Eyelid surgery (also known as blepharoplasty) can be a very effective way to correct a variety of cosmetic and functional issues. Below are some of the more common questions about what you can expect when taking this step on your self-improvement journey.
What are my options?
There are three types of eyelid surgeries typically available: lower eyelid, upper eyelid, and double blepharoplasty. Patients opt to participate in these procedures for a variety of reasons, including improvement of the contour by removing or adding fat, tightening of the skin to correct sagging, removal of extra skin, improvement of skin texture, and reduction of wrinkle visibility through laser skin resurfacing.
Patients also have a variety of goals that determine which procedure best suits their needs. For the upper eyelid, these can include the removal of excess fatty deposits that cause puffiness and can block the upper field of vision. Tightening up loose or sagging skin can eliminate folds that disturb the natural contour of the upper eyelid, and sometimes impair vision.
For the lower eyelid, removal of excess skin can correct bags under the eyes and reduce fine wrinkles, as well as address droopiness that shows the white below the iris.
Double Blepharoplasty – also known as Asian eyelid surgery – is often used as a means to create or enhance a crease in the upper eyelid. People of Asian descent who want to “westernize” their appearance frequently consider this procedure.
Should I consider this procedure?
Patients who choose blepharoplasty are typically adult men and women with healthy facial tissue and muscle, who have realistic goals for improvement of their eyelids and surrounding areas of the face.
Other characteristics include non-smoking, healthy individuals without a life-threatening illness, a serious eye condition, or a medical situation that can impair healing. Be sure to tell your surgeon if you have an eye disease (glaucoma, dry eye, or a detached retina), thyroid disorders (Graves’ disease and an underactive or overactive thyroid), diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, or other circulatory disorders.
How should I prepare?
Proper planning is key to a smooth and successful eyelid surgery. Your primary care physician will need to clear you for any procedure. He or she may request you have a physical before proceeding.
Make sure to review and follow pre-op and/or post-op instructions. For example, you may need to purchase certain items to have on hand at home afterwards, including artificial tears, gauze, or gel packs.
What happens during surgery?
The elements of eyelid surgery are fairly straightforward, but it is worth listing them here.
- Anesthesia. Patients typically choose between intravenous sedation or general anesthesia.
- Incision. The procedure is designed for scars to be concealed within the natural structures of the eyelid region. For the upper eyelid, incision lies within the natural crease of the upper eyelid. This allows for the repositioning of fat deposits, the tightening of muscles and tissue, and removal of excess skin.The lower eyelid incision sits just below the lower lash line, allowing for the removal of excess skin. An alternate technique is known as a transconjunctival incision, which takes place inside the lower eyelid and does not remove any skin.
- Closing incision. Typically, your surgeon will close incisions with removable or absorbable sutures, skin adhesives, or surgical tape. In addition, he or she may use a laser or chemical peel to erase dark discoloration of the lower eyelids.
What is the recovery process?
Immediately following eyelid surgery, expect to experience swelling and bruising. These conditions are generally worse the day after surgery, but quickly begin to disappear. Other symptoms may include irritated or dry eyes and inflammation of the incision site.
Be sure to follow your surgeon’s post-op instructions – take any recommended medications, whether oral or applied to the eyes, be on the lookout for issues that pertain to overall health and the surgical site, and make sure to attend your scheduled follow-up appointment.
What results should I expect?
Your final eyelid surgery results will begin to appear within several weeks, but it may take up to a year for incision lines to fully refine. While these procedures can correct certain conditions permanently, you will continue to age naturally. Make sure to protect yourself from prolonged sun exposure in order to maintain your results.
Patients typically return to normal activities within seven to ten days. The majority of swelling and bruising resolves within two weeks.
If you’re considering eyelid surgery or another cosmetic procedure, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at your convenience.
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