Do you always look tired and unhappy because of the way your eyes look? Blepharoplasty is a surgery for the eyelids which involves the removal of fat along with excess skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. The droopy appearance and puffy areas below the eyes will be gone, but blepharoplasty cannot correct dark circles, lift sagging eyebrows, or remove crow's feet. For Asian patients, this procedure can add an upper eyelid crease where there may have not been one before. It can also be performed in conjunction with a face life or other facial plastic surgeries.
People interested in blepharoplasty are usually over 35, but if you are interested in having this done earlier it is possible. You must be physically and psychologically healthy and have realistic expectations of what your appearance will be after the procedure is finished and you have healed. Your vision will be tested and your ability to produce tears must be sufficient.
There are several factors that make blepharoplasty more risky. If you have a history of dry eyes, detached retina, or glaucoma, you may want to consult an ophthalmologist. Other risk factors that may affect this surgery include hypothyroidism, Graves' disease, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.
Some of the complications that can occur following blepharoplasty include temporary swelling at the corners of the eyelids, or blurred vision for several days. There is also a chance that the incisions may heal asymmetrically. If tiny whiteheads appear following surgery, your doctor can easily remove them with a small needle. Some patients have difficulty closing their eyes completely when sleeping. Although this is very rare, in some circumstances it can be permanent. You will not be able to wear contact lenses for several weeks following surgery.
Blepharoplasty is normally performed under local anesthesia and takes one to three hours depending on the complexity of the procedure. The area around your eyes will be numb and you may be given a sedative to keep you relaxed. You will be awake during the procedure and might experience some minor discomfort, but you should be mostly calm. If your surgeon prefers to use general anesthesia, you will be completely asleep during the surgery.
The surgeon will make incisions that follow the natural lines of your upper eyelids and slightly below the lower eyelashes. The upper eyelids are usually worked on before the lower lids when all four lids are being operated on. The skin is separated from the muscle and fatty tissue underneath and excess skin is trimmed.
Blepharoplasty is typically an outpatient procedure. Following surgery, your eyelids will feel sore and tight, but you will have appropriate pain medication to control any discomfort you may have. You will need to keep your head elevated for several days to minimize swelling and keep cold packs on the area. You will also need to learn how to keep your eyes clean while healing. Two days after the surgery, your stitches will be removed. It may be up to ten days before you feel comfortable going back out in public, but many of your activities will be restricted.
Once you have healed, your new youthful appearance will enhance your self-image and last for many years to come.