Surgery of the eyelids, also known as blepharoplasty, is frequently performed in conjunction with other facial procedures. As people age, muscles weaken, skin stretches and fat accumulates around the eyes giving a tired and stressed look. These are the reasons some people seek eyelid surgery. The ideal candidates for this procedure are 35 and older, but if a loss of elasticity in the eye area is a hereditary trait, you may decide to have eyelid surgery at a younger age. An eyelid lift can give you a younger, firmer eye area by removing excess skin, fat and muscle. However, it cannot remove “crow’s feet,” eliminate dark circles, or lift sagging eyebrows.
Approximately 50% of Asians have a “single eyelid” resulting in a relatively narrow eye aperture. An Asian Blepharoplasty, or eyelid lift, can create a “double upper eyelid” with a well defined crease, and open up the aperture of the eye. In this procedure, the eyelid muscles are tightened, lifted, or removed, depending on what is needed. Also, if there is no fold in the upper eyelid, and then an incision is made to create a new fold. The Asian Blepharoplasty can remove some of the heaviness of the top lids and make the eyes look more alert.
Eyelid surgery may take one to two hours depending on the extent of the surgery.
If you have fat pockets beneath your eyes but don’t want skin removed, your surgeon may perform what is called transconjunctival blepharoplasty. In this case, the incision is made inside your lower eyelid so it will not leave a visible scar. After surgery, your eyes will be lubricated with ointment and a bandage may be applied.
Upper Eyelid Surgery:
An incision will be made along the natural lines of your eyelids, such as the crease of your upper eyelid. The skin will be separated from muscle and fatty tissues, and excess fat will be removed. Sagging skin and muscles will be trimmed if needed before closing the incisions with very fine sutures. After surgery, your eyes will be lubricated with ointment and a bandage may be applied.
Lower Eyelid Surgery:
An incision will be made below the lashes on the lower eyelid. The incision will run along the smile creases under your eye. The skin will be separated from the muscle and fatty tissues, and excess fat will be removed. Sagging skin and muscles will be trimmed if needed and the incisions will be closed with very fine sutures.
Your initial consultation is extremely important. You should be able to speak freely with your surgeon about your goals and desired outcome. Remember to discuss options such as whether to do all four eye areas or just upper or lower eyelids only, where skin as well as fat will be removed, and/or whether any other additional procedures would improve your results. Be prepared to provide your medical history and inform your surgeon of any vitamins and medications (including over-the-counter) that you are taking. Make sure to tell your surgeon if you smoke or have any allergies.
Work: Most patients feel ready to go back to work within one to two weeks.
Swelling and Bruising: The stitches will be removed several days after surgery. Small white heads may appear but can be cleared by your surgeon with a very fine needle. Expect temporary swelling at the corner of the eyelids for a few days. Keep your head elevated for several days following surgery while applying cold compresses or small ice packs to help reduce swelling and discomfort. Bruising reaches its peak during the first week and generally lasts anywhere from two weeks to a month, although this varies from person to person.
Eye Care: You will be instructed on how to clean your eyes. Your surgeon may recommend eye drops.
Contact Lenses: Contact lenses may be worn two weeks after surgery or when you feel comfortable.
Showering: You may shower on the second or third day following surgery.
Make-Up: You may wear make-up a week after surgery.
Discomfort: Your eyes might feel tight as you are awake. Take the medication prescribed by your surgeon and the will be alleviated. Your eyes may feel dry and itchy; you may experience excessive tearing, sensitivity to bright lights, or temporary changes in your sight such as blurred vision. This is normal. The amount of discomfort experienced varies from person to person. If you feel severe pain, notify your surgeon immediately.
Recovery: Although you should be up and about following the procedure, plan on taking it easy for the first week after surgery. After two to five days, you should be able to read and watch television. Most visible signs of surgery should fade within three weeks. You may be sensitive to sunlight and wind for several weeks. Remember to wear sunglasses and sun block when you go out. Avoid activities that will raise blood pressure such as lifting, bending, and sports for about three weeks. Healing is a gradual process and scars may remain slightly pink for six months or more after surgery before healing to a nearly invisible white line.
Results: Each patient heals and scars differently. It is vital to keep in mind that the results of this procedure vary from patient to patient. However most patients will enjoy their final result within six to twelve months.