Eyelid surgery also known as Blepharoplasty, involves removing excess skin, fat or muscle from around the eyes to give a more alert and youthful appearance. The procedure can be done on the upper and lower lids, at the same time or separately.
As skin ages, it gradually loses its elasticity. A lack of elasticity, combined with the constant pull from gravity causes excessive skin to collect in the upper and lower eyelids. Excess skin on the lower eyelid causes wrinkles and bulges and on the upper eyelids an extra fold of skin forms which can hang over the eyelashes and obstruct vision.
Bulges in the upper and lower eyelids can also be caused by the fat that cushions the eyeball from the skull. The thin membrane that holds the fat in place weakens with age, allowing the fat to protrude into the lids.
Eyelid surgery usually takes about two hours if both upper and lower eyelids are done together. Local anesthesia with oral sedation is most probably used.
If you are having the procedure completed at a hospital or surgical center, you will most likely receive intravenous sedation.
For surgery on the upper eyelids, cuts are made into the natural lines and creases in your eyelids, and in the wrinkles at the corners of your eyes. For surgery on the lower eyelids, cuts are made just below your eyelashes and then out into your 'laughter lines' at the corner of your eyes. This means your scars will run along the natural folds of your eyes, which helps to hide them.
Excess fat, muscle and loose skin are removed, and the cut is closed using fine stitches. If only fat is removed and there is no excess skin, the cut may be made inside the lower eyelids, leaving no visible scar.
Your surgeon will apply ointment to your eye area to stop it from drying out and use small strips of sterile paper tape to support your eyelids and hold the ends of the stitches in place.
You will need to rest until the effects of the general anesthetic wear off. For any pain, painkillers are recommended. Dissolvable stitches will disappear on their own in seven to ten days. Non-dissolvable stitches are usually removed three to five days after surgery. You may need to continue wearing strips of paper tape to support your eyelids for one week.
You will have some swelling around your eyes. Applying a cold compress, such as ice wrapped in a towel can help to reduce the swelling and bruising. Don't put ice directly on your skin as it can damage your skin.
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