Blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery is a procedure that is carried out to change the appearance of the upper or lower eyelids. It is one of the cosmetic procedures that can be performed to change the appearance of the eyes or to improve vision if it is obscured by drooping eyelids. Let’s take a look at how is eyelid surgery done and what you can expect in terms of recovery.
What Are The Benefits Of Eyelid Surgery?
For patients who have drooping eyelids or an excess of skin in the eye area, blepharoplasty can improve the appearance of both the upper and lower eyelids, and also address any vision problems you have as a result of the sagging skin affecting your ability to see. Eyelid surgery can be used to
- Address sagging or loose skin that changes the way your eye contours look
- Drooping or loose skin that gets in the way of your vision
- Bags or puffiness that accumulates underneath the eyes
- Address drooping lower eyelids that expose the whites of your eyes
- Tighten loose skin and smoothing out wrinkles that develop in the lower eye area.
How Is Eyelid Surgery Done: Important Facts To Know
Upper and lower eyelid surgeries are handled as separate cosmetic procedures, so if you want to address both lids, you may be having two separate surgical procedures.
There is a limit to what blepharoplasty can achieve: it will not get rid of crow’s feet, dark circles or lift drooping eyebrows. If these are your cosmetic concerns, you will need to consider alternative treatments.
The cost of cosmetic procedures is generally not covered by private health insurance or offered rebates under Medicare. If the procedure is being performed for medical reasons, you may be able to claim some portion of it back. It is advisable to check on your out of pocket costs before you move forward with eyelid surgery.
How Is Eyelid Surgery Done: The Surgical Operation
Your surgeon will let you know if you are having local or general anaesthetic but you will need to make arrangements for someone to drive you home afterwards.
Your procedure will depend on your exact needs, but you can expect
If you are having blepharoplasty on your upper eyelids to address sagging: Your surgeon makes an incision across the eyelid
If you are having blepharoplasty on your lower eyelid: Your surgeon makes an incision on the inside of the lower lid, or just below the lashes.
Then, any excess skin or fat will be removed or repositioned, and underlying tissue will be tightened and then stitched up. Your surgeon will try to conceal any incisions below the natural contours and creases of your eye.
What To Expect After Blepharoplasty?
Working with an experienced and qualified plastic surgeon and planning your surgery well can help you to minimise side effects and complications. After eyelid surgery, you can expect
- Discomfort and mild pain
- Bruising and swelling around the eye area
- Potential bruising on the whites of your eyes
- Eyes that feel irritated, wet or dry
- Light sensitivity
You will use cool compresses over your eyes immediately after your surgery to minimise swelling and bruising and to help speed up recovery.
What Are The Potential Complications Of Eyelid Surgery?
All surgeries have some element of risk that needs to be taken into account. Your particular risk factors need to be discussed with your plastic surgeon prior to the surgery. Some of the potential complications include
- Anaesthetic risks, including an allergic reaction
- Surgical risks such as infection or bleeding
- The development of blood clots
- Areas of numbness that could be temporary or permanent
- Impaired or blurry vision
- Watery or dry eyes
- Problems closing your eyes, especially when you want to sleep
- Unnatural or sunken eyes
- Scars that are itchy or inflamed
- Bleeding in or behind your eye
- Lumps developing in the lower eyelid
- Loss of vision
- Secondary surgery to treat complications
Eyelid Surgery Aftercare: Your Recovery Guide
Make sure you follow your surgeon’s recovery tips to heal after cosmetic procedures. This includes
- Performing the necessary wound care, as directed by your plastic surgeon
- Managing swelling and discomfort in the days and weeks after your procedure, for example, by using cool compresses regularly
- Not rubbing, touching or scratching your eyes
- Making sure your eyes are protected from sunlight until the healing process has concluded
- Avoiding alcohol
- Not wearing make-up in the eye area until the healing is complete.
- Reporting any problems or worsening pain to your surgeon as soon as possible.
You can expect to see the results of your eyelid surgery a few weeks after the procedure, but it may take up to a year for the wounds and incisions to heal completely and fade away.
Is A Blepharoplasty Right For You?
Most patients are very happy with the way that blepharoplasty can alter the appearance of their face, especially if the upper lids drooped over the eye, or they had large bags underneath their eyes. These cosmetic procedures can take years off your physical appearance and in some patients, the results may even be permanent. It’s important to understand the limitations of this kind of surgery and what it can and can’t achieve, so you have a realistic expectation.
To find out more about how is eyelid surgery done, and whether it could be the right procedure for your cosmetic needs, it’s always best to speak to a professional. Please contact us for a confidential and convenient appointment: (02) 9158 6375.