Why is Eyelid Surgery Performed?
Upper and lower eyelids surgeries are performed to remove excess eyelid skin and fat that tend to create a heavy looking eyelid, aged appearance, puffiness, and at times, impede the field of vision. Often these procedures can help contour brow and eye shape and, when combined with laser skin resurfacing, can improve wrinkles and skin texture around the eye.
Different Types of Blepharoplasty
Depending on the individual needs of a client, our board-certified plastic surgeons can help choose the right procedure to address a variety of cosmetic concerns. There are typically two different cosmetic procedures used to perform a blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery): upper eyelid surgery and lower eyelid surgery.
During an upper eyelid blepharoplasty, your surgeon will incise along the natural eyelid crease. Through this incision, the surgeon will begin to remove any excess skin, muscle, and fat to correct a drooping upper eyelid. Some surgeons use lasers to help remove the tissues in order to reduce swelling and bruising.
Lower eyelid surgeries can be performed in several different ways.
During a traditional lower blepharoplasty, your surgeon will incise just below the eyelashes. Once complete, the surgeon may trim or reposition any skin or fat in the location and tighten the lower eyelid muscles.
Another technique may include a transconjunctival approach. This eyelid surgery is performed in order to improve lower eyelid bags and puffiness. This procedure has its limits though, as it can only be used to remove excess fat but does not remove excess skin in the lower eyelid.A “skin pinch” blepharoplasty removes the least amount of skin. This procedure is effective if you happen to have strong lower eyelid support and only a little extra skin.
Radio frequency assisted lipolysis can also be an effective method to help tighten the excess skin and remove any unwanted wrinkles.
How Long is the Recovery Time for Blepharoplasty?
Recovery time after a blepharoplasty is typically fairly short. After your surgery, your surgeon will place thin bandages over the incision sites. These can be removed a few days post-op. Your stitches will remain in your skin for about a week and, if the surgeon used self-absorbing stitches, will typically not require an additional visit to have them removed. Typically, for the first few days after your surgery, you will notice considerable swelling and bruising. However, this will gradually clear. Using a cold compress for the first 48 hours post-operation will help significantly reduce painful swelling around your eyes and face. Your doctor may recommend light activities, such as walking, to help your body recover.
In most cases, many patients are able to return to their daily activities within the first seven to ten days following their procedure. By the end of the second week, most of the bruising and swelling will resolve.
Limitations and Risks of Blepharoplasty
Fortunately, major complications and high risks from eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) are very rare. Every year, thousands of patients undergo successful eyelid surgeries and are pleased with their results. Blepharoplasty procedures are the ‘gold standard’ for eyelid rejuvenation and are commonly performed without any complications.
However, as with any surgical procedure, blepharoplasty does have some degree of risk. Some of the potential, but rare, complications may include:
- Adverse/allergic reaction to anesthesia
- Hematoma or seroma (an accumulation of blood or fluid under the skin requiring removal)
- Infection and bleeding
- Nerve damage
- Visible scarring
- Damage to underlying structures
- Unsatisfactory results that may require additional surgeries.
You can help minimize certain risks by following the advice and instructions of your board-certified plastic surgeon, both before and after your eyelid surgery.