Eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the eyelids.
Upper eyelid excess skin and fat can create a heavy looking eyelid, aged appearance, puffiness, and sometimes block vision. Upper blepharoplasty is performed to remove excess skin and fat and can improve vision.
Double eyelid surgery is performed to create an upper eyelid crease. Double eyelid surgery is also called Westernization of the eyelid.
Lower blepharoplasty is performed to remove excess skin, reduce wrinkles, and improve the shape of the lower eyelid by removing skin and fat. Sometimes tightening the eyelid is needed to correct droopiness or sagging. Adding fat is done to improve a “hollowed” appearance
Whether you want to improve your appearance or are experiencing functional problems with your eyelids, eyelid surgery can rejuvenate the area surrounding your eyes.
Specifically, eyelid surgery can treat:
- Loose or sagging skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid, sometimes impairing vision
- Excess 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
In general, good candidates for eyelid surgery include:
- Healthy individuals who do not have a life threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
- Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for eyelid surgery
- 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 a drooping eyelid is caused by stretching of one of the upper eyelid muscles.
Your plastic surgeon will evaluate your anatomy thoroughly to determine the causes of your eyelid appearance and what procedures might best remedy them.
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.
Although bruising and swelling is usually worse on the day after surgery, they quickly begin to disappear. During the first 48 hours the use of cool compresses can greatly reduce bruising and swelling around the eyes and face. Light activity such as walking will also help speed healing. Thin bandages are usually placed over the incision sites and removed in several days, while the stitches can remain in the skin for about a week. Sometimes self-absorbing stitches are used that do not require removal.
Most people return to normal activities after 7 to 10 days following blepharoplasty. By 2 weeks after eyelid surgery, the majority of the bruising and swelling will resolve.
The results of eyelid surgery will be long-lasting. Your final results will appear within several weeks, but it may take up to a year for incision lines to fully refine.
While eyelid surgery can be expected to correct certain conditions permanently, you will continue to age naturally. Life-long sun protection will help to maintain your results.
Satisfaction with your new image should continue to grow as you recover from surgery. As swelling and bruising subside, the results of eyelid surgery will reveal a smooth, better-defined eyelid and surrounding region and an alert and rejuvenated appearance.
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.
Possible eyelid surgery risks include:
- Anesthesia risks
- Swelling and bruising
- Bleeding from the incision lines
- Dryness to the eyes
- Sensitivity to sun or other bright light
- Difficulty closing your eyes
- Ectropion, an outward rolling of the lower eyelid
- Lid lag, a pulling down of the lower eyelid, may occur and is often temporary
- Temporary or even permanent change in vision, and very rare chance of blindness
- Changes in skin sensation or numbness of the eyelashes
- Pain, which may persist
- Possible need for revision surgery
- Unfavorable scarring