If You Are Considering Eyelid Surgery
Technically named “blepharoplasty,” eyelid surgery removes fat, excess skin, and muscle from your eyelids. This surgery corrects those puffy bags below your eyes, as well as drooping upper lids. These conditions all make you appear older and more tired than you actually are, and in some cases, can even negatively affect your vision.
As you age, your eyelids stretch, and the muscles supporting them weaken, while fat accumulates around your eyes. Bags, as a result, appear above and below.
Uncertainties & Risks Present in Eyelid Surgery
Every surgery carries with it some degree of risk. As long as you are working with a highly trained, and experienced surgeon, you should only expect infrequent, minor surgeons. In every case, however, there is a small chance of complications. Infections and reactions to anesthesia are some common side effects of eyelid surgery.
Make sure you follow any instructions given by your surgeon.
Planning Your Eyelid Surgery
During your initial consultation with your surgeon, you will undergo a thorough review of your complete medical history. Make sure you discuss which of your 4 eyelids you want your surgeon to work on. You’ll want to note exactly what will be done – whether skin and fat will be removed, and ask whether any additional procedures will be appropriate.
Prior to your surgery beginning, your surgeon will mark the incision sites, following the natural layout of your upper and lower eyelids. You will also learn about the types of anesthesia to be used, as well as the type of facility in which the procedure will be performed, and also the risks and costs involved with your particular surgery. In most cases, insurance companies will not cover eyelid surgery, but they may in the event that a drooping eyelid interferes with your vision.
Please remember to ask your surgeon any questions you might have, and always make sure to have a clear idea about what results you can expect from your surgery.
How to Prepare for Your Surgery
You will receive very specific information on how you should prepare for your surgery. You will receive guidelines for eating, drinking, smoking, and taking vitamins or medications. The more closely you follow these instructions, the smoother your surgery goes. Make sure to have someone drive you home from your surgery, while also having a person available to help you out around the house during your first 1-2 days of recovery.
Where You Surgery Will Be Performed
Eyelid surgery rarely requires an inpatient stay – it will most likely be performed in an outpatient surgery center or hospital.
The Surgical Process
The entire surgery takes somewhere around 2-3 hours, depending on the full scope of the surgery.
During the typical procedure, incisions are made that follow the natural lines of your eyelids. In the upper eyelids, the incision follows the creases of your eyelids, while following the lashes just below your lower eyelids. They may extend all the way into the crow’s feet or laugh lines of your outer eyes. The surgeon carefully separates your skin from the underlying tissue, while also removing excess fat and trimming sagging muscle and skin. Fine sutures are then used to close the incisions.
After Your Surgery
Following your eyelid surgery, your surgeon lubricates your eyes with ointment and applies a bandage. As the anesthesia wears off, your eyelids will feel tight and sore. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medication to reduce the intensity of these feelings. If the pain becomes severe, make sure to call your surgeon right away.
You should keep your head elevated for the following several days, and make sure to use cold compresses to reduce the bruising and swelling. Bruising can vary widely, depending on the person. It becomes most intense during the first week, while lasting 2-4 weeks overall.
For the first 1-2 weeks, your surgeon monitors your recovery very closely. After 7-10 days, your stiches are removed. Once removed, the swelling and discoloration surrounding your eyes subsides, and you begin to feel and look much better.
Getting Back to Normal
After your surgery is complete, the skin beneath your eyes smooths and firms.
Most people are ready to return back to their normal lives in 7-10 days. Depending on how quickly you heal and your doctor’s opinion, you should be recovered enough to wear makeup to cover any remaining bruising.
For the first 3-5 days after surgery, your doctor will advise you to keep physical activity to a minimum. Also, strenuous exercise should be avoided for 3 weeks. Bending, lifting, and high-intensity sports that will raise your blood pressure should be avoided completely. Your surgeon may also recommend you avoid alcohol, as it can cause fluid retention.
The New You
The scars from your surgery may remain pink for 6 months or longer after the surgery. Healing from surgery does take time, but eventually, these scars will fade to a thin white line, almost invisible to other.
For many people, a more alert and youthful look, will be permanent. Others can expect the effects of this surgery to last for years.