What is eyelid surgery?
Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the eyelids.
Surgery can be performed on the upper lids, lower lids or both.
Whether you want to improve your appearance or are experiencing functional problems with your eyelids, eyelid surgery can rejuvenate the area surrounding your eyes.
What eyelid surgery can treat
Loose or sagging skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid, sometimes impairing vision
Fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the eyelids
Bags under the eyes
Drooping lower eyelids that reveal white below the iris
Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid
Who is a good candidate for eyelid surgery?
Good candidates for eyelid surgery include:
Healthy individuals with no medical conditions that can impair healing
Individuals with a positive outlook and realistic goals
Individuals without serious eye conditions
Remember that the eyelids are part of the face. The appearance of a drooping upper lid may also be due to relaxation of the forehead skin and eyebrow. Sometimes stretching out of the upper eyelid muscle may cause a drooping eyelid. This is called eyelid ptosis and requires a different surgical treatment.
Your plastic surgeon will evaluate your facial anatomy thoroughly and will discuss what procedures might best remedy your concerns.
What are the risks of eyelid surgery?
The decision to have plastic surgery is extremely personal and you will have to weigh the potential benefits in achieving your goals with the risks and potential complications of eyelid surgery. Only you can make that decision for yourself.
You will be asked to sign consent forms to ensure that you fully understand the procedure and any risks and potential complications.
Possible eyelid surgery risks include:
Bleeding from the incision lines
Changes in skin sensation or numbness of the eyelashes
Difficulty closing your eyes
Dryness to the eyes
Ectropion, an outward rolling of the lower eyelid
Lid lag, a pulling down of the lower eyelid, may occur and is often temporary
Pain, which may persist
Possible need for revision surgery
Sensitivity to sun or other bright light
Swelling and bruising
Temporary or even permanent change in vision, and very rare chance of blindness
These risks and others will be fully discussed prior to your consent. It is important that you address all your questions directly with your plastic surgeon.
What should I expect during my eyelid surgery recovery?
During your eyelid surgery recovery, lubricating ointment and cold compresses may be applied, and in some cases your eyes may be loosely covered with gauze, after your procedure is completed.
You will be given specific instructions that may include how to care for your eyes, medications to apply or take orally to aid healing and reduce the potential for infection, specific concerns to look for at the surgical site or in your overall health and when to follow-up with your plastic surgeon.
Initial healing may include some swelling, bruising, irritation, dry eyes and discomfort that can be controlled with medication, cold compresses and ointment. Irritation at the incision sites is also possible.
Be sure to ask your plastic surgeon specific questions about what you can expect during your individual recovery period.
Where will I be taken after my surgery is complete?
What medication will I be given or prescribed after surgery?
Will I have dressings/bandages after surgery?
When will they be removed?
Are stitches removed? When?
When can I resume normal activity and exercise?
When do I return for follow-up care?
Eyelid surgery recovery & sun protection
You must practice diligent sun protection and use darkly tinted sunglasses until the healing process is fully complete.
What results should I expect after eyelid surgery?
The results of eyelid surgery will be long-lasting. While there usually is little pain involved in this surgery, there can be swelling or bruising. Most patients are presentable to the public in 10-14 days. However, it may take a few months before final healing is completed.
While eyelid surgery can be expected to correct certain conditions permanently, you will continue to age naturally. Ongoing sun protection will help to maintain your results.
Although good results are expected from your procedure, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure and another surgery may be necessary.
Following your post-operative instructions is essential to the success of your surgery. It is important that the surgical incisions not be subjected to excessive force, abrasion or motion during the time of healing.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for yourself.
This article was taken from AMERICAN SOCIETY OF PLASTIC SURGEONS web page: