Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, improves the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both.
Recent advances in cosmetic surgery now allow us to reduce and remove these changes around the eyes, a process called surgical rejuvenation or Blepharoplasty. This relatively minor cosmetic surgery procedure can refresh the appearance of the face and leave it looking years younger. An eyelid reduction or tightening removes excess skin and fat from around the eyes to create a more wide-awake, younger look.
Blepharoplasty can selectively be done for either the upper or lower eyelid. Usually both the eyelids of both the eyes are done together for a complete rejuvenation. More often, it is combined with other procedures like face-lift and brow lift for a comprehensive rejuvenation of the face.
Please note that Blepharoplasty will not help reduce the effect or appearance of crow's feet or laughter lines: you may wish to consider other aesthetic enhancement options to address these concerns.
Who is an Ideal Candidate?
If you have droopy upper eyelids with excess skin that make you appear sad sleepy or simply adds years to your age or persons with lower eyelid sagging, bulging, wrinkles, folds then cosmetic eyelid surgery may benefit you. In general, adults with the above eye problems, of any age who are in good health, moderately fit and overall have good muscle tone are good candidates for eyelid rejuvenation.
They should not have any life threatening illness or medical conditions. Smokers can have an increased risk of complications.
The Primary Consultation
A consultation with your Aesthetic Plastic surgeon is the first step to learn how eyelid surgery can improve the appearance of your eyelids and the surrounding area. Your general health condition will be evaluated and your goals and expectations for undergoing blepharoplasty discussed and understood. You will be fully educated about the benefits and risks of the procedure and the likely outcomes of the operation. You should fully disclose your health history, current medications, allergies and the use of drugs and smoking.
You will be made to undergo some blood tests & other investigations. A pre-operative anaesthetic assessment is carried out to ascertain fitness for surgery under anaesthesia. Pre operative photographs will be taken to help in planning the procedure and to allow you to compare the results after surgery.
Before eyelid surgery, your surgeon may ask you to see a specialist eye surgeon to test for glaucoma, and any problems with tear production.
General Instructions for patients to follow prior to their Blepharoplasty procedure.:
Detailed Facial and Eye examination and measurements
Pre-Operative Photographs will be taken
Obtain laboratory testing or a medical evaluation
Pre-op anaesthetic assessment to ascertain fitness for surgery under anaesthesia.
Agreement to proceed with the surgery by signing an informed Consent Form
Take certain medications or adjust your current medications
Stop smoking well in advance of surgery
Avoid taking aspirin, anti-inflammatory drugs and herbal supplements as they increase risk of bleeding.
The Operative Procedure
The procedure can be done under local anesthetic, but many would prefer a general anesthetic for improved comfort. Your eyelid surgery should ideally be performed in a major hospital but can be done in a smaller setup as well. Usually It can take up to two hours for surgery on the upper and lower eyelids of both eyes.
Upper Eyelid Surgery
During upper eyelid surgery, your surgeon will make an incision in the natural skin fold of your eyelid. Next unwanted skin, fat, and muscle are removed to give the eye more shape. Once the incision is closed, the scar will be hidden inside the natural fold of your eyelid.
Lower eyelid surgery
During lower eyelid surgery, the surgeon moves or removes fat from under-eye 'bags' either through a direct incision just below the lower lashes or through an incision made inside the lower eyelid.
Post Operative Care
You can go home on either the same day as your eyelid surgery or the next morning. There might be bruising and swelling after surgery that should subside in 2-3 weeks. Immediately after surgery, due to the swelling, you might experience some difficulty in opening your eyes. Incisions normally heal within a week from the operation, and the results can last for approximately 15 years for most patients. You will be advised to apply an antibacterial ointment to the eye and protect the eyes from sun, wind and dust by wearing sunglasses.
To speed your recovery and help prevent any complications, it is important to follow post-op instructions carefully. These instructions will include the following recommendations:
Apply cold compresses to the eyes to help reduce swelling.
Bathe the area around the eye to keep it clean
Apply eye drops and antibiotic ointment as directed to help with dry or itchy eyes and to reduce the risk of infection in the treated area.
Avoid exercise and strenuous activities for as long as your surgeon recommends.
Risks and potential complications
Although there are very few risks associated with this procedure, a possible general risk includes bleeding and collection of blood under the skin (hematoma). Some temporary difficulties may appear in the post operative period such as blurred vision, dry eyes, excessive tear production, unfavourable scarring and lower eyelid sagging, which usually disappear with the healing process. Any surgery carries risks associated with anaesthesia. There are very few risks if the procedure is done under local anaesthesia. These risks will be fully discussed with you prior to your consent for surgery.
Please note: that with all procedures there is a possibility of patient dissatisfaction with the outcome.
How is the long term result?
The results of blepharoplasty surgery are typically long-lasting and very satisfying for the patient. When patients have realistic expectations going into surgery and closely follow their surgeon’s instructions for recovery, cosmetic eyelid surgery can be a very successful and fulfilling procedure.
Eyelid surgery can offer dramatic improvement in the upper and lower eyelids and surrounding areas.