the puffiness and bags under your lower lids and the hooded skin on your upper lids.
- You may no longer have vision problems related to overhanging eyelids.
- Any scars from the eye lift will be hidden in your natural eyelid creases making them almost indiscernible.
- It will take time to see results after surgery.
- You’ll likely be bruised and swollen and your eyes may be itchy and dry following the procedure.
For the easiest recovery, try to have these items readily available at home:
- Ice cubes, ice pack or freezer bags filled with ice frozen corn or peas (based on your surgeon’s recommendation for cold application to the eyelids).
- Small gauze pads.
- Eye drops or artificial tears (ask your doctor to recommend the proper type to meet your particular needs).
- Clean wash cloths and towels.
- Over-the-counter painkillers which your doctor can recommend, but avoid Advil, Motrin, Naproxen, Aleve and Aspirin due to the increased risk of bleeding.
To give your eyelids a proper chance to heal, you should plan to take time off work and limit your activity for up to a couple of weeks after surgery.
For your safety it is important to follow any and all instructions given to you by your surgeon. This should include information about how to dress and care for your wound, what painkillers you can take and the safe level of activity you can undertake. They will also give you detailed information about how to spot any signs of complications. Try to remember that everyone’s body is unique and so the recovery time for each procedure will vary between individuals.
The first two weeks
Although you will be able to move around well enough after surgery, you should plan to take time to stay at home. Remember that different people heal at different rates.
- Follow your instructions from your physician.
- Treat the incisions with ointment to keep them lubricated for the first couple of days after surgery and place cold compresses on your eyes to reduce any swelling.
- You will be advised to use eye drops to keep the eyes from drying.
- If you have dry eyes lasting more than two weeks contact your doctor.
- Sleep with your head raised higher than your chest.
- You can use regular pillows wedge pillows or sleep on a recliner.
- Minimize swelling and bruising by keeping your head elevated as much as possible during the first few days of recovery.
After blepharoplasty surgery you will find that your eyelids feel tighter than normal. Any pain or soreness you experience can be treated with normal pain medication, like acetaminophen. You will have a significant amount of bruising, but this will typically subside within two weeks. You should make sure to avoid any heavy lifting or strenuous activities, including swimming, for two weeks after your procedure. Even low-energy exercises that cause your head to move quickly, or that increase blood flow to the head, should be avoided. This includes even minor movements such as bending over, which causes your head to be lower than your heart. This should be adhered to for up to three weeks after surgery. You may find that your eyes become tired faster than you are used to, especially during the first few days of recovery. Take frequent naps, to help rest your eyes. Try to avoid any activities that cause the eyes to become tired, including watching screens or wearing contact lenses. Wear UV protective sunglasses to help protect your eyes from irritants and harmful sunlight. Any stitches your surgeon has used will be removed within the first week of your blepharoplasty. You should start to feel well enough to resume your normal daily activities towards the end of the second week of recovery. If you experience any chest pains, shortness of breath,an unusual heart rate, bleeding, new pains or vision problems, please seek medical attention immediately.
Limits & Risks
Significant complications from surgery to the eyelids are rare. All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. By following all the advice your surgeon gives you, you can significantly reduce your risks.
Some potential complications of all surgeries are:
- Adverse reaction to anaesthesia
- Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
- Infection and bleeding
- Changes in sensation
- Allergic reactions
- Damage to underlying structures
- Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures
- Blood clots in your legs or lungs