The blepharoplasty or eyelid lift procedure removes excess skin, fat, and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. The eyelid surgery will give you a more rested, alert, youthful appearance. The eyelids will be more refreshed, with a younger, firmer eye area.
The blepharoplasty procedure will help define the eyelid crease but it will not remove lines and wrinkles around the eyes, nor can it change the position of the brows.
In upper eyelid surgery, the incision is well concealed in the upper eyelid crease. During the preoperative markings, Dr. Short will use an outline to mark the upper lid crease to keep the scars as invisible as possible along your natural folds. The incision is made, excess fat and muscle are removed along with loose skin. Very small, fine sutures are used to close the incisions, and are removed within 3 days after surgery to minimize the appearance of the scar.
When the excess skin from the upper eyelids is removed, the brows tend to lower without the need to raise any longer (since the excess skin has been removed), a browpexy may be recommended to maintain the brow position by placing a permanent suture to the outer brow. A browpexy is performed to alleviate the need for a traditional browlift procedure, especially in a male patient. A browlift procedure is not optimal in male patients since a browlift can result in more feminine contours and the incision is difficult to conceal in the hairline or scalp, especially with loss of hair.
Lower Eyelid Surgery
In lower eyelid surgery, the incision is made along the lashline. With lower eyelid surgery, the incision could also be located inside the lower eyelid referred to as a transconjuctival approach, eliminating the need for sutures. In many patients older than 40 years of age and depending on the lower eyelid muscle laxity, a transconjuctival approach may be recommended to prevent a complication referred to as ectropion, where the lower eyelid may turn outward after surgery. Lower eyelid massage following surgery is recommended for the first few weeks to allow the lower eyelids to heal properly by keep the underlying connective tissue soft and supple preventing scar tissue.
When Should I Consider an Upper or Lower Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)?
- Excess upper lid or lower lid skin and excess fatty tissue
- Overhanging skin in the upper eyelids or lower eyelids
- “Droopy” eyelids
- Puffiness to the upper or lower eyelids
- Tired appearance or “bags” to the lower eyelids
- A more refreshed, youthful appearance to the upper portion of the face
- A more rested appearance to the eyelids
- Remove excess skin, puffiness, and bags under the eyelids
- Enhances ability to see in the peripheral field
Planning the Surgery
Time off Work
7-10 days off work to allow for bruising and swelling to subside. Pain is minimal.
You will need someone to care for you for the first 24-36 hours after the procedure. You may need a driver for your first post-operative appointment, at 3-4 days if swelling is affecting your vision.
The Day of Surgery
The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis usually under light or general anesthesia. The procedure take approximately 1.5-2.0 hours for an upper or lower blepharoplasty or 2.5-3.0 hours for both, depending on the incision placement.
Depending on the incision that was used, the sutures will be removed within 3-4 days after your surgery. Typically steri-strips, small tapes are used to keep the ends of the suture down. Most of the swelling and bruising will subside by 7 days after your procedure. An ointment (Puralube or Lacrilube) will be prescribed to prevent dryness to the eyes, used primarily at night. Blurred vision may be present for the first week until the swelling resolves. Lower lid massage will be recommended after 2-3 days to maintain softenss and mobility of the lower eyelid.
It is important to address any concerns with Dr. Short at the time of your consultation. There is some risk, as with any surgical procedure. Minor complications that do not affect the outcome occur occasionally. Major complications are unusual. Dr. Short can explain the procedure and potential complications to you in detail, and she can help you determine if a blepharoplasty is right for you.