Eyelid surgery (Blepharoplasty) is a procedure to both sculpture fat and remove excess skin from the upper and lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery may correct drooping upper lids and puffy bags below your eyes. However, it will not remove crow’s feet or other wrinkles, eliminate dark circles under your eyes, or lift sagging eyebrows. Blepharoplasty may be performed alone, or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a facelift or forehead lift. If you are considering eyelid surgery, this information will give you a basic understanding of the procedure; when it may help, how it’s performed, and what results you can expect. It can not answer all of your questions, since much depends on the individual. Please ask Dr. Baroody about anything you do not understand during your consultation.
THE BEST CANDIDATES FOR EYELID SURGERY
Blepharoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it will not necessarily change your looks to match your ideal, or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with Dr. Baroody. The best candidates for eyelid surgery are men and women who are physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in their expectations. Most are 35 or older, but if lower eyelid fullness run in your family, you may decide to have eyelid surgery at a younger age. A few medical conditions make Blepharoplasty more challenging. They include thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism and Graves’ disease, dry eye or lack of sufficient tears, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. A detached retina or glaucoma is also a reason for caution; check with your ophthalmologist before you have surgery.
ALL SURGERY CARRIES SOME UNCERTAINTY AND RISK
When eyelid surgery is performed by a board certified plastic surgeon, like Dr. Baroody, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility of complications. You can reduce your risks by closely following Dr. Baroody’s instructions both before and after surgery. 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. Tiny whiteheads may appear after your stitches are taken out; Dr. Baroody can remove them easily with a very fine needle in the office setting. Following surgery, few patients may have difficulty closing their eyes when they sleep; in rare cases this condition may be permanent. Dr. Baroody makes every precaution in order to help prevent this from happening. Another very rare complication is ectropion, a pulling down of the lower lids. In this case, the condition typically resolves on its own over a 6 month period of time. If it does not correct spontaneously then further surgery may be required.
PLANNING YOUR SURGERY
The initial consultation with Dr. Baroody is very important. He will obtain your complete medical history. Be sure to inform Dr. Baroody if you have any allergies, taking any supplements or medications, and if you smoke. Also provide any relevant information from your ophthalmologist. A discussion will consist of the best procedure for you, location of the incision, and whether any additional procedures are appropriate. Do not hesitate to ask Dr. Baroody any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results.
PREPARING FOR YOUR SURGERY
Dr. Baroody will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating, drinking, smoking, and avoiding certain supplements/medications. Carefully following these instructions will help reduce your surgical risks and shorten recovery time. While you are making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery.
WHERE YOUR SURGERY WILL BE PERFORMED
Eyelid surgery may be performed in Dr. Baroody’s office-based facility, an outpatient surgery center, or a hospital. It’s usually performed on an outpatient basis; rarely does it require an inpatient stay.
TYPES OF ANESTHESIA
Upper eyelid surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia which numbs the area around your eyes along with oral or intravenous sedatives. General anesthesia is typically recommended for the more complex fat transposition of the lower eyelids. The You may be awake during the surgery, but relaxed and comfortable.
Blepharoplasty usually takes one to three hours, depending on the extent of surgery. In a typical procedure, Dr. Baroody makes incisions following the natural lines of your 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, Dr. Baroody separates the skin from the underlying fatty tissue and muscle, removes some excess fat, and
often trims sagging skin and muscle. A common procedure performed by Dr. Baroody is relocation of the fat pads to the ccheek which helps blend the cheek into the lower eyelid. This technique also blunts the deep line beneath the eyelid. The incisions are then closed with very fine sutures.
If you have a pocket of fat beneath your lower eyelids but don’t need to have any skin removed, Dr. Baroody may perform a transconjunctival blepharoplasty. In this procedure the incision is made inside your lower eyelid, leaving no visible scar. It is usually performed on younger patients with thicker, more elastic skin.
AFTER YOUR SURGERY
After surgery, your eyelids may feel tight and sore as the anesthesia wears off, but you can control any discomfort with the pain medication prescribed. If you feel any severe pain, call Dr. Baroody immediately. Keep your head elevated for several days and 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 up to a month. Use artificial tear eye drops if you experience dryness. For the first few weeks you may rarely experience excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, and temporary changes in your eyesight, such as blurring or double vision. Dr. Baroody will follow your progress very closely for the first two weeks. The stitches will be removed five to seven days after surgery. Once they’re out, the swelling and discoloration around your eyes will gradually subside, and you’ll start to look and feel much better.
GETTING BACK TO NORMAL
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. Most people feel ready to go out in public (and back to work) in a week to 10 days. You will then be able to wear makeup to hide the bruising that remains. Keep your activities to a minimum for three to five days, and avoid more strenuous activities for about three weeks. It’s especially important to avoid activities that raise your blood pressure, including bending, lifting, and rigorous exercise.
YOUR NEW LOOK
Healing is a gradual process, and your scars may remain slightly pink for six months or more after surgery. Eventually, though, they’ll fade to a thin, nearly invisible white line. The more alert and youthful look you will have after surgery will last for years. For many people, these results are permanent.