Eyelid surgery is known in the medical field as blepharoplasty. The surgeon cuts, repositions, or removes the skin, fat, or muscles in the eyelid to give an eye lift effect. Although it is popular for cosmetic reasons, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) can also be utilized to treat other conditions.
Eyelid Lift Patient Information: Types of Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
There are three major types of eyelid surgery. The first type is called lower eyelid blepharoplasty. As the name indicates, it is done on the lower eyelid and is mostly used for modifying eye bags or improving the wrinkled appearance of skin around the eyes.
The second type is called double eyelid surgery. It has earned the moniker “Asian blepharoplasty” because it is popular among East and Southeast Asians. Through this type of surgery, a crease is created in the upper eyelid, resulting to a double-lidded appearance deemed desirable by Asians.
The third type is upper eyelid surgery. This is mainly used to address functionality. Among the elderly, the upper eyelid may lose its normal elasticity, leading to drooping and inversion. This can lead to loss of vision and daily activities such as reading, writing or driving. Hence, undergoing upper eyelid surgery can restore the function of the affected person.
Eyelid Lift Patient Information: Eyelid Surgery-Treatable Conditions
As previously mentioned, multiple conditions can be treated by eyelid lift. The following list enumerates these treatable conditions:
- Chronic puffiness of the upper eyelids
- Sagging skin of the upper eyelids
- Eye bags and wrinkles in the lower eyelids
- Drooping lower eyelids
Eyelid Lift Patient Information: Things to Expect Prior to Eyelid Lift Surgery
Prior to blepharoplasty, a patient will be asked regarding his/her general health condition and health habits. People with life-threatening illnesses such as a previous heart attack or heart failure and eye diseases such as glaucoma may be not allowed to undergo surgery. Smokers are also advised to stop smoking prior to the procedure because smoking impairs the wound healing process. Other preparations prior to the surgery include laboratory testing and avoidance of aspirin, warfarin or any other drug/supplements that increase the risk of bleeding.
Eyelid Lift Patient Information: Type of Anesthesia Used in Blepharoplasty
The type of anesthesia that is used in the procedure depends on the capability of the health care provider, the preference of the patient, and the safety of the patient.
· In a surgery center, the patient is usually put to sleep or sedated during the procedure. General anesthesia may be used.
· In the local clinic, the patient is kept awake and only local anesthesia is used.
Eyelid Lift Patient Information: The Actual Blepharoplasty Procedure
During the actual eyelid surgery, the surgeon cuts along the natural lines of the skin to preserve or enhance cosmetic appearance. To avoid the creation of an ugly scar, incisions may also be made on the inside surface of the eyelid.
Excess tissue is then removed and the skin is modified to provide the best result. Small sutures, adhesives or surgical tapes may be placed but these are eventually removed. The surgery can take one to three hours depending on the expertise of the surgeon and the complexity of the case.
Eyelid Lift Patient Information:What to Expect After Eyelid Surgery
Immediately after eyelid surgery, one should expect swelling and bruising. This is part of the natural wound healing process and will eventually resolve. Specific instructions are given by the surgeon for the appropriate care of the surgical wound.
Eye drops are usually given to minimize the risk of eye infection while analgesics are usually prescribed to provide pain relief. Using ice pads or applying cold compress over the eyes during the first 24 to 48 hours after the surgery can greatly reduce bruising and swelling. Afterwards, lukewarm eye pads or compress should be utilized to facilitate blood flow to the area.
Within weeks to months, the appearance of the surgically-operated eyelid should demonstrate significant improvement. The best way to gauge improvement after surgery is to compare photos taken before and after the procedure. Surgeons usually keep photos of their patients to track the latter’s progress.
Eyelid Lift Patient Information: Complications
Before undergoing any procedure, each patient should give informed consent. The surgeon or his/her staff has to discuss and detail the safety and the risks of the procedure. It is important to ask about possible complications. Like any other medical or surgical process, eyelid lift has several potential complications, which are enumerated in the following list:
· Undesirable scars
· Dry eyes
· Temporary blurring of vision or lid lag
· Difficulty blinking or closing the eyes
· Numbness or pain
· Additional eyelid disorders such as ectropion (outward turning of the eyelid) or entropion (inward turning of the eyelid)
· Revisional eyelid surgery
· Vision loss
Eyelid Lift Patient Information: Returning to Work After Blepharoplasty
A person who underwent eyelid lift can return to work a week to ten days after the procedure. During this time however, evidence of swelling and bruising may still be present. Reading can be resumed within 2 to 3 days although one may still suffer from a sensation of eye irritation. It is important to avoid strenuous activities within 2 to 3 weeks after the surgery to ensure proper wound healing.