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Blepharoplasty – Eyelid Surgery

blepharoplastyEyelid surgery (technically called blepharoplasty) is a procedure to remove bulging fat and skin from the upper and lower eyelids.

Eyelid surgery can correct drooping upper lids saggy lower lids and puffiness from around the eyes – features that make you look older and more tired than you feel, and may even interfere with your vision.

Most women that present requiring eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty complein that evryone tell them they look tired, even when they feel fine!

Eylid surgery won’t remove crow’s feet or other wrinkles, eliminate dark circles under your eyes, or lift sagging eyebrows. While it can add an upper eyelid crease to Asian eyes, it will not erase evidence of your ethnic or racial heritage.

Blepharoplasty can be done alone, but is commonly done in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a facelift or browlift.

Often times, you may perceive you need eyelid surgery, when most or all your problem is due to drooping eyebrows. Click on forehead lift for more information.

Blepharoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won’t 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 McGovern.

The best candidates for eyelid surgery are women who are physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in their expectations. Most are 35 or older, but if droopy, baggy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have eyelid surgery at a younger age.

As people age, the eyelid skin stretches, muscles weaken, and fat accumulates around the eyes, causing ‘bags” above and below.

A few medical conditions make blepharoplasty more risky. They include some complications of thyroid problems, and dry eye or lack of sufficient tears. High blood pressure or other circulatory disorders, cardiovascular disease and diabetes may also increase your risks slightly.

A detached retina or glaucoma is also reason for caution; check with your ophthalmologist before you have surgery.

When eyelid surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility of complications, including infection or a reaction to the anesthesia.

You can reduce your risks by closely following Dr McGovern’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 or scarring.

Following surgery, some patients experience difficulty closing their eyes when they sleep until their swelling resolves. I

n rare cases this condition may be permanent and need further surgery. Another very rare complication is ectropion, a pulling down of the lower lids. In this case, further surgery may also be required.

About 60 people worldwide have lost some vision in one eye, out of millions of blepharoplasty operations done. Most of these were due to bleeding occurring behind the eyeball. Dr McGovern is assiduous in stopping any bleeding.

surgeryThe initial consultation is very important. Dr McGovern will need your complete medical history, so check your own records ahead of time and be ready to provide this information.

Be sure you inform him if you have any allergies; if you’re taking any vitamins, medications (prescription or over-the-counter), or other drugs; and if you smoke.

At one of your consultations, a nurse will test your vision and assess your tear production.

You should also provide any relevant information from your ophthalmologist or the record of your most recent eye exam.

You should carefully discuss your goals and expectations for this surgery. You’ll need to discuss whether to do all four eyelids or just the upper or lower ones, whether skin as well as fat will be removed, and whether any additional procedures are appropriate.

Eyelid surgery is generally performed as a day procedure under twilight sedation at either the Sunshine Coast Day Surgery or Sunshine Coast Private Hospital.

Note: Medicare doesn’t cover eyelid surgery, unless you can prove that drooping upper lids interfere with your vision, or unless you have thyroid disorders or eyelid scarring.

Don’t hesitate to ask any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results.

Dr McGovenr and his team will give you specific instructions on how to prepare for surgery, including guidelines on eating and drinking, smoking, and taking or avoiding certain vitamins and medications.

Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery go more smoothly. While you’re making preparations, be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home after your surgery, and to help you out for a few days if needed.

Eyelid surgery may be performed in our rooms uner local anaesthetic.In this case, local anaesthesia alone will be employed.

Blepharoplasty usually takes one to two hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. If you’re having all four eyelids done, we will probably work on the upper lids first, then the lower ones.

In a typical procedure, your surgeon 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 will extend a small way into the crow’s feet or laugh lines at the outer corners of your eyes.

Working through these incisions, the surgeon separates the skin from underlying fatty tissue and muscle, removes excess fat, and often sagging skin and muscle. The incisions are then closed with very fine sutures.

If you have any puffiness around the eyes, Dr McGovern  may perform a transconjunctival blepharoplasty.

In this procedure the incision is made inside your lower eyelid, leaving no visible scar. No skin is removed with this procedure, however any mildly to moderately loose skin is tightened up using CO2 laser resurfacing.

Click on Laser Resurfacing for more information. Such periorbital laser resurfacing may be an alternative to blepharoplasty for patients without too much spare eyelid skin.

recoveryAfter surgery, your eyes will be lubricated with ointment. Your eyelids may feel tight and sore as the anaesthesia wears off, but you can control any discomfort with the pain medication prescribed. If you feel any severe pain, call your surgeon immediately.

We will instruct you to keep your head elevated for several days, and to 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 around two weeks.)

You’ll be shown how to clean your eyes, which may be gummy for a week or so. For the first few weeks you may also experience excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, and temporary changes in your eyesight, such as blurring or double vision.

The stitches will be removed less than a week after surgery. Once the stitches have been removed, the swelling and discoloration around your eyes will gradually subside, and you’ll start to look and feel much better.

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, and even then they may feel uncomfortable for a while.

Glasses may be worn, but ensure your frames are light. Take care when placing and removing your glasses.

Most people feel ready to go out in public (and back to work) in a week to ten days once all bruising has subsided.

You can wear makeup to hide any bruising that remains, our nurse aestheticians can help you with this.

You may be sensitive to sunlight, wind, and other irritants for several weeks, so you should wear sunglasses and sunblock when you go out.

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 sports.

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. Scars take about 18 months to fully mature.

On the other hand, the positive results of your eyelid surgery – the more alert and youthful look, will last for years. For many people, these results are permanent.

If you have further questions, write them down and ask your surgeon and his friendly staff at your consultation.