Blepharoplasty gives your eyes a vibrant, alert, and refreshed appearance that will make you feel as good as you look. The eyes are the windows to the soul, but they’re also one of the first areas to show signs of ageing. Even small imperfections such as wrinkles, loose skin, or “bags” under the eyes can give an impression of being tired, weary, or unhappy. A blepharoplasty, or eyelid rejuvenation, can return youthful elegance to an individual’s face by making the eyes appear brighter and more refreshed. During this procedure, excess skin and protruding pockets of fat are removed from the upper and/or lower eyelids to reveal a rejuvenated look.
How is Blepharoplasty performed?
During an eyelid lift, your doctor will make a tiny incision along the natural lines of your eyelids and remove excess fat, skin and muscle. The skin is then tightened to give a firm, smooth appearance, and then closed with fine sutures. Scars are nearly invisible as they blend into the natural lines around your eyes. The procedure is associated with only minimal discomfort. After the procedure, some swelling and bruising is expected, but most of it will typically diminish within two weeks.
Upper blepharoplasty, or removal of excess skin and fat from the upper eyelid, is usually performed for cosmetic reasons. However, it can be considered medically necessary when the excess skin covers the eyelid or deflects the eyelashes downward affecting the visual field. In this procedure, the excess skin is removed along with appropriate amounts of fatty tissue to rejuvenate the upper eyelid appearance.
Lower blepharoplasty can correct drooping lower lids, and puffy bags below the eyes to help patients look younger. Baggy or puffy lower eyelids are due to the protrusion of fatty compartments in the eyelids. Removal or rearrangement of this fat, along with a skin excision or laser resurfacing, gives a more rested and youthful appearance under the eyes. This technique gives a natural look to the rejuvenated eyelids with minimal to no change in the lower eyelid position or contour.
The rejuvenating effect of blepharoplasty is long lasting, and can give you a more youthful appearance. When considering blepharoplasty, ask yourself these questions:
- Do you appear tired?
- Is the skin of your upper eyelid overhanging the normal lid crease and nearing the eyelashes?
- Are there bulges and bags surrounding your eyes?
- Do your eyes appear smaller than they did in past years?
A ‘yes’ to any of these questions would make you a candidate for blepharoplasty. Good blepharoplasty candidates include both healthy men and women who are realistic with their expectations. After your examination, your doctor will explain how eyelid surgery can help you achieve the look you desire. He will also explain the risks. Together you will decide which procedure is right for you, and you will be on your way to a more rested and youthful appearance.
Is Blepharoplasty painful?
Although blepharoplasty is associated with minimal discomfort, most patients will experience some swelling and bruising for at least a few days to a week after the procedure. While recovery time will vary from individual to individual, most people should be able to return to a normal schedule within a week to 10 days.
Postoperative effects and complications
- Patients often feel tightness around their eyes immediately after eyelid surgery. This is generally treated with a prescribed oral medication.
- During the first two days following the procedure, the patient will experience differing degrees of swelling and bruising depending on the type of eyelid surgery performed, and the patient’s individual reactions.
- The patient may experience temporary ocular discomforts such as itching, burning and general dryness of the eye, a blurring of vision, overactive tearing, and sensitivity to sunlight. Eye drops are recommended by some surgeons to help relieve these symptoms. Dark sunglasses can also be worn for the first few weeks following surgery to help reduce the impact of light and wind on the eye.
- Severe complications rarely arise from eyelid surgery. However, infection and bleeding can occur.
- Some patients experience difficulty pulling down the lower eyelid and sometimes in completely closing the eye.These symptoms are rarely permanent.
- In some extremely rare cases, undetected and untreated bleeding may result in blindness.
- It is important to realize that recovery time can differ significantly from patient to patient.
- For the first few days after eyelid surgery, it is advisable that the patient sleep in a recliner with his or her head elevated on pillows in order to keep swelling down.
- Regular application of a cold compress will also help reduce swelling during this period.
- The eyelid surgery patient will need to apply an antibiotic to the effected area twice a day for at least four days.
- Bandages are generally not used, but it is advisable that the patient has gauze handy.
- Patients may shower and wash their hair as they normally would. However, they should try avoid getting soap on the incisions.
- After about three days, eyelid surgery patients generally do not require pain medication.
- Stitches are typically removed within week following the procedure. The patient’s vision can remain a little blurry for a few days after the removal of the stitches.
- Swelling usually goes down within seven days, though some patients experience some minor swelling for several weeks.
- Bruising usually vanishes within seven to 10 days.
- People are generally allowed to wear make-up within the first week following the surgery to help hide any discolouration, if they so choose. Scarring usually becomes imperceptible within a few weeks.
- In order to minimize the temporary dryness and itching of the eye that often follows blepharoplasty, it is advisable to avoid activities that normally dry the eyes such as reading, watching television and using a computer for three to seven days following the surgery.
- Generally, eyelid surgery patients can go back to work after seven to 10 days. Contact lenses can be used again after two or more weeks.
- Since increased blood flow to the eyes should be avoided for the first three to four weeks, any strenuous activity or exercise should be avoided during this period.
- Crying and excessive blinking should also be avoided, as these activities lead to an increase in swelling.
- Since alcohol increases fluid retention, it can delay the patient’s recovery time. Hence, alcohol is to be avoided for at least three weeks following the procedure.
- After the removal of the stitches and healing of the incisions, the use of sun block around the eyelid is advisable for six months.