What is Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that can restore a youthful appearance to the eye area. The upper and lower eyelids are lifted and loose or excess skin and fat tissue are removed from the eye area.
Who is it for?
You can consider getting blepharoplasty:
- If you have excess, hanging skin covering the natural fold of the upper eyelids
- If you have loose skin hanging down from the upper eyelids over the eyelashes
- If your upper and lower eyelids appear puffy, making your eyes look tired and aged
- If you have deep grooves under your eyes
- Stop smoking at least six weeks before undergoing to promote better healing.
- Avoid taking aspirin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs: Advil, Motrin, Aleve), and vitamins/homeopathic regimens that can increase bleeding.
- Regardless of the type of surgery to be performed, hydration is very important. Appropriate hydration before and after surgery is critical for safe recovery and optimal outcomes.
- Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after surgery and to stay with you at least for the first night following surgery.
What to expect during surgery
Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) can be performed on your upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. Based on a preoperative evaluation of factors such as your underlying facial muscle structure, bone structure, and the symmetry of your eyebrows, your surgeon will decide how much skin, muscle, and/or fat to remove.
- Your surgeon will make precise markings to indicate where excess tissues will be removed in your upper eyelids and in your lower eyelids.
- Your surgeon will remove tissue through these incisions using surgical instruments, including scalpels, surgical scissors, radiofrequency cutting devices, and, sometimes, cutting lasers.
- Sometimes fat may be redistributed in the lower lids to eliminate puffiness or bulges. Your surgeon may make other adjustments to correct special problems such as muscle laxity.
Immediately after eyelid surgery
- You may experience excessive tearing, light sensitivity, and double vision just after the surgery.
- Your incisions will be red and visible at first, and your eyelids may be puffy and feel numb for several days.
- Swelling and bruising, similar to having “black eyes,” will likely last a week or more.
- Your surgeon will probably instruct you to apply ice packs or cold compresses to your eyes to help reduce swelling.
- Pain is usually minimal. You may be given a pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol or others) for mild discomfort, but remember to avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, or others), naproxen (Aleve), and any other medications or herbal supplements that may increase bleeding.
- If stitches were used, they’ll be removed after three or four days.
- If you experience extreme or long-lasting pain or redness and swelling after the surgery, contact your surgeon to find out if these symptoms are normal or a sign of a problem.
Risks of Blepharoplasty
All surgical procedures have some degree of risk. Some of the potential complications of all surgeries are:
- Adverse reaction to anesthesia
- Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin that may require removal)
- Infection and bleeding
- Changes in sensation
- Allergic reactions
- Damage to underlying structures
- Unsatisfactory results that may necessitate additional procedures.
You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of your board-certified plastic surgeon, both before and after your eyelid surgery.