Blepharoplasty (upper eyelid surgery and/or lower eyelid surgery) is designed to eliminate excess skin and fat in your upper and lower eyelids. Age brings changes to the eyes much as with other facial features. The muscles around the eyes often weaken, allowing fatty tissue to protrude through them, producing the commonly seen bags or pouches. In addition, as the eyebrows descend, an accumulation of excess skin above the eyes can lead to a tired, hooded appearance. These changes can make you look older and more tired than you feel, and may even interfere with your vision. Although they are often associated with the ageing process, they may also be an inherited characteristic, or related to certain diseases.
Removal of redundant skin allows makeup to be used more effectively and brings out the natural beauty of the human eye.
Blepharoplasty is eyelid surgery, therefore it will not remove crow's feet or other wrinkles, eliminate dark circles under your eyes or lift sagging eyebrows. Other treatments can be offered for removing wrinkles from around the eye, (wrinkle relaxers are an effective therapy - see wrinkle relaxants). Many patients have furrows or worry lines between the eyebrows that can be surgically improved at the same time the upper eyelid blepharoplasty is performed. A drooping eyebrow can be lifted either through the eyelid or endoscopically thought the hairline (brow lift surgery). Either procedure results in minimal scarring, if any. Most commonly, both upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasties are done during the same procedure. The incisions are hidden in the skin creases or on the inside surface of the lower eyelids. After the excess tissues are removed the wound is meticulously closed.
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Who would benefit from blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)?
Blepharoplasty can be performed alone, or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a browlift or facelift for a more complete facial rejuvenation. 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. Patients often have wrinkles or texture changes to the skin of the lower eyelids. Texture changes cannot be improved with removal of skin from the lids without causing eyelid retraction. They can however often be safely improved by performing a chemical peel at the same time as the lower eyelid blepharoplasty surgery is performed. It is important to note that while a blepharoplasty can add an upper eyelid crease to Asian eyes, it will not erase evidence of your ethnic or racial heritage.
After examining you for cosmetic eyelid surgery, Dr Imani will discuss other variables that influence the decisions involved in the procedure, such as age, skin condition and other physical and medical considerations. In younger individuals, blepharoplasty is usually performed to remove fatty tissue only. In older patients, loss of skin tone will require excision of superfluous skin as well. It is important that ocular problems that impede vision or affect tear formation are recognised before surgery. These conditions may need to be corrected by an ophthalmologist prior to eyelid surgery or, in some cases, can be addressed during the blepharoplasty operation. Dr Imani will advise you as to whether or not this is necessary during your consultation.
What does the surgery involve?
Incisions in the upper and lower eyelids are camouflaged in the natural eyelid lines and creases, and generally extend into the fine wrinkles, or “crow’s feet”, at the eyes’ outer edge. The incision site can also be hidden in the fold of the upper eyelid. Dr Imani uses absorbing sutures that do not require removal. Hairline scars will fade and become barely visible within six to eight weeks. Lower lid surgery is usually performed from a hidden incision on the inside of the eyelid. The tendency is to leave as much fullness in the upper eyelids as possible. Removal of too much fat from the upper eyelids can also give one a hollow appearance that is not desirable. Often the fat pad in the upper eyelid adjacent to the nose is bulging forward and is reduced in size at the time of upper eyelid blepharoplasty surgery. This is done conservatively allowing removal of the bulge without causing a hollow appearance.
Following surgery, cold moist gauze dressings will be applied to the eyes.
Are there risks involved?
Yes. There are risks involved in all medical procedures. Dr Imani will gladly discuss and disclose all possible risks, benefits and alternatives involved at the time of consultation. Our practice staff will provide you with procedure specific information sheets after your consultation.
Post Operative Recovery
Generally, eyelid surgery results in a certain degree of bruising and swelling of the eyelids. Swelling and any discolouration of the eyelids will subside in 5-7 days. Residual bruising can be covered by light makeup after ten days. Because incisions are placed within the eyelid creases, scars are barely visible. Discomfort is mild and easily controlled with oral medication. Excessive tearing and sensitivity to bright light may occur. Wearing of dark glasses to protect the eyes from wind and sun irritation is suggested for two to three weeks. Recovery varies depending on the exact procedure performed and the individual patient.
We ask that patients plan on being at home for at least two days after their procedure. During these first few days, ice is applied to the eyelids to reduce bruising and swelling. After the third day most patients can drive a car and get about without much difficulty. We ask that patients avoid heavy lifting and strenuous exercise for two weeks after the procedure. Most patients will wear sunglasses for two to three weeks to hide any bruising and swelling.
Preparation for your surgery
All instructions will be provided to you before surgery.
Local anaesthetic, with sedation or general anaesthesia.
Length of Surgery:
Blepharoplasty is minimally painful, simple pain killers are taken as required.
Recovery and getting back to work:
Some temporary swelling and bruising of the eyelids may develop.
Minimal restrictions are placed on activity for one week and you may resume normal activities the following week.
Eye makeup may be worn after the first 10 days.
Back to work: 5-7 days.
Avoid strenuous activity, contact sports: 6 weeks.
Duration of Results:
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified surgeon.