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Blepharoplasty

Blepharoplasty

Blepheroplasty is surgical modification of the eyelids. Excess of fat or tissue is removed surgically and the surrounding muscles and tendons may be reinforced to give the specific look desired. The surgery is performed by making external incisions along natural folds of skin – ensuring no post-surgical scars.

The surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia but general anesthesia may be used for selective patients to provide improved comfort during the surgery. The results are best appreciated by comparing pre and post surgical photographs of the patient.

What is eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)?

An eyelid lift, or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure to remove skin and to add or remove fat from the eyelids. The term “eyelid lift” is a misconception because the eyelid is not lifted during surgery.

Upper blepharoplasty surgery uses incisions on the skin to allow for removal of skin and fat. A thin stitch is then used to bring the skin together to allow for a creation of an eyelid crease.

Lower eyelid surgery can involve skin incisions directly below the lash line or an incision on the inside of the eyelid, called a transconjunctival approach. The transconjunctival approach allows for access to the eyelid fat without visible incisions making this technique perfect for patients who need fat removed or added. This approach can be combined with laser resurfacing of the eyelid skin to reduce lines and wrinkles.

Why is eyelid surgery performed?

Upper eyelid excess skin and fat can create a heavy looking eyelid, aged appearance, puffiness, and sometimes block vision. Upper blepharoplasty is performed to remove excess skin and fat and can improve vision.

Double eyelid surgery (sometimes termed Asian eyelid surgery) is performed to create an upper eyelid crease. Double eyelid surgery is also called Westernization of the eyelid.

Lower blepharoplasty is performed to remove excess skin, reduce wrinkles, and improve the shape of the lower eyelid by removing skin and fat. Sometimes tightening the eyelid is needed to correct droopiness or sagging. Adding fat is done to improve a “hollowed” appearance.

Who is a good candidate for eyelid surgery?

Those individuals with realistic expectations who are in good health are suitable for eyelid surgery.

How does one prepare for eyelid surgery?

Prior to eyelid surgery the patient should have a detailed discussion about blepharoplasty and potential risks associated with the procedure. The patient should follow the doctor’s pre-operative instructions carefully and thoroughly review the post-operative instructions before the day of surgery. This will allow the patient to have any medications for pain relief or necessary items such a gel packs, artificial tears, and gauze at home prior to their return from surgery.

It may be required to have your medical doctor “clear” you for surgery if intravenous sedation or general anesthesia is used.

How long does it take to recover from eyelid surgery?

Usually patients have a short recovery time after blepharoplasty. Although bruising and swelling is usually worse on the day after surgery, they quickly begin to disappear. During the first 48 hours the use of cool compresses can greatly reduce bruising and swelling around the eyes and face. Light activity such as walking will also help speed healing. Thin bandages are usually placed over the incision sites and removed in several days, while the stitches can remain in the skin for about a week. Sometimes self-absorbing stitches are used that do not require removal.

Most people return to normal activities after 7 to 10 days following blepharoplasty. By 2 weeks after eyelid surgery, the majority of the bruising and swelling will resolve.

What are the potential risks and complications of eyelid surgery?

As with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications of blepharoplasty. These risks include infection, bleeding, scarring, inability to close the eyes, dry eye, abnormal eyelid position, double vision, and loss of vision.

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