As people age, muscles weaken, skin stretches, and fat may bulge around the eyes causing the appearance of fatigue and stress. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is one of our most common procedures that helps more than 230,000 people a year regain a younger, well-rested appearance around the eyes. The procedure may be performed on either the lower or upper eyelids, but many patients prefer to have surgery on both for a more balanced correction. Eyelid surgery is frequently combined with other facial procedures.
We have prepared this introduction to the eyelid surgery procedure to give you an idea of what the procedure involves and how you can prepare. However the details of your particular surgery will be discussed with you in detail by your surgeon.
The Eyelid Surgery Procedure
Eyelid surgery may be performed under local anesthesia with sedation, or general anesthesia. Eyelid surgery usually lasts between one to two hours. Surgery typically begins with incisions made along the crease of the upper eyelid and just below the lashes of the lower eyelid.
After the incisions are made, the skin is separated and underlying fat is removed. When necessary, muscle may be trimmed or tightened and secured in a more youthful position. The skin is repositioned, trimmed of any excess, and then sutured.
Another common technique used to treat pockets of fat in the lower eyelid is called transconjunctival blepharoplasty. During this technique, a small incision is made inside the lower eyelid and fat is removed. This technique is usually performed on patients without excess skin, who only need fat removal from the lower eyelid.
In some patients, laser resurfacing may be recommended for the lower eyelids in order to reduce fine lines and wrinkles. During your consultation we will determine whether laser resurfacing or surgery will yield the best results.
What to tell your Surgeon
During your consultation you should be very open. Provide your surgeon with all of your medical history and list all of the medications, vitamins and herbs you are taking (even if you don’t think they’re important). A history of dry eyes is of particular importance. Every person has a unique perspective on the ideal appearance of their face and eyes, and your goals will affect the way your surgery is performed.
Preparing for Eyelid Surgery
The following points may help you reduce scarring, shorten your recovery time, and decrease your chances of complications:
- Discontinue using Aspirin, Ibuprofen, Naprosyn, as well as supplements such as fish oil, and Vitamin E for two weeks before and a few days after your procedure. These act as blood thinners and could cause problems with blood clotting. Our staff will provide a complete list of medications to avoid. Tylenol and a standard multivitamin are allowed both before and immediately after surgery.
- Stop smoking for at least two weeks before and one week after surgery as nicotine can impair circulation and healing.
- Avoid excessive sun exposure including tanning booths, facials, steaming masks, and the use of other skin irritants.
- Do not drink alcohol in excess before or after surgery.
- Drink several glasses of water in the days leading up to and following your procedure.
To make your recovery easier and more comfortable be sure to:
- Arrange for someone to take you home and take care of you for at least the first day.
- Fill your prescriptions and have them within easy reach of where you will be resting.
- Place plenty of pillows and a bed wedge nearby so that you can keep your head elevated.
- Fill several small zip-lock bags with frozen peas or corn to have available as cold packs.
What to expect after Eyelid Surgery
You should expect some bruising and swelling for the first week or two. You may apply small ice packs during the first two days to help reduce swelling and discomfort. Stitches will come out or be absorbed on their own between four to six days. Your eyelids may feel tight or sore but this is usually moderate. Pain medication will be prescribed to control any discomfort, however, if you begin to have severe pain, contact us immediately.
The recovery process is different for everyone, but within a day of your eyelid surgery you should be up and walking around. You may shower or gently wash your face and eye area twenty-four hours after surgery. Keep your head elevated as much as possible for the first week following surgery. For the first few days you may notice some tearing and light sensitivity. You may also need to clean your eyes carefully for the first two weeks and keep your sutures free of blood and crust. Eye drops may be used if your eyes feel dry. You should be able to perform normal visual tasks like reading or watching TV soon after surgery, but should avoid wearing contacts until you are instructed to. For the first week you should plan on being out of work and away from your usual activities. Following this period, you may gradually return to activities such as lifting and exercise. Avoid any high impact activities for about one month. Though the appearance of bruising will fade gradually you may want to consider using special camouflage makeup as you heal. Our Aesthetician will be available after your surgery to help you with camouflage techniques. These precautions will help you avoid stress to your scars and allow time for your facial tissue to heal and recover.
Because the incisions used during surgery are small and hidden within the creases of your eyelids, any scarring is usually minimal or unnoticeable. The appearance of your eye area will improve over a period of several months.
As we mentioned, results will vary from person to person as we are all different. However we are very proud to have made such a positive difference for so many of our patients. If you are considering Eyelid Surgery, please feel free to contact any of the Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery offices below to schedule a consultation. We would be pleased to discuss the details of liposuction surgery and how this procedure might be right for you.
For a first hand review of the Eyelid Surgery services offered by Ponte Vedra Plastic Surgery, feel free to review the before and after photo galleries of our surgeons:
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