Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that corrects eye bags and droopy eyelids by removing excess skin, fatty tissue, and muscle from below and above the eyes. It brings your eyes out of hiding from beneath the excess tissue, making you look younger.
For droopy eyelids, the incisions are made in the eye crease, and for puffiness below the eye, the incisions are made along the lower lash line or possibly on the internal surface of the lower eyelid. The incisions are so small that they generally cannot be seen, and they are closed with tiny sutures. Some of the sutures may dissolve on their own, while others may have to be removed by the doctor.
View this procedure in 3D:
Who Can Benefit from Blepharoplasty?
If you feel your eyes are being hidden by excess tissue in your upper and lower eyelids, you may be a good candidate for blepharoplasty. When droopy skin over your eyes or puffy skin under your eyes has been removed, your eyes look firmer, younger, brighter, and more open.
One of the advantages of blepharoplasty is that the results are permanent. While the surgery cannot prevent wrinkles from developing in the future, it takes years to develop eye bags, so your new look will last a very long time.
Note that blepharoplasty does not correct fine wrinkles on the face, nor will it usually affect the appearance of dark under-eye circles.
What is the Procedure Like?
Blepharoplasty can be performed under a local anesthetic with or without a sedative or under general anesthesia. If you choose to be awake for surgery, you will feel no pain, as the anesthetic will completely numb the area around your eyes. As a result, all you will feel is some slight tugging on your skin during the surgery.
After the incisions are made, the doctor will remove the excess tissue, and suture the incisions. The surgery generally takes one to three hours depending on the number of areas you want corrected.
What Can I Expect During Recovery?
You can go home immediately after the surgery. However, you will need someone to drive you home even if just a local anesthetic was used. Since this surgery is performed on the eyes, your vision may be slightly impaired for a few days, and you may even be sent home with bandages over your eyes. In fact, you may experience some blurred or double vision for a few days, so do not attempt to drive or do anything else that requires excellent eyesight until your vision is back to normal.
The healing process takes one to two weeks, after which you will be able to return to work. During healing, your eyes may feel a bit sticky, itchy, or watery. The doctor will give you a prescription for eye drops to relieve these conditions, as well as a prescription for pain medication if you need it while your body heals. You may also be given an ointment to apply to the eye area to prevent dryness.
Some patients experience some minor swelling and bruising, which can be relieved by applying a cold compress or ice pack, keeping your head elevated until the swelling goes down, and avoiding alcohol consumption, which can cause fluid retention. You may also experience some discomfort when reading or watching television for the first few days after surgery. This is normal, as the surgery can make your eyes more sensitive to light, but this will gradually go away on its own.
During the healing process, you will not be able to wear contact lenses or eye makeup. After all of the stitches have dissolved or have been removed, you will be able to wear eye makeup again – usually within a week after your surgery. Even after the stitches have been removed, the areas where the incisions were made may remain red for awhile longer. Since the incisions were made in the creases, on the lash line, or under the eyelid, the redness will not be visible to others.
What are the Risks of Blepharoplasty?
If you have glaucoma, high blood pressure, dry eyes, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or hypothyroidism, you may not be a good candidate for blepharoplasty. During your consultation, be sure to tell your doctor everything about your medical history, and bring any prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses with you.
Blepharoplasty is a very fast and safe outpatient surgery, but as with any surgery, infection or bleeding can occur in rare cases. Any surgery around the eye carries a small risk of eye damage, though this is quite uncommon.
Does Blepharoplasty Correct Asian Eyes?
Blepharoplasty is the procedure used to correct Asian eyes, which is estimated to affect 50% of Asians. The blepharoplasty procedure, which is sometimes called “double-eyelid surgery” in this case, adds the eyelid crease that is missing in those with Asian eyes.
This surgery will not cause an Asian person to look “westernized,” but it makes the eyes appear larger and allows for easier application of eye makeup.