Eyelid surgery(Blepharoplasty) includes surgery to repair droopy eyelids that may involve removing excess skin, muscle and fat.
As you age, your eyelids stretch, and the muscles supporting them weaken. As a result, excess fat may gather above and below your eyelids, causing sagging eyebrows, droopy upper lids and bags under your eyes.
Besides making you look older, severely sagging skin around your eyes can reduce your side vision (peripheral vision), especially the upper and outer parts of your field of vision. Blepharoplasty can reduce or eliminate these vision problems and make your eyes appear younger and more alert.
Why it's done
Blepharoplasty is usually done on an outpatient basis. To help decide if blepharoplasty is right for you, find out what you can realistically expect and explore the benefits and risks of blepharoplasty.
You might consider blepharoplasty if droopy or sagging eyelids keep your eyes from opening completely or pull down your lower eyelids. Removing excess tissue from your upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both can improve vision and make your eyes appear younger and more alert.
Blepharoplasty may be an option if you have:
- Baggy or droopy upper eyelids
- Excess skin of the upper eyelids that interferes with your peripheral vision
- Droopy lower eyelids, which may cause white to show below the coloured part of the iris
- Excess skin on the lower eyelids
- Bags under your eyes
What you can expect
During the procedure
If you have surgery on your upper and lower eyelids, the surgeon generally works on your upper lids first. He or she cuts along the fold of the eyelid, removes some excess skin, muscle and fat, and closes the cut.
On the lower lid, the surgeon makes a cut just below the lashes in your eye's natural crease or inside the lower lid. He or she removes or redistributes excess fat, muscle and sagging skin, and closes the cut.
If your eyelid droops close to your pupil, your surgeon may do blepharoplasty with a procedure called ptosis (TOE-sis) to address that problem.
Blepharoplasty usually takes less than two hours, depending on the amount and location of tissue being removed.
After the procedure
After surgery you spend time in a recovery room, where you are monitored for complications. You can leave later that day to recuperate at home.
After surgery you may temporarily experience:
- Blurred vision from the lubricating ointment applied to your eyes
- Watering eyes
- Light sensitivity
- Double vision
- Redness where the cuts were made
- Puffy, numb eyelids
- Swelling and bruising similar to having "black eyes"
Some painYour doctor will likely suggest you take the following steps after surgery:
- Gently clean your eyelids and use prescribed eyedrops or ointments.
- Avoid straining, heavy lifting and swimming for a few days.
- Avoid strenuous activities, such as aerobics and jogging, for a few days.
- Avoid smoking.
- Avoid rubbing your eyes.
- If you use contact lenses, don't put them in for about two weeks after surgery.
- Wear darkly tinted sunglasses to protect the skin of your eyelids from sun and wind
- Sleep with your head raised higher than your chest for a few days.
- Apply cool compresses to reduce swelling.
- After a few days, return to the doctor's office to have stitches removed, if needed.
- For a few days, avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve,
- Naprosyn), and other medications or herbal supplements that may increase
- bleeding. If needed, use acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) to control pain.
Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- An unusual heart rate
- Severe new eye pain
- Vision problems