Eyelid Surgery: aka blepharoplasty, cosmetic eyelid surgery
What is it?
Eyelid surgery is a cosmetic surgical procedure designed to improve the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both. The procedure is designed to give the patient a more youthful and rejuvenated appearance, often making people appear more alert and more rested. In particular, eyelid surgery can help to remove the loose or sagging skin around the eyes, to treat any excess fatty deposits that may have accumulated around the eyes, to help with bags forming underneath the eyes, to help with droopiness of eyes and to help with fine lines that may have begun to appear around the eyes.
The first step in the surgical procedure is to administer anesthesia. The amount and type of anesthesia will vary based upon the procedure, the patient’s health, their medical history and their weight. The physician will determine these factors with the patient prior to surgery and then will make adjustments during surgery as needed.
The incision will be made in ways to conceal themselves in the natural wrinkles and contours of the face. If the patient is working to correct droopy eyelids, the incision is often made in the natural creases of the upper eyelid.
For issues with the lower eyelid, the incision can be made just below the patient’s lash line. In both types of incisions, the excess fat will be removed along with any excess skin before the incisions are closed. The incisions may be closed with medical tape, adhesives or stitches.
Alternatives to Surgery
In some cases, patients will choose to have a facelift in addition to or instead of just having eyelid surgery, in an effort to maximize the overall effects of the surgery. Also, as this is considered to be a cosmetic procedure, it is important to note that it is not medically necessary.
Before the Operation
Most physicians will require lab work and an examination prior to the surgery to ensure that the patient is healthy enough to undergo the procedure. Also, specific instructions are often provided to the patient regarding medications to take, medications to stop taking and when to stop eating or drinking prior to surgery. It is vital that any and all instructions are adhered to in order to have a successful surgical outcome and to avoid any unnecessary complications from surgery.
After the Operation- In the Hospital
It is in the hospital that the patient will be given the opportunity to recover from anesthesia. Also, each medical facility and physician will have individual requirements that the patient must meet prior to their release to go home for full recovery. Most often the patient will need to be able to sit up and drink fluids before they are allowed to leave. And, it is important to have someone there to drive the patient home following their procedure.
After the Operation- At Home
The surgeon will give the patient specific instructions regarding the recovery time at home that should be strictly adhered to. It is also common for the patient to leave the medical facility with a scheduled follow up appointment, which is also important to attend to ensure that the healing process is on track.
It is generally recommended to wear sunglasses and to avoid direct sunlight as the eyes may be particularly sensitive following the procedure. Also, lubricating ointments and compresses may be recommended to help with the reduction or swelling and the overall comfort of the patient following the procedure.
It is common to experience swelling for a week to several weeks. Also, patients may experience bruising, irritation and dry eyes during the recovery period. If any serious side effects are felt or noticed, it is crucial that the surgeon is immediately notified.
While not all patients will experience complications from eyelid surgery, they are possible and should be reviewed. Possible complications can include:
- Blurred or impaired vision- temporary or permanent
- Dry eyes
- Difficulty closing the eyes
- Rolling of the eyelids downwards
- Slow to heal wounds
- Blood clots
- Fluid accumulation
- Numbness around the incision site
- Persistent pain
- Skin discoloration
- Loss of eyesight
As with any medical procedure, it is recommended to gain several opinions and quotes prior to selecting a surgeon. Be sure to inquire as to their education, experience and success rates prior to making a selection. Also, it is important to have all of your questions answered and to feel comfortable about the procedure before you undergo it.
Estimated Cost for Eyelid Surgery