Blepharoplasty refers to eyelid surgery done for cosmetic reasons. It may be done as a result of droopy eyelids with the progression of age or genetics. Droopy eyelids occur mostly as a result of age when your muscles weaken and the eyelids are stretched. The surgical procedure aims at their correction by removing excess muscle, skin and fat from the eyelids. This surgery gives the patients a more rested, alert and fresh look. Blepharoplasty may also be done for non-cosmetic reasons. When excess skin droops over the eyelid, it may serve as an obstacle to vision often causing impairment of peripheral or side vision.
Blepharoplasty is one of the most common surgeries done in America. According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), blepharoplasty ranked third in terms of popularity.
How it’s done
Usually done in an outpatient setting, blepharoplasty begins when the doctor administers local anesthesia on the patient. The doctor injects numbing medicine directly into the eyelids along with other intravenous medication to help the patient relax.
The eyelid surgery usually begins with an incision on the upper eyelid. The incision is made along the natural fold and the excess fat and muscle underneath is removed. Small stitches are then used to close the scar. Surgeons may often avoid stitches in favor of skin adhesive or surgical tape to bind the incision until it heals. The surgeon then makes an incision on the lower lid right underneath the eyelashes. The excess muscle and fat s removed or rearranged in order to give the eye a more even look.
The procedure should not run more than two hours which varies with the amount of work needed on the eye and the nature of the tissue being removed. The patient is then transferred to the recovery room where they are monitored for some time. Patients are mostly released within the same day.
After the Surgery
An ointment is provided to the patient that would help them lubricate their eye and prevent dryness. One of the side effects of this surgery is temporary blurred vision, sensitivity to light, double vision and excessive tearing.
The ‘black eye’ effect as a result of the swelling and bruising will last for a week or more. The scar from the incision will remain red and eyelids puffy for several days. Patients may apply cold compresses or ice packs to bring down the swelling.
Although the pain may be minimal, the doctor may prescribe a pain reliever to help manage the pain. The patient however must avoid aspirin and similar pain relievers which may increase bleeding. In case the incision was closed by stitches the doctor will call the patient for their removal in two or three days.
Patients who have undergone eyelid surgery must take care to avoid swimming heavy lifting, straining and other activities for at least a week after their surgery. They should sleep with their head on a higher level than their chest and follow the prescribed medication and the cleaning methods as instructed by the doctor.
Any erratic symptoms such as shortness of breath, visual disturbance, unusual chest pain or unusual heart rate should be immediately reported to the doctor.