Eyelid reduction surgery (blepharoplasty), corrects excess eyelid skin and fatty deposits which can cause puffiness around the eyes.
These symptoms are usually the result of the ageing process but can also be inherited.
Patients often are troubled with symptoms including irritation, watering eyes, a heaviness in their eyelids and visual obstruction.
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Things to consider before surgery
Some people may present with concerns about their eyelids when the predominant problem is actually that their eyebrows have sagged with ageing resulting in an “apparent” excess of eyelid skin. If the main issue is sagging of the eyebrows, than failing to address this before treating the eyelids may actually make no improvement to their appearance and in some cases, could make matters worse.
High blood pressure, thyroid problems, diabetes, allergies or conditions like “dry eye” may increase the risks associated with eyelid surgery and should be addressed if possible before surgery is considered.
The procedure may be performed under a local anaesthetic though usually, especially for lower eyelids a general anaesthetic or sedation is necessary. Most patients prefer sedation as it is associated with less side effects from anaesthesia whilst making the surgical experience more pleasant and less stressful. Excess skin and fat, if necessary, are removed from the eyelids and occasionally, especially for lower eyelids, some type of tightening and lifting procedure will also be performed. Occasionally for the upper eyelids, part of the procedure involves re-inserting the muscle that opens the eyelids into the skin, which draws the skin into the eyelid crease when the eyes are opened. This procedure if required results in a much fresher and “wide eyed” appearance though it is associated with more swelling, a slightly longer recovery and potentially a more “surgical” appearance than the more simple techniques that may be used.
For upper eyelid surgery, the incision is hidden in the natural fold of the upper eyelid and may extends slightly beyond the outer corner into the laugh lines. It is usually well camouflaged when healed. For lower eyelid surgery, often an incision is hidden just beneath the lower lashes. In some cases, the best approach for removing excess fat is through an incision placed inside the lower eyelid. This technique requires no external incision, but cannot be used to remove excess skin.
In some cases, dissolving sutures may be used however, in most patients some removable sutures will be used which will be visible in the immediate postoperative period. Light dressings and eye ointment may be applied to the wounds at the end of the procedure.
After surgery-what to expect
Mr Hanikeri recommends taking one to two weeks off work after the operation depending on the physical demands of their job. Light activities, including driving and light exercise. They can usually return to normal activities and exercise within four to six weeks depending on the extent of surgery required.
Scars are not completely predictable, however most are barely visible in the long term. They may appear pink and slightly thickened for a few weeks to months after the surgery but will usually fade to be pale and soft by around three to six months. Their final appearance may take up to eighteen months to achieve.
Risks of Eyelid Surgery