Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is a very common procedure which is performed to correct drooping upper lids and puffy bags below your eyes. The procedure removes excess skin, fat and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. Blepharoplasty can be done alone, or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a facelift or browlift. Most people who undergo surgery are over 40 year of age, although the procedure can be done on younger patients whose eyelid structure produces a typical puffy or tired look.
As in any surgical procedure, there are certain risks and complications of which you should be aware. This includes infection or a reaction to the anesthesia. The minor complications that occasionally follow blepharoplasty include double or blurred vision for a few days; temporary swelling at the corner of the eyelids; and a slight asymmetry in healing or scarring. Another very rare complication is ectropion, a pulling down of the lower lids. In this case, further surgery may be required.
During your initial consultation a thorough examination will be performed. Dr. Bromley will discuss the surgical options that are available and whether both upper and lower eyelids will be corrected during the procedure.
Eyelid surgery is usually performed on an outpatient basis using a local anesthetic and sedation. You may experience slight tugging or pulling during the procedure, but won't experience significant pain. The procedure commonly takes about one to two hours.
In a typical procedure, incisions will be made, following the natural lines of the eyelids--in the creases of your upper lids, and just below the lashes in the lower lids. The incisions may extend into the crow's feet or laugh lines at the outer corners of your eyes. Working through these incisions, the skin is separated from the underlying fatty tissue and muscle. Excess fat and skin is then removed. The incisions are then closed with very fine sutures. After surgery, antibiotic ointment will be prescribed.
Discomfort is easily controlled with oral pain medication. It is important for you to keep your head elevated for several days, and to use cold compresses to reduce swelling and bruising. Bruising varies from person to person. It reaches its peak during the first week, and generally lasts anywhere from two weeks to a month.
You may notice slight blurring of vision during the first postoperative week. The stitches will be removed two days to a week after surgery. Once they're out, the swelling and discoloration around your eyes will gradually subside. You should be able to read or watch television after two or three days. However, you won't be able to wear contact lenses for about two weeks, and even then they may feel uncomfortable for a while.
Most people feel ready to go out in public (and back to work) in several days to one week. Dr. Bromley will discuss when you can resume other activities such as athletics during your postoperative visits. The scars may appear slightly pink and raised in the initial weeks after the surgery. However, with time (three to six months), these incisions become almost invisible.
If you have any questions about blepharoplasty, or any other plastic surgical procedure, please contact our office. Photo galleries, in addition to 3D animation of this procedure can be found at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website.
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