The eyes are one of the most defining features of our face. Cosmetic upper eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can subtly rejuvenate the area to restore youthfulness. Many patients have questions about the procedure before undergoing it. Here are some of the most common.
What is the procedure?
Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, can lift drooping upper eyelids that make you look tired or older than you are. Removing extra skin from your lower lids can help you look more rested. The procedure is usually performed in an outpatient surgery center, though it can be done in the surgeon’s office. Local anesthesia and sedative medications ensure you won’t feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. During the process, the Bellevue plastic surgeon creates an incision along one of the natural lines in your upper eyelid and removes or repositions excess skin and fat. They then close the incisions using tiny stitches.
For the lower eyelids, your surgeon may create an incision along your lower lash line or perform an incision on the pink mucosa (also known as conjunctiva) of the lower eyelid, where they can reposition fat with or without conservative resection. The surgeon will then close the incisions with dissolvable or non-dissolving stitches.
How long will the recovery take?
During the first two to four weeks after eyelid surgery, avoiding activities that force more blood into the eyes is essential. It includes jogging, aerobics, and other strenuous exercises. It would help to be careful about rubbing your face or applying pressure to the eyes until the swelling subsides.
Swelling and bruising around the eyes can make them appear dark. It is normal and will decrease over time. It can take up to 14 days for the bruising and puffiness to subside, and it may take months for the scars to fade.
You will have a nurse show you and your caregiver how to use cold compresses, sterile saline solution, eye drops, and sterile gauze pads. It will help reduce the inflammation around your eyes and promote healing. You will need to keep these items handy at home after your surgery. You will also need a mirror to apply the ointment and eye drops.
Are there any risks involved?
As with all surgeries, there are risks involved in upper eyelid surgery. The surgeon will discuss these with you as part of your initial assessment.
These might include a lack of lateral hooding, an “overdone” look, the loss of eyelashes, dry eyes, or vision problems. It’s also essential that the patient be able to articulate their desired outcome. It helps to weed out unrealistic expectations, such as a desire for no upper eyelid fold or a more youthful appearance.
The physician will thoroughly examine the eyes and may measure specific areas of the lids or test the amount of tears produced and peripheral vision. Medical insurance usually does not cover eyelid surgery, generally done for aesthetic purposes. However, checking with your insurance provider beforehand is a good idea. Bleeding and clotted blood are potential complications, as is the development of scars. The scars may initially be red, thick, and prominent but should fade over time.
What are my options?
Upper eyelid droopiness, or ptosis, can impair vision and give the appearance of fatigue or aging. It can also be caused by rubbing your eyes, environmental allergies, or muscle disorders like Myasthenia Gravis. Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure to tighten loose skin and reduce puffy bulging fat deposits around the eyes that can cause an aged, heavy, or sleepy appearance. It can be applied to one or both of the eyelids, the upper or lower.
Upper eyelid blepharoplasty removes and sculpts excess skin, muscle tissue, and fatty deposits through small incisions. The septum may be opened or closed depending on your needs to prevent postoperative ptosis. It can be achieved by leaving the levator suture in place past the orbital arcus marginalis or by creating a higher lid crease.