Eyelid Surgery reduces excess skin folds, muscle and fat bags from upper and lower eyelids. Blepharoplasty can provide both a cosmetic improvement as well as a functional improvement for the patient.
What are the benefits?
This surgery can make the patient look and feel younger by correcting bags below the eyes and drooping upper eyelids. The procedure may also make the patient appear less tired.
Eyelid surgery will not improve drooping eyebrows or correct wrinkles on cheeks, temples, forehead, or face. Blepharoplasty cannot improve upon dark circles under eyes or make the patient appear to have a different ethnic background. For individuals who tend not to have an upper eyelid crease (Asians), eyelid surgery may provide this feature.
What will happen at the consultation?
During the initial consultation, you and your surgeon will discuss the changes that you would like to make in your appearance. He will explain the different options available to you, the procedure itself, the risks and limitations, and the type of anaesthesia that will be used. Your surgeon will also evaluate your health.
Patients with the following conditions should seek the advice of medical experts before having the procedure:
- Graves' disease
- Dry eye
- Detached retina
Individuals with cardiovascular disease, diabetes, thyroid problems, uncontrolled high blood pressure or circulatory disorders should also use caution before having Blepharoplasty performed.
How is the procedure performed?
Incisions usually follow the natural lines of the eyelids, such as creases in upper lids and immediately under the lashes of lower lids. The surgeon separates the skin and muscle from the fat below the skin's surface. Excess fatty tissue is removed, and drooping muscle and skin is trimmed. The surgeon then closes the incision with special sutures designed for the eyes.
If both eyes are being corrected, usually the upper eyelids are handled first, followed by the lower lids.
How long does the operation take?
The entire procedure should last from one to two hours, depending upon the individual and the extent of the surgery.
How long do I have to stay in the hospital for?
Hospital stay depends on the extent of the repair. You usually stay in hospital overnight if the lower eyelids are done, but if the procedure is only on your upper eyelids, you may be able to go home the same day (especially if they are done under local anaesthesia).
What can I expect afterwards?
When you wake up, there will be cool packs over your eyes to reduce the swelling and bruising. However, bruising and swelling will appear around the eyes after surgery. This should subside after two or three weeks. Temporary vision problems and excessive tearing may occur. Follow the surgeon's instructions to avoid complications.
The eyes are lubricated with ointment after the surgery. This will leave eyes feeling gummy for a few weeks. Eye-drops may be recommended to keep the eyes moist. For a few weeks, eyes may be sensitive to light and blurred and double vision may occur.
Stitches are usually removed 4 to 7 days after surgery. After the stitched are removed, swelling and bruising around the eyes should dissipate. Most patients can return to work 7-10 days after surgery.
What are the long-term results?
Successful operations leave patients appearing younger and more alert. Eyelid creases will be improved and fat bulges should disappear. Scarring should be hidden within the folds and creases of the eyes.
What are the risks?
As with any surgery, patients sometimes react to anaesthesia or may experience infections. Some Blepharoplasty patients experience double or blurred vision. This usually only lasts for a few days. Eyelids will swell for a brief period of time, and small whiteheads may appear after stitches are removed. In some cases, the whiteheads need to be removed with a needle. Bruising will be obvious immediately and takes 2-3 weeks to settle.
Because both sides of a person's face are not identical, the eyes may not be perfectly symmetrical after they heal. Scarring may be different for each eye.
Since the muscles of the eye are sometimes corrected, some individuals may experience difficulty closing their eyes. This may be permanent in rare cases. Another rare occurrence is the drooping or sagging of lower eyelids, called ectropion. With this complication, additional surgery may be needed.