Blepharoplasty (Upper & Lower Eyelid Surgery)
The operation of lower and upper lid blepharoplasty generally involves removing excess skin, some muscle and some fat from the eyelid. Scars are placed in natural creases and are easily concealed.
Upper and lower eyelid surgery can be carried out under local or general anaesthesia as a day procedure. Although bilateral blepharoplasty lid lift and tuck is a popular procedure, there are limitations as to what can be achieved. Fine wrinkles in the lower eyelid are not all removed and removal of too much fat can produce a hollowing effect after a few years, so it has become more common to try and replace the natural fat into it’s correct position rather than remove it.
Eyelid cosmetic surgery to improve ’eyebags’ can be very successful in restoring a more ’open’, youthful and fresh appearance around the eyes.
If you want more information on Blepharoplasty, please call us on 02392 264073.
What happens during a Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) operation?
In your first appointment, you should clearly explain your expectations of the surgery. Careful discussions regarding your reasons for wanting eyelid surgery are very important at this stage. Make sure that you obtain as much information as necessary to enable you to make a fully informed decision about whether to go ahead with the surgery.
Mr Mellor will ask for your medical history to make sure that there are no reasons why you shouldn’t have eyelid surgery. He will analyse your eye region to ensure that the eyelid surgery alone is sufficient to correct your problem. With the upper eyelid there maybe some drooping of the forehead affecting your eyelid position. If this is not corrected simultaneously you may not get the result you are expecting. It is important you understand this before going ahead. Similarly the position of your mid face needs careful analysis.
You will then be given time to consider fully all the implications of the proposed surgery and a second out-patient appointment will be only be made if you have elected to proceed with surgery. (If you are still not completely sure a further consultation appointment can be arranged.) At the next appointment, you would sign a consent form, which means that you have understood the future benefits and possible risks associated with the procedure. Photographs of your eyes and face will be taken for clinical records and stored securely under data protection laws, also they remain “medical in confidence”.
Mr Mellor may wish to write to your G.P. giving details of the operation so that if there are any problems associated with it in the short or long-term, the G.P. is aware of the surgery and can help you if you require any further treatment after the operation.
The operation is performed under either general or local anaesthetic, depending upon your concerns and wishes. As in any surgical procedure, the use of a general anaesthetic carries a small additional risk that we will discuss with you.
Upper eyelid blepharoplasty involves cutting along the eyelid crease, in the natural skin fold of the eyelid. The cuts for both upper and lower lid procedures can be made with either a surgical scalpel or a laser. Then, excess skin is removed and a thin strip of muscle is also taken out to give the eyelid crease more shape. Next, unwanted fatty tissue is removed and the cut is then closed with a single layer of stitches, hiding the scar inside the natural fold of the upper eyelid.
The two most common methods of performing lower eyelid blepharoplasty are:
1) Through a direct cut made just below the lower lashes. The surgeon lifts the skin and muscle to remove a small amount of fat. Excess skin and muscle are then trimmed from the lower lid;
2) A technique called transconjunctival blepharoplasty may be used occasionally if you have a pocket of fat beneath your lower eyelids, but do not have any loose skin. It is usually performed on younger patients who have fat pads that push out through the eye muscle wall into their lower eyelids.
The transconjunctival method leaves no obvious scars. The cut is closed with self-dissolving stitches or is left to heal naturally. In addition to this surgery, a lid tightening procedure may be recommended and can be performed at the same time.
How long will it take to recover from the surgery?
Most patients find that they are ready to go out in public and be seen in around a week to 10 days following this procedure. Most of the swelling and bruising will have subsided after this period of time.
What are the risks and potential complications from Blepharoplasty surgery?
The eyes can be uncomfortable and swollen following surgery to your eyelids. The pain usually stops a few days after the surgery, but swelling may persist for over two weeks.
Other risks or complications following blepharoplasty include some minor and temporary difficulties such as: temporary blurred vision; dry or gritty eyes; temporary problems with too much tear production; difficulty closing the eyelids completely. The following are more serious but unusual difficulties following eyelid surgery: infection; nerve damage; the occurrence of asymmetries or irregularities in the eyelid.
A more serious, but very rare side effect, is bleeding behind the eye (retrobulbar haematoma).
What should you do after a Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) operation?
It is very important that you follow the advice carefully after your treatment.
Post – surgery advice includes:
- Using recommended painkillers as required;
- Using cold compresses after surgery to help reduce the swelling around the eyes, but not for prolonged periods as the cold will potentially interfere with blood flow and healing;
- Bathing the area around the eyes to keep it clean. Eyedrops may also be recommended if you experience any dry or itchy eye problems;
- Applying an antibiotic ointment recommended to reduce the chance of infection in the treated area;
- Stiches will be removed after one week or less;
- Exercising and more strenuous activities as sweating and the shaking or jarring of the skin is not always helpful to the healing process, so should be avoided for two weeks;
- Contacting the team immediately if you notice any signs of infection or if you experience bleeding or a sudden increase in pain.
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