Oculoplastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Blepharoplasty is a surgical eyelid procedure that corrects drooping eyelids and puffy bags below the eyes. These conditions may make an individual look older than he or she truly is, and may give the false appearance of being weary or fatigued. Drooping upper eyelids may even result in diminished peripheral vision due to limitations in the upper and lateral fields.
Most likely, your eyes are the first thing people notice about your appearance. They are probably the most important aspect of facial attractiveness. Unfortunately, even with a good night's sleep, loose skin over your eyes or bags under your eyes can make you look tired or sad, or older than you really are. As we go through life, even if we have taken care of ourselves, the skin around our eyes stretches and wrinkles. Fatty deposits cause the upper lids to sag, while under the eye the tissue bulges forward and becomes discolored. In severe cases, vision can become partially blocked.
Several causes include:
- Sun exposure
- Alcohol use
- Poor nutrition
Blepharoplasty is for those who:
- Have eyelids encroaching on their field of vision
- Want to reduce loose skin over their eyes or bags under their eyes
Your doctor will evaluate the condition and health of your eyes. Specifics regarding your vision, tear production, use of contact lenses, use of medications and personal expectations will be discussed. This information, along with other factors such as age, skin type and ethnic background will allow both you and your surgeon to come to a mutual decision. A plan will be discussed regarding the surgical technique, amount of surgery and type of anesthesia to be used.
You will arrive roughly 60 minutes prior to your procedure. Once you have been checked-in and settled comfortably, you will be prepared for surgery. Blepharoplasty is generally performed using a local anesthetic with a mild sedation to help you relax.
If you are having surgery performed on your upper eyelids, your surgeon will remove the excess skin and fatty tissue that have accumulated in the inside corner of your eye, next to your nose. The incisions will be made along the natural folds in your skin so that as the incisions heal, they become difficult, if not impossible to see.
If your surgery is on your lower eyelids, your surgeon will make the incision inside or behind the eyelid (providing there is not too much excess skin). This technique is called a transconjunctival blepharoplasty, which allows the removal of fatty deposits while avoiding the need for an external incision. If you have excessive skin or muscle folds below the eye, an incision may also be made just below the base of the eyelashes. As this incision heals, the fine scar should become barely visible.
After the procedure you will need to have someone drive you home. You may experience some bruising and swelling for a week to a month after the surgery, longer in some cases. Cold compresses and head elevation will help reduce these effects. Your doctor may also recommend eye ointments and/or eye drops to keep the eye moist and clean.
Postoperative discomfort is usually relatively mild, but your eyes may feel sticky, dry and itchy for a week or so after the procedure. You will need to take special care in cleaning around your eyes for the first week or two.
Stitches are usually removed within five to ten days after surgery. Self-absorbing stitches will dissolve on their own. Make-up or sunglasses may be used to camouflage temporary bruising one week after the stitches are removed.
The decision to have blepharoplasty is an important one that only you can make. The vast majority of our patients are extremely happy with their appearance after blepharoplasty, however, we cannot guarantee you will have the results you desire. Although the positive effects on your appearance from having blepharoplasty are immediate, your results will not be considered final for up to a year as the healing process continues.
Serious complications with blepharoplasty are extremely rare, but like any surgical procedure it does have some risks. If you decide that blepharoplasty is an option for you, you will be given additional information about the procedure that will allow you to make an informed decision about whether to proceed. Be sure you have all your questions answered to your satisfaction.
Blepharoplasty is considered a cosmetic procedure in some patients but in many cases most insurance companies will pay for the procedure because the droopy lids are limiting vision. We would be happy to contact your insurance carrier to determine if they will cover the procedure in your particular case.