What is Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)?
Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is an elective cosmetic surgery designed to improve the eye’s shape and appearance. This type of surgery is best to correct excess fat, drooping skin of upper eyelids, and puffiness under eyes. Eyelid surgery can also be used to correct ptosis, a medical condition caused by damage to nerve endings or poor muscle tone. Eyelid surgery is often performed along with brow lift or facelift to improve facial sagging, wrinkles, and droopy eyebrows.
The Best Candidates For Eyelid Surgery
During the initial consultation with your doctor, he or she will discuss the requirements for eyelid surgery. Successful candidates should be at least 35 years old and physically and emotionally healthy. Certain conditions such as dry eyes, hypothyroidism, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, glaucoma, or Graves’ disease may make you ineligible for this type of surgery.
All Surgeries Carry Some Uncertainty and Risk
As with all surgeries, cosmetic processes have the risk of bleeding, infection, adhesions, abscess formation, inappropriate healing, and unsightly scarring. Risks specific to eyelid surgery include teary, itchy eyes, double vision, light sensitivity, or dry eyes. The anatomy of the eyelids and facial structure, skin elasticity, age, and adjacent tissue all affect aesthetic and functional outcomes of surgery.
Planning Your Eyelid Surgery
It is very important to follow your surgeon’s pre-operative instructions. He or she will want to know about your current and past medical status as well as any medications you are taking. Alcohol use, cigarette smoking, and over-the-counter drugs should also be avoided. Eyelid surgery is also contraindicated in particular patients with eye problems such as dry eyes.
You and your surgeon should carefully discuss your goals and expectations for this surgery. You’ll need to discuss whether to do all four eyelids or just the upper or lower ones, whether skin as well as fat will be removed, and whether any additional procedures are appropriate.
In order to get the best results from your eyelid surgery, be sure to discuss your expectations and concerns with the surgeon. He or she will be able to address your questions and ensure you have a realistic idea of what this procedure can achieve.
Other pre-operative information may include specific techniques, type of anesthesia that will be used, and information about the facility where the surgery will be performed. This is also the time your surgeon will outline risks and adverse side effects that may be possible with eyelid surgery.
Preparing For Your Surgery
Be sure to follow the specific instructions provided by your doctor in order to properly prepare for the neck lift procedure. He or she may instruct you to avoid aspirin and all NSAIDs for 2 weeks prior to the operation in order to avoid clotting problems later. It is also essential that you stop smoking for at least 2 weeks before and after the procedure. Alcohol should be avoided a few days before neck lift surgery and fasting instructions for the night before and morning of your operation are important to avoid anesthesia complications. You should also arrange for someone to pick you up after the procedure, and it may be helpful to have someone around the house for a few days.
Where Your Eyelid Surgery Will Be Performed
Eyelid surgery is usually performed in an outpatient surgical facility. Most patients are discharged home the same day unless they prefer to remain overnight in order to be monitored by surgical staff. Be sure to bring along a friend or family member that can drive you home and help around the house for a day or two.
Types of Anesthesia
As with all other operations, eyelid surgery may be performed under local or general anesthesia. Eyelid surgery is most often performed with local anesthesia around the eye area and general sedation for the patient’s comfort.
The Eyelid Lift Surgery
Under general anesthesia, incisions are made along the crease of the upper eyelid. Fatty tissue, excess skin, and underlying muscle may be removed. The surgeon may also make an incision under the lower lashes along the outer lower rim of the eye. This will allow the doctor to divide fatty tissue from skin and muscle without leaving a visible scar. Often, external skin resurfacing with a chemical peel or carbon dioxide laser is performed simultaneously to improve outcome and recovery.
After Your Eyelid Surgery
Post-operative instructions from your doctor after your eyelid surgery may include use of lubricating ointment, bandages, and pain-relieving medication. An increase in pain or swelling beyond the first day should be immediately reported to your doctor as it may indicate infection and should be treated with a course of antibiotics.
It is important to follow all of your doctor’s instructions in order to expedite the healing process and ensure the best recovery. Keep your head elevated above your heart for several days (even while sleeping) and monitor swelling and bruising. Cold compresses may help with pain relief. Burning or itching of the eyes can be relieved with eye drops. Monitor eyesight changes and report any increase in blurring or double vision to your doctor.
Getting Back to Normal After Eyelid Surgery
After eyelid surgery, your doctor may instruct you to avoid contact lenses for at least 2 weeks. While you may be sensitive to sunlight, other activities such as watching television should be okay. Make sure to wear sunglasses when going outside and avoid irritants for several weeks.
Many patients feel ready to return to work within ten days and activities should be kept to a minimum for the first 3 to 5 days. Activities that are strenuous or raise blood pressure should be avoided for at least 3 weeks. Bending, lifting heavy items, vigorous sports, and alcohol should be avoided.
Your New Look
Scarring from eyelid surgery will eventually fade to a thin, white line within six months. However, the youthful benefits of this cosmetic procedure will last for years.
Schedule a Blepharoplasty Consultation
To learn more about eyelid surgery and find out if you are a good candidate, call (315) 299-5313 to schedule a consultation. Dr. DeRoberts welcomes patients from Syracuse and surrounding areas.