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

As people age, the eyelid skin stretches, muscles weaken, and the fat surrounding the eye protecting this delicate structure, can weaken and herniate, causing dark circles under the eye and puffiness above and below the eyes.

Eyelid surgery can correct drooping upper lids, remove excess skin from above and below the eyes, and remove or reduce puffiness from around the eyes – features that you may feel make you look older and more tired than you feel, and may even interfere with your peripheral vision (the upper outer quadrant of your visual field).

Most women that present interested in eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty tell us that they are often told that they look tired, even when they feel fine!

Eyelid 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.

If you do in fact have some loss of peripheral vision , your blepharoplasty may be classified Medicare eligible. In this case, Medicare would contribute surgeons fees and anaesthetic fees and private health insurance may pay your hospital fees and also contribute to other costs. See our Blog On Medicare Eligibility for Eyelid Surgery for more detailed information, or call our cosmetic consultant who can explain the very strict Medicare guidelines for you.

In some cases, blepharoplasty is not the surgery required to help with heavy upper eyelids. Rather, the issue causing heaviness in the upper eyelid is actually due to a heavy brow. In this case, the brow must be addressed to alleviate the problem. If we were to simply perform surgery on the eyelids the heavy eyelid that you dislike may be improved temporarily at most.

The actual problem – the heavy brow must be addressed to alleviate your feeling that your eyelids are too heavy. Of course our trained staff and Dr McGovern are very happy to discuss this with you before a consultation is made. If you would like more information on browlift surgery, see our web page and gallery page, or give our cosmetic consultant a call on 0409792922

Blepharoplasty can change your appearance by reducing the heaviness and/ or puffiness in the eyelids, 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.

When eyelid surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility of complications. You can reduce your risks by closely following Dr McGovern’s instructions both before and after surgery.

Please visit the Risks Associated with Blepharoplasty on this page for more information and remember that our cosmetic consultant is available to help you with your queries and concerns, or to make an appointment with Dr McGovern.

Blepharoplasty can be done alone, or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a facelift or browlift. You will find more information on these pages on our website.

surgeryYour initial consultation with Dr McGovern will determine if you are a suitable candidate for surgery in general, and in particular for this particular surgical procedure. 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 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 phone consultation with our cosmetic consultant should have determined if your upper eyelid surgery may be classified Medicare eligible and if so, you should have had a perimetry test performed by an optometrist .

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

Dr McGovern 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.

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, the wall that holds the fat around the eye will be reinforced to prevent protrusion and bulging of these fat pads in future. Any excess skin and muscle if it is of concern will be removed. 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.

Dr McGovern will explain the surgery he has planned for you in detail at consultation. Our cosmetic consultant is always available to answer any questions you may have before surgery and of course you can always have additional consultations with Dr McGovern if you require these.

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.

Every surgical procedure involves a certain amount of risk, as do all aspects of life. Risks common to all surgery will be explained in detail by Dr McGovern at your consultation.

Risks specifically associated with Blepharoplasty – are check-listed below. All are unusual, however other and even less-common complications may also occur.

  • Dry eye syndrome
  • Epiphora (watering eyes)
  • Lagophthalmos (inability to close upper eyelids)
  • Ectropion (downward pulling of lower eyelids)
  • Ptosis (inadequate upper eyelid opening, usually present prior to surgery)
  • Blindness or partial loss of vision in one eye
  • Corneal ulcer or erosion
  • Alterations in eyelid shape or position
  • Residual fat pad herniation
  • Asymmetry (difference between sides)
  • Need for further surgery.

You can greatly reduce the occurrence of problems occurring by closely following Dr McGovern’s pre- and post-surgery instructions, and in particular preparing your skin with medical grade skin care for as long as possible prior to your surgery and continuing this long term.

Dr McGovern is focused on your long-term satisfaction with the results of surgery and he and his staff will do everything possible to ensure that problems do not occur and that you are very happy with your results.