Blepharoplasty, more commonly known as eyelid surgery, is conducted in order to remove mainly fat as well as surplus skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids.
If You’re Considering Eyelid Surgery…
There are a few factors to look at when thinking over potential eyelid surgery. First, the surgery will effectively be able to correct bags under your eyes as well as fix upper eyelids with a profound droop. These imperfections can have a possible effect on the quality of your vision, and add years and a look of exhaustion to your facial features. It is important to keep in mind, though, that this procedure will do little to correct crow’s feet and wrinkles, remove dark circles below your eyes, or fix sagging eyebrows. Eyelid surgery will also be unable to erase ethnic or racial ancestry traits from your eyes entirely, though it is possible to add upper eyelid crease to Asian eyes. While it is entirely possible to conduct blepharoplasty on its own, one can also opt to have other facial surgeries, such as a face or brow lift, in conjunction with eyelid surgery.
The idea behind this particular article is to give you a better understanding of eyelid surgery in order to assist in your contemplation of having the surgery done. The article will elaborate on the circumstances in which eyelid surgery can help as well as the finer points of the procedure and the results to be expected. However, often the particulars of the surgery can change based on the patient and on the surgeon performing the procedure. In order to get a full understanding, be sure to pose any questions you have to Dr. Leonard.
The Best Candidates for Eyelid Surgery
It is important to keep a check on your expectations for the changes that will come about from eyelid surgery. While the procedure certainly has the potential to augment your looks and even your own confidence in yourself, there is no guarantee that these changes will match your every expectation, or even ensure that the people around you will treat you differently. Be sure to go over your expectations for this surgery, both on your own and with Dr. Leonard. Typically, the ideal candidate for blepharoplasty is a man or a woman with good physical health, stable psychology, and expectations that line up with reality. One would usually receive this surgery around the age 35 or older; however, should your ancestry cause earlier droopiness to your eyes, it is entirely acceptable to have this surgery done at a younger age. As well as expectations, it is key to take into account any medical conditions you may have, as they could affect the success of eyelid surgery. Medical conditions that could add risk to the procedure include hypothyroidism, Graves’ disease, dry eye, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. Along with these, eye conditions such as a detached retina or glaucoma can make the procedure more complicated; be sure to consult you ophthalmologist concerning the surgery.
All Surgery Carries Some Uncertainty and Risk
A qualified plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Leonard, makes complications a much lower risk and any complications that would arise would typically be minor. In spite of that, the threat of complications looms over every surgery, particularly in the form of infection or a reaction to anesthesia. As such, it is crucial to follow Dr. Leonard’s instructions leading up to and following the surgery in order to mitigate your risks.
A few minor risks can at times follow eyelid surgery, including temporary double or blurred vision, swelling at the corner of the eyelids, and a slight asymmetry in healing or scarring. There is also the possibility of small whiteheads appearing following the removal of your stitches; however, Dr. Leonard can very easily remove these using a fine needle.
Finally, it is not unheard of for patients to have a difficulty closing their eyes to sleep, though this is rarely permanent. In addition to this, ectropion, a pulling down of the lower lids, is another rare complication, which may necessitate further surgery.
Planning Your Surgery
Your first consultation with Dr. Leonard is of the utmost importance. In preparation, make sure to have your medical history on hand, as Dr. Leonard will need to look over this. Dr. Leonard will also need to be informed of any allergies, whether or not you’re taking vitamins, medications or other drugs, and if you smoke.
Dr. Leonard, or a nurse, will also test your vision during this time as well as assessing tear production in your eyes. Relevant information from your ophthalmologist should be offered, or even a full record from your most recent eye exam. Glasses or contact lenses, if worn, should be brought along.
At this time, Dr. Leonard will also discuss any goals and expectations you have for your surgery with you. The specifics of the surgery will also be discussed, particularly whether you’d like all four eyelids done or just the upper or lower, whether skin should be removed, and the possible necessity of any additional procedures.
Anesthesia and techniques used will also be discussed with Dr. Leonard, as well as the facility for the surgery, and any risks and costs attached to the procedure. It is important to note that you will want to check with your insurer on your coverage regarding eyelid surgery. Be sure to put any questions you might have to Dr. Leonard, particularly any worries and expectations concerning the aftermath of the surgery.
Preparing For Your Surgery
Dr. Leonard will provide you with a number of guidelines for preparation, including parameters for eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or not taking particular vitamins and medications. It is crucial for the success of your surgery that you adhere to this guidelines closing. One very important preparation to make is ensuring you make arrangements for someone to drive your home following your surgery as well as possibly assisting you in the days after should you need it.
Where Your Surgery Will Be Performed
Eyelid surgery can be performed at a variety of places including Dr. Leonard’s own office facility, an outpatient surgery center, or a hospital. Though on rare occasions the procedure may be performed with an inpatient stay, it is typically done on an outpatient basis.
Types of Anesthesia
Local anesthesia, which numbs only the area around your eyes, is usually used in eyelid surgery as well as certain oral or intravenous sedatives. It is important to note that you will be awake during the surgery; however, you will be completely relaxed and free from pain, though there may be some tugging or discomfort at times. It is not uncommon, however, for general anesthesia to be used, which will put you to sleep for the duration of the procedure.
The duration of the operation will typically last between one to three hours, varying based on the full extent of your procedure. Should you opt for work on all four eyelids, Dr. Leonard will typically work on your upper lids before turning to your lower ones.
As far as the specifics of the operation, Dr. Leonard will begin with incisions along the natural lines of your eyelids; this will be along the creases of your upper lids, and below the lashes of your lower lids. These incisions have the potential to extend into any crow’s feet or laugh lines around your eyes. Dr. Leonard will then work these incisions in order to separate skin from any fatty tissue or muscle, then remove excess fat and trim skin and muscle. Fine sutures will then be used to seal these incisions.
Should your lower eyelids have any fat beneath them but lack the need for any removal of skin, Dr. Leonard might potentially resort to a transconjunctival blepharoplasty. This long phrase refers to an incision being made inside your lower eyelid, which will not leave any visible scar. This procedure is typical for younger patients, who have thicker, often more elastic skin.
After Your Surgery
At the closure of your surgery, Dr. Leonard will typically use ointment as lubrication for your eyes as well as possibly applying a bandage. Some tightness and soreness might become apparent to you in your eyelids as the effects of anesthesia wane, however, this can be easily mitigated by pain medication that Dr. Leonard will prescribe. Should you undergo any severe pain, it is important to contact Dr. Leonard promptly.
Dr. Leonard will advise elevation for your ahead for a few days as well as the use of cold compresses for swelling and bruising. Bruising, depending on the patient, will typically linger for anywhere between two weeks and a month. The process for cleaning your eyes will be laid out for you, as some gumminess will typically result for the surgery. Eye drops can be helpful, as your eyelids may feel dry, causing your eyes to burn or itch. Some other results that may be present in your first few weeks include excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, and temporary blurred or double vision.
Dr. Leonard will monitor your progress during the first few weeks of recovery. Stitches will be removed in the days following the surgery, which will help to mitigate swelling and discoloration.
Getting Back to Normal
While things like reading and television may come back into your life in two or three days, contact lenses need to be avoided for two weeks, and may cause discomfort after that time period. Typically patients return to work and regular life in a week to ten days, after which you should be able to wear makeup should you like to hide any bruising. It is possible that sunlight, wind, and other such elements may irritate your eyelids for a few weeks, requiring sunglasses and perhaps sunblock for your eyelids.
As far as activities, it is important to avoid those activities that will raise your blood pressure, such as lifting and rigorous sports. It may be suggested that you avoid alcohol, as this may affect fluid retention.
Your New Look
Healing will take some time; your scars may retain some pinkish color for upwards of six months after surgery. This will eventually fade to a thin, practically unseen white line.
On the bright side, that alert and youthful look you were seeking will last far beyond any negative temporary scarring or bruising. These positive aspects are typically permanent.