The Best Candidates
Blepharoplasty can enhance your appearance. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon. The best candidates for eyelid surgery are men and women who are physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in their expectations. Most are 35 or older, but if droopy, baggy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have eyelid surgery at a younger age.
A few medical conditions make blepharoplasty more risky. They include thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism and graves’ disease, dry eye or lack of sufficient tears, high blood pressure or other circulatory disorders, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. A detached retina or glaucoma is also reason for caution.
Considerations Before Having Surgery
When eyelid surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. You can reduce your risks by closely following your surgeon’s instructions both before and after surgery. The minor complications that occasionally follow blepharoplasty include double or blurred vision for a few days; temporary swelling at the corner of the eyelids.
Preparing For Your Surgery
Your surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery go more smoothly. While you’re making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a few days if needed.
Where Your Surgery Will Be Performed
Eyelid surgery is normally performed in a surgeon’s office based facility. All cosmetic procedures are performed on an outpatient basis in our state of the art in house operating suite. Minor procedures are also performed in our office’s minor surgery rooms.
Type Of Anesthesia
Eyelid surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia which numbs the area around your eyes along with oral sedatives. You’ll be awake during the surgery, but relaxed and insensitive to pain.
Blepharoplasty usually takes one to three hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. In a typical procedure, the surgeon makes incisions following the natural lines of your eyelids; in the creases of your upper lids, and just below the lashes in the lower lids. The incisions may extend into the crow’s feet or laugh lines at the outer corners of your eyes. Working through these incisions, the surgeon separates the skin from underlying fatty tissue and muscle, removes excess fat, and often trims sagging skin and muscle. The incisions are then closed with very fine sutures.
After surgery, the surgeon will probably lubricate your eyes with ointment and may apply a bandage. Your eyelids may feel tight and sore as the anesthesia wears off, but you can control any discomfort with the pain medication prescribed by your surgeon. Your surgeon will instruct you to keep your head elevated for several days, and to use cold compresses to reduce swelling and bruising. (bruising varies from person to person: it reaches its peak during the first week, and generally lasts anywhere from two weeks to a month.) You’ll be shown how to clean your eyes, which may be gummy for a week or so. Many doctors recommend eyedrops, since your eyelids may feel dry at first and your eyes may burn or itch. For the first few weeks you may also experience excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, and temporary changes in your eyesight, such as blurring or double vision. Your surgeon will follow your progress very closely for the first week or two. The stitches will be removed two days to a week after surgery. Once they’re out, the swelling and discoloration around your eyes will gradually subside, and you’ll start to look and feel much better.
Returning To Your Routine
You should be able to read or watch television after two or three days. However, you won’t be able to wear contact lenses for about two weeks, and even then they may feel uncomfortable for a while. Most people feel ready to go out in public and back to work in a week to 10 days. By then, depending on your rate of healing and your doctor’s instructions, you’ll probably be able to wear makeup to hide the bruising that remains. You may be sensitive to sunlight, wind, and other irritants for several weeks, so you should wear sunglasses and a special sunblock made for eyelids when you go out.
Your surgeon will probably tell you to keep your activities to a minimum for three to five days, and to avoid more strenuous activities for about three weeks. It’s especially important to avoid activities that raise your blood pressure, including bending, lifting, and rigorous sports. You may also be told to avoid alcohol, since it causes fluid retention.
Your New Look
Healing is a gradual process. Eventually scars will fade to a thin, nearly invisible white line.
The positive results of your eyelid surgery isa more alert and youthful look that will last for years. For many people, these results are permanent.