Blepharoplasty (or eyelid surgery) is a cosmetic surgical procedure that removes fat deposits, excess tissue, or muscle from the eyelids to improve the appearance of the eyes. Blepharoplasty can be performed on the upper or lower eyelid and can be done to correct ptosis (sagging eyelids), remove fatty bulges around the eyes, and eliminate hanging skin from the eyelids. For people who feel that their eyes seem ‘hooded’, old or tired, Blepharoplasty is a highly effective procedure that can restore a more youthful appearance.
Many people seek cosmetic eyelid surgery because during the ageing process the region around your eyes shows the effects of ageing much sooner than other areas. Blepharoplasty is a procedure usually performed on otherwise healthy patients who may have excess skin, muscle, and fat around the eyelids that they feel makes them look older than they are.
If you are considering an eyelid operation, you will have an initial consultation with a Blepharoplasty surgeon. Your surgeon will ask about your general medical history and any previous eyelid surgery. He or she will also ask about any possible thyroid or kidney disease as these can produce swelling of the eyelids, and about any history of eyelid conditions and dryness of the eyes. Your surgeon will also discuss with you the results you can expect from your eyelid operation, the inherent limitations and the positioning of the scars.
Eyelid surgery may be performed in a clinic, or in the hospital. It's usually done on an outpatient basis and rarely requires an inpatient stay. The operation takes one to two hours, or less if just the upper or lower lids are being done. Your surgeon may use either conventional or laser techniques.
When you go in for your Blepharoplasty procedure, the surgeon will begin by deciding whether excess skin, fat deposits, or muscle looseness are at fault. While you are sitting upright, the surgeon will mark where the incisions will be made on your skin. Reputable Blepharoplasty Surgeons will take care to hide the incision lines in the natural skin folds above and below the eye. This helps to minimize scars. The patient then receives injections of a local anesthetic to numb the pain. Many surgeons also give the patient a sedative intravenously during the procedure.
For the upper eyelid surgery, the incision is made in the creases of the upper lids. For the lower eyelid surgery, the incision is made just below the lashes. If you are only having an upper eyelid surgery or a lower eyelid surgery, only upper or lower eyelid incisions will be made. If you have laughter lines (“crow’s feet”) that you would also like removed, your Blepharoplasty Surgeon may extend the incision to the outer corners of your eyes in order to reduce their appearance.
A small, semi-circle shaped section of eyelid skin is removed, and then the surgeon will gently tease out the little pockets of fat that have collected in the eyelids. If muscle looseness is also a problem, the surgeon may trim tissue or add a stitch to pull it tighter. Then the incision is closed using very fine sutures. Your Blepharoplasty Surgeon will then apply an ointment to your eye area to stop it from drying out and use sterile paper tape to support your eyelids.
If a patient only has fat deposits in the lower eyelid, the surgeon may carry out transconjunctival Blepharoplasty surgery. In this procedure the surgeon makes no incision on the surface of the eyelid, but instead enters from behind to tease out the fat deposits from a small incision. The advantage of this procedure is that there is no visible scar.
Depending upon whether you are having an upper blepharoplasty, a lower blepharoplasty or both upper and lower lids done, the surgery will last between one and three hours. If you are having other cosmetic surgery procedures done at the same time, you may be in surgery even longer.
Your blepharoplasty surgeon will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for eyelid surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications. Listening to this advice and following these instructions will help your surgery to go more smoothly and will help to reduce the risk of possible blepharoplasty side effects and complications.