Eyelids are often the first area to show signs of aging. The upper lids and brow begin to sag, and the lower lids become puffy and wrinkled, making you look tired, older and less vibrant. Other changes that may occur with advancing age are hollowing of the upper eyelid and temporal area as well as the lower lid where the eyelid and cheek meet. These changes often begin in your 30’s and become progressive over time. The appearance of the upper eyelids is influenced by the forehead above while facial aging affects the appearance of the lower eyelids. Depending on the changes in anatomy, other procedures may be performed with eyelid surgery for an optimal outcome. Fat grafting is often performed as an adjunctive procedure to complement eyelid surgery.
What to expect from eyelid surgery
- A rested, healthy vibrant and youthful appearance
- Conservative removal of upper eyelid skin
- Removes bulging fat upper eyelids
- Removes bulging fat lower eyelids
- Tightens the lower eyelid to maintain or restore youthful shape (canthopexy)
- Conservative skin excision lower eyelids-when indicated
Are there other complementary procedures that can be performed in conjunction with eyelid surgery?
- Brow lift/forehead lift may be necessary to restore a youthful appearance to the upper eyelid area
- Fat grafting may be used to correct the tear trough (hollow area below lower eyelid) and blend the lid-cheek junction
- Laser resurfacing or a chemical peel to treat fine lines and wrinkles
What preparation is necessary before eyelid surgery?
- A recent eye examination by an ophthalmologist to evaluate vision and tear production, as well as overall eye health
- Lab tests which will depend on your age and medical history
- You’ll be given a list of medications to avoid before and after surgery
- Arrange to have someone stay with you the night of your surgery and a few days after
- A final preoperative visit with your surgeon to answer questions and review the upcoming procedure
- Stop smoking 30 days before and 30 days after surgery
- Stop Alcohol 2 weeks before and 2 weeks after surgery
- Refrain from food that is excessively salty
- No contact lenses for 2-3 weeks after surgery
What type of anesthesia is used and where is the surgery performed?
- Upper eyelid surgery—local or intravenous (IV) sedation
- Lower eyelid surgery—IV sedation or general anesthesia
- Upper & Lower eyelid surgery—IV sedation or general anesthesia
- Eyelid Surgery under IV sedation or general anesthesia is performed in a certified outpatient facility
What can I expect during my recovery?
- You will have bruising and swelling which will diminish gradually over the first 7 days
- Application of cold compresses, head elevation, and minimal activity for the first 48-72 hours
- Antibiotic eye ointment or drops will be prescribed
- There is minimal pain after eyelid surgery; pain medication will be prescribed, usually Vicodin or Percocet. After a few days, extra strength Tylenol may be sufficient
- You can usually read or watch television after several days, depending on surgeon instruction
- You can resume non-strenuous normal activities of daily living after 2 to 3 days
- Sutures may or may not require removal. This will depend on technique and surgeon preference.
- You can drive when you are no longer taking narcotic pain medication, and you are no longer putting ointment on/in your eyes. Most patients can resume vigorous activity after 3-4 weeks depending on surgeon instruction.
- You can resume sexual activity after two weeks. Any activity that significantly raises your blood pressure can cause bleeding during the first two weeks after surgery
- Most patients can return to work within 7 – 10 days. Any residual bruising can usually be camouflaged with makeup
Blepharoplasty is a very gratifying procedure that enhances the quality of patients’ lives both personally and professionally.