Also known as eye lift or blepharoplasty
Eyelid surgery restores a youthful and rested look to the surrounding area. This procedure can be performed on both the upper and lower eyelids depending on your goal, and scars are hidden in the natural folds of your eyelids. It will take time to see results after surgery.You’ll likely be bruised and swollen and your eyes may be itchy and dry following the procedure. If your eyebrows droop and you have creases in your forehead, you may also need a brow lift.
The following are some common reasons why you may want to consider eyelid surgery:
You have excess skin obscuring the natural fold of the upper eyelids
You have loose upper eyelid skin that impairs your vision
You have a puffy appearance to the upper eyelids, making your eyes look tired and sad
You have excess skin and fine, ‘crepe paper’ type lower eyelid wrinkles
You have bags and dark circles under the eyes
Your upper eye surface is too small or not smooth enough to apply makeup.
Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) can be performed on your upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. Based on a preoperative evaluation of factors such as your underlying facial muscle structure, bone structure, and the symmetry of your eyebrows, your surgeon will decide how much skin, muscle, and/or fat to remove.
Your surgeon will make precise markings to indicate where excess tissues will be removed in your upper eyelids and in your lower eyelids.
In your upper eyelid, your surgeon will make an incision hidden within the natural fold of the upper eyelid.
In the lower eyelid, the incision will be hidden just below the lower lashes. Alternatively, when excess fat is being removed, the incision can be placed inside the lower eyelid (transconjunctival incision). A laser may sometimes be used in conjunction with this method to tighten lower eyelid skin.
Dr. Audi will remove tissue through these incisions using surgical instruments, including scalpels, surgical scissors, radiofrequency cutting devices, and, sometimes, cutting lasers.
Sometimes fat may be redistributed in the lower lids to eliminate puffiness or bulges. Your surgeon may make other adjustments to correct special problems such as muscle laxity.
He or she will then apply sutures or tissue adhesives (glue) to smooth and reconfigure areas around the eyebrows and eyelids. Sutures are invisible to the eye and are commonly self-dissolving. In most cases, there is virtually no detectable scar.
Less tissue is removed in patients with dry eyes to avoid exposing more of the eye to the air, which can cause symptoms to worsen.
Your surgeon also may use a laser to enhance the procedure by resurfacing skin and smoothing wrinkles in the eyelid and eyebrow area.
Your surgeon will place the incision line at the natural eyelid crease through which he or she will remove excess skin, muscle, and fat. Lasers may be used to remove this excess tissue to reduce swelling and bruising.Fine sutures will be used to close the incisions, thereby minimizing scar visibility.
There are a number of options for performing lower eyelid surgery:
The traditional approach places the incision just below the eyelashes, trimming and/or repositioning excess skin and fat, and tightening the lower eyelid muscle.
In the transconjunctival approach, effective in improving lower eyelid bags and puffiness, your surgeon places the incision inside the eyelid. Your surgeon can remove excess fat through a transconjunctival incision, but not excess skin.
The ‘skin pinch’ blepharoplasty removes only a bit of skin. This is effective if you have strong lower eyelid support and only a little extra skin. In some patients laser resurfacing can both tighten excess skin and remove wrinkles.
The use of hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers is a nonsurgical alternative for the lower eyelids. Restylane, Juvéderm, and other soft tissue fillers can be injected into the tear trough (crescent-shaped under-eye area) to rejuvenate the appearance of the under-eye area. Results are varied and last approximately six months.
What will my eyelid surgery incisions and scars be like?
After surgery, your appearance is brighter, more alert and rested.
After blepharoplasty, a lubricating ointment will be applied to your eyes to protect them and prevent dryness. The ointment may cause temporary blurred vision.
Your incisions will be red and visible at first, and your eyelids may be puffy and feel numb for several days.
Swelling and bruising, similar to having “black eyes,” will likely last a week or more.
Your surgeon will probably instruct you to apply ice packs or cold compresses to your eyes to help reduce swelling.
Pain is usually minimal. You may be given a pain reliever such as acetaminophen (Tylenol or others) for mild discomfort, but remember to avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, or others), naproxen (Aleve), and any other medications or herbal supplements that may increase bleeding.
If stitches were used, they’ll be removed after three or four days.
If you experience extreme or long-lasting pain or redness and swelling after the surgery, contact your surgeon to find out if these symptoms are normal or a sign of a problem.
Recovery time frame after eyelid surgery
It is vitally important that you follow all postoperative instructions provided by your surgeon. This will include information about bandages, drains, taking an antibiotic if prescribed, and the level and type of activity that is safe. It is important to realize that the amount of time it takes for recovery varies greatly among individuals.
The first two weeks
Although you will not have to rest in bed following surgery, you should plan to relax, stay home, and use cold compresses on your eyes on the day of surgery as well as the day after. The amount of time it takes for recovery varies. Here are some helpful guidelines:
Follow your surgeon’s instructions for care. For the first couple of days following surgery, expect to treat the incisions with ointment to keep them lubricated and place cold compresses on the eyes to reduce swelling. You will be advised to use eye drops to keep the eyes from drying. If you have dry eyes lasting more than two weeks, contact your doctor.
Sleep with your head raised higher than your chest. You can use regular pillows, wedge pillows, or sleep on a recliner. Minimize swelling and bruising by keeping your head elevated as much as possible during the first few days of recovery.
Significant bruising typically occurs, but will resolve within two weeks.
Avoid straining, heavy lifting, swimming, and strenuous activities, such as aerobics and jogging, for ten to fourteen days. Specifically, you should avoid activities in which you must move your head abruptly or that increase the blood pressure in your head. This restriction includes, but is not limited to, bending over, which causes your head to be lower than your heart, and lifting objects heavy enough to cause you to strain. This restriction may apply for three to four weeks.
You may notice that your eyes tire easily for the first several weeks of the recovery period. Take frequent naps. Avoid activities that may dry the eyes, including reading, watching television, wearing contacts, and using a computer.
For the first two weeks after your surgery, wear dark sunglasses to protect the eyes from irritation caused by sun and wind.
Your plastic surgeon will remove the stitches between two and seven days after your eyelid surgery.
You may feel well enough to resume normal activities around the tenth day of recovery.