What is Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)?
Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a procedure for improving the appearance of the eyelids. Surgery can be performed on either the upper or lower lids, or both. Whether you want to improve your appearance or are experiencing functional problems with your eyelids, eyelid surgery can rejuvenate the area surrounding your eyes.
Benefits of Eyelid surgery
Blepharoplasty surgery can treat:
- Loose or sagging skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid, sometimes impairing vision
- Excess fatty deposits that appear as puffiness in the eyelids
- Bags under the eyes
- Drooping lower eyelids that reveal white below the iris
- Excess skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid
In general, good candidates for eyelid surgery include:
- Healthy individuals who do not have a life threatening illness or medical conditions that can impair healing
- Individuals with a positive outlook and specific goals in mind for eyelid surgery
- Individuals without serious eye conditions
Remember that the eyelids are part of the face. The appearance of a drooping upper lid may also be due to relaxation of the forehead skin and eyebrow and thus a forehead or brow lift may also be beneficial to improving the appearance of the eyelid area.
Blepharoplasty is typically performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia and sedation. It is usually performed as an office procedure, but general anesthesia may be used for anxious patients if desired. Patients can choose to have this procedure on their upper or lower eyelids, or both. The procedure can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours, depending on whether both the upper and lower eyelids are operated on.
If the upper eyelid is being operated on, an incision is typically made along its natural crease. Once the incision is made, fat deposits are removed if necessary, muscles and tissue are tightened, and excess skin is removed. For the lower eyelid, an incision is usually made just below the lash line so that excess skin can be removed. The excess fat causing the bags or puffiness under the eyes is removed, and the incision is then closed with absorbable sutures.
Eyelid Surgery Before and After
Types of Eyelid surgery
- Lower eyelid blepharoplasty: This surgery is done under the eyelid and it mostly used to moderate eye bags and wrinkles around the eyes.
- Double eyelid surgery: With this type of surgery a crease is created in the upper eyelid, resulting to a double-lidded appearance.
- Upper eyelid blepharoplasty: This surgery is mainly used to address functionality. This is most popular among the elderly, the upper eyelid may lose its normal elasticity, leading to drooping and inversion, which can lead to loss of vision and daily activities such as reading, writing or driving.
What is Functional Blepharoplasty?
If the eyelids begin sagging into the field of vision, a functional blepharoplasty may be beneficial. This procedure removes excess sagging skin from the upper eyelids that is blocking the patient’s peripheral vision. The procedure may be covered by medical insurance if it is deemed medically necessary. A determination of how much vision is affected must be done first by checking the peripheral visual fields with a special test prior to insurance approval.
Eyelid Surgery recovery
After surgery, you may be advised to apply lubricating drops, ointment and cold compresses to aid in healing and minimize bruising and swelling. Most patients return to work within a few days to a week, but should avoid exercise and strenuous activities for at least 2 weeks. Most swelling and other side effects typically subside within 2 weeks. You may wear contact lenses and eye makeup 1 to 2 weeks after surgery.
Blepharoplasty risks and side effects
Eyelid surgery can include but not limited to:
- Eyes may be irritated and dry due to a temporary change in tear production
- Uneven healing
- permanent scarring
Will my scar fade after surgery?
The scars from blepharoplasty are well-concealed, and usually fade with time until they are virtually undetectable. Although the eyelids are still subject to aging, blepharoplasty produces long-lasting results.
Schedule a consultation
If you are interested in eyelid surgery, and would like to see if you are a good candidate, call (713) 271-9000 to schedule a consultation. Dr. Altamira has plastic surgery offices located in Houston and Sugar Land, Texas.