Blepharoplasty is a type of surgery that repairs droopy eyelids and may involve removing excess skin, muscle and fat. As you age, your eyelids stretch, and the muscles supporting them weaken. As a result, excess fat may gather above and below your eyelids, causing sagging eyebrows, droopy upper lids and bags under your eyes.
Besides making you look older, severely sagging skin around your eyes can reduce your side vision (peripheral vision), especially the upper and outer parts of your field of vision. Blepharoplasty can reduce or eliminate these vision problems and make your eyes appear younger and more alert.
Who should consider Blepharoplasty
You might consider blepharoplasty if droopy or sagging eyelids keep your eyes from opening completely or pull down your lower eyelids. Removing excess tissue from your upper eyelids can improve your vision. Upper and lower lid blepharoplasty can make your eyes appear younger and more alert.
Blepharoplasty may be an option if you have:
- Baggy or droopy upper eyelids
- Excess skin of the upper eyelids that interferes with your peripheral vision
- Excess skin on the lower eyelids
- Bags under your eyes
You may undergo blepharoplasty at the same time as another procedure, such as a brow lift, face-lift or skin resurfacing.
Preparation for Blepharoplasty
Prior to eyelid surgery, the patient should have a detailed examination and discussion about blepharoplasty and potential risks and benefits associated with the procedure. The patient should follow the doctor’s preoperative instructions carefully and thoroughly review the postoperative 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.
A physical may be required to “clear” you for surgery if intravenous sedation or general anesthesia is used.
Recovering from Blepharoplasty
Patients usually 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 seven to 10 days following blepharoplasty. By two weeks after eyelid surgery, the majority of the bruising and swelling will resolve.
Before the procedure, you’ll need to arrange a ride to and from the facility where it’s being performed. The pain and swelling are minimal, but you’ll still not be permitted to drive yourself home.
Risks of Blepahroplasty procedure
As with any surgery, there are potential risks and complications of blepharoplasty. The major risks include;
- the inability to close the eyes,
- dry eye,
- abnormal eyelid position,
- double vision, and
- loss of vision.