Eyelid Surgery/Blepharoplasty

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Are you considering blepharoplasty to get rid of those droopy eyelids or those unattractive bags below your eyes? The appearance of your eye area contributes significantly to your overall appearance thus blepharoplasty is a great option if you want to look younger. Here we will tell you all you need to know about the procedure, including preparation tips and how to take care of yourself after the blepharoplasty surgery.

What is Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty is a form of cosmetic surgery in which excess fat, skin, and tissue are removed from the eyelid area in order to correct droopiness. It serves to enhance the aesthetic quality of your eye area and also improve any vision problems.

As you grow older, the skin on your eyelids tends to stretch due to reduced elasticity, and the muscles attached to them weaken as well. This leads to the accumulation of fat deposits and excess skin in the area above and below your eyelids, leading to sagging brows, baggy under-eye areas, and drooping upper lids. This not only makes you look less attractive but could also lead to problems in your peripheral vision. In such cases, blepharoplasty can restore your normal vision and also help you look more youthful.

Blepharoplasty can be combined with other procedures such as a brow lift or a facelift to help you achieve the maximum effect. It is a particularly popular surgical procedure among women, who accounted for 85% of all blepharoplasty in the United States and 88% of blepharoplasty in the United Kingdom in 2014.

Why is it best?

A blepharoplasty can be the ideal option if you have extremely saggy eyelids or drooping brows that are affecting your appearance and your peripheral vision. The various benefits of blepharoplasty can be listed as follows.

  • It can rectify sagging or drooping eyelids that make it difficult for you to open your eyes fully.
  • It can remove excess skin on your upper eyelids that are affecting your peripheral vision.
  • It can correct baggy under-eye areas.
  • It can remove excess skin that has gathered on your lower lids.
  • It can remove excess fat deposits that are creating a puffy effect.
  • It can give your eyes a more wide-awake, youthful look.
  • It can help to create a ‘double eyelid’ effect that many patients consider attractive.
  • It can improve the overall aesthetics of your face and enhance your self-confidence.
  • It can help to make everyday activities such as reading or driving easier for you.
  • Any physically healthy adult with good eye health can undergo a blepharoplasty.
  • The results of the surgery are permanent.
  • The surgery takes only a few hours and involves a speedy recovery period.

How to prepare for Blepharoplasty?

A blepharoplasty is an extremely complex surgery as the eye area is the most delicate part of your body. It is thus crucial that you prepare adequately by informing yourself fully about the procedure and the possible side effects. The following tips will help you prepare better before you schedule your blepharoplasty.

Research thoroughly before choosing a doctor

A blepharoplasty is a highly delicate operation and should only be done by a trained plastic surgeon in consultation with an ophthalmologist. You should thus research online for the best plastic surgeons and ophthalmologists with strong track records of successful blepharoplasty. In addition, you can take recommendations from friends, family members or colleagues who may have done the surgery already.

Provide a complete and accurate medical history

During your consultations with your doctor, he or she will ask for a full medical history particularly with relation to your eye health. You need to provide accurate details of any medical conditions you currently suffer from such as diabetes or heart disease, as well as any eye conditions such as glaucoma, dry eye or cataract. Your doctor will also require details of the medication you currently take, including any vitamins or herbal/alternative remedies. You also need to specify your alcohol and tobacco usage, both present and past. Certain medications may need to be avoided before the surgery, including aspirin, ibuprofen and any others that your doctor specifies, as these could increase your risk of infection. You will also need to quit smoking several weeks prior to the blepharoplasty as smoking slows down the body’s healing processes.

Undergo the necessary medical examinations

Your doctor will perform several tests on you to ensure that your health permits a blepharoplasty. A vision examination will be done to test your peripheral vision and judge how much your drooping eyelids are affecting it. The doctor will also do a physical examination to check your overall eye health and your tear production. In addition, photos will be taken of your eye area from various angles to assess what the final outcome should look like and how to approach the surgery.

Be honest about your expectations

Even if your drooping eyelids are not affecting your vision, you may wish to undergo blepharoplasty in order to look younger and more attractive. It is important to be very clear about your expectations during your conversations with the doctor so that he or she can guide you on exactly what is feasible and what you can expect in terms of appearance in the short-term and the long-term.

The Blepharoplasty Procedure

Blepharoplasty is a form of cosmetic surgery in which

A blepharoplasty usually takes place in an outpatient area in the plastic surgeon’s clinic and takes anywhere between one and three hours to complete. Be sure to arrange for a friend or family member to accompany you home after the procedure and stay with you for at least one night to help you out if needed. The typical steps in blepharoplasty are listed as follows –

  • The doctor injects numbing medicine into your eyelids and gives you intravenous sedation to help you relax during the procedure.
  • The upper eyelid is operated on first. Your doctor will make an incision along the eyelid, remove as much excess fat, skin, and muscle as is needed and then close up the cut.
  • For the lower lid, a cut is made along the natural crease of the eye just below the lash line or even on the inner wall of the lid. The doctor removes and redistributes extra skin, fat and muscle and then stitches up the lid.
  • If your upper lid droops extremely close to your pupil, the doctor may employ a process known as ptosis to provide extra support to your eyebrow muscle once the eyelid has been corrected.
  • In some cases, your doctor may use a laser instead of a scalpel to complete the operation. This is often a more precise procedure but involves a slight risk of burns around the eye area from the laser beam.

Post-care after Blepharoplasty

Once the blepharoplasty procedure is complete, you will be kept in a recovery room for a few hours where the medical team will monitor you for any possible complications. You will usually be allowed to return home the same day. Keep the following tips in mind to help you recover speedily after the surgery.

  • Some bruising and swelling in your eyelid area is normal and may last up to two weeks. Your doctor may prescribe a pain medication to help you deal with the symptoms.
  • You may experience some blurriness of vision and light sensitivity caused by the medication used during the surgery to numb your eye. This is normal for a few days; however, consult your doctor if the problem persists for a longer term.
  • Your doctor may recommend that you apply ice packs or cool compresses to deal with the swelling.
  • Do not wear contact lenses for at least two weeks after the surgery.
  • Use prescribed ointments and cleansing solutions to wash your eyes and do not rub them under any circumstances.
  • Avoid all strenuous activities, including heavy lifting, swimming, jogging or aerobics for at least a week.
  • You should be able to resume work or school within two weeks after the surgery. Check with your doctor for when it is safe to do so.
  • You should sleep with your head elevated above chest level for a few days.
  • Visit your doctor on the appointed day to remove any stitches that have been left in after the procedure.
  • Wear dark glasses whenever you go out to protect your delicate eyelids from the sun.
  • Continue to avoid naproxen sodium, aspirin, and other over-the-counter medications for at least a week after the procedure. Use only the pain medications prescribed by your doctor.
  • Immediately notify your doctor if you experience symptoms such as dizziness, tightness in the chest, severe eye pain or bleeding in the eye area.
  • Keep in mind that the scars from the surgery may take several months to heal. You can conceal them by wearing dark glasses or consult your doctor for appropriate creams and ointments to apply on the scars.
  • The results of the blepharoplasty are permanent and you will enjoy a younger, more alert look. However, you will always need to take extra care of your eyes and avoid direct sun exposure.