What is Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is a surgical operation aimed at removing bulk and excess skin, usually from the lower and upper eyelids. It is performed for either cosmetic reasons or during the correction of visual related problems. Blepharoplasty is sometimes referred to as plastic eye surgery. Furthermore, blepharoplasty is carried out to tighten eye supporting structures like the canthal tendons. Conditions like brow ptosis, entropion, ectropion, ptosis or retraction of the eyelid are also corrected during the operation to ensure optimal results.
Candidates suitable for Blepharoplasty
The operation is typically done for outpatients. Candidates who have a good medical record can partake in the blepharoplasty procedure. Additionally, you are required to have realistic expectations. It is therefore suggested that you understand what to expect by looking at all the effects of the operation before proceeding to make a final decision. The reason is to prepare you for any eventuality that will occur after the surgery. Suitable candidates for this procedure normally have; saggy eyelids with loose. Typical blepharoplasty patients are usually aged 35 years and above. In some cases, in might be performed on patients who are younger especially when their saggy eyelids are deemed to be hereditary.
However, candidates who suffer from conditions like brow dropping might require a procedure to lift the brow. In this case, blepharoplasty will not be needed. Similarly, candidates who have puffy eyelids as a result of allergic reactions will not be assisted by the procedure. The reason being, that not much improvement will be achieved. Further treatment would be required.
Before the surgery, doctors usually recommend guidelines that must be strictly adhered to.
1. Smoking is prohibited.
2. Drinks and foods should not be consumed 12 hours before the operation.
3. You should remind your physician on any allergies that you might have to drugs. Aspirin, ibuprofen drugs should be avoided before the surgery.
4. Before going to the hospital, ensure that you wash the area to be operated with soap and water. Do not wear any makeup.
5. Carry your insurance card or medical cards on the day of your operation.
6. If you are a minor, make sure that you are accompanied by your parent or guardian, who will sign the operative consent form.
7. Ensure that all your questions that you might have regarding the surgery have been fully answered for confirmatory purposes.
How should you then prepare for surgery?
While at home, avoid sunbathing or exposing yourself to too much sun, two weeks before the operation. Before the procedure, the doctor will require you to complete certain tests and lab work. Ensure that you complete all the tests. These tests will provide information for the proceeding of the operation to avoid any complication that may arise during the surgery. All aspirin-related drugs should be avoided. Instead, you might substitute with Tylenol.
In the night before surgery, no drinks or foods should be consumed after midnight. These are the standard necessary precautions for the general anaesthesia that will be used. Furthermore, avoid the consumption of alcoholic beverages 24 hours before the surgery.
If any critical medical conditions affect the status of your health, inform your doctor about them. For example, respiration problems, blood pressure, blood coagulation issues, kidney problems among others. Ensure that you fill all your drug prescriptions before the operation. Antibiotics and pain medications will be prescribed. Therefore, ensure that you inform the doctor if you have any allergy related problems that can result from the drug. The doctor will make arrangements for alternative medications.
Your plan for transportation should be well in place. Have someone responsible that will take you to and from the hospital, and who should keep you company for 24 hours after the surgery for monitoring purposes.
The evening before the surgery, wash your face and hair. Do not apply any creams, makeup and don’t wear your jewelry. Furthermore, remove any nail polish that you might have. Wear comfortable clothing. These are clothes that will allow you to quickly dress and undress. For example, wear a shirt that has buttons on the front. You can carry some glasses which you may wear on your way home.
You should be aware that flying will be restricted after the surgery. But this will only be for two weeks. You are required to, therefore, make for alternative travelling arrangements.
The Blepharoplasty operation: what generally happens?
A small incision is made through the crease of the upper eyelid. The top skin is removed to enable fat and some amount of muscle to be removed. The muscle might also be repositioned if need be. Small stitches are used to close the skin. The cuts made usually heal well and are imperceptible after the healing.
Lower Blepharoplasty (blepharoplasty on lower eyelids)
Lower eyelid operation is done from a cut under your eyelashes (the sub ciliary approach) or via the inside of the eyelid (transconjunctival approach). In both processes, the muscle and skin are lifted or alleviated and excess fat removed. The muscle is then tightened after a tiny strip of skin is removed. Small stitches are then used to close the cuts. Both the upper blepharoplasty and lower blepharoplasty take from 30 minutes to 1 hour if done individually. However, if both are to be operated together, it might take up to 2 hours.
After the operation:
The doctor usually provides postoperative instructions. You might experience blurred visions as a result of the ointments administered. Depending on the surgery, you will be required to return to the hospital for follow-up checks.
The effects of the anesthesia used will be experienced through drowsiness. However, this will wear off after some time. It is the reason why doctors recommend that you bring someone with you, as you go by yourself while still drowsy.
While at home, you will be required to do some activities to ensure a quick recovery. These include;
1. During the first 48 hours, keep eye compresses on your eyelids
2. The eye drops prescribed should be used for 3 to 4 weeks
3. Use ointments on the eyelids before you sleep for one month
4. Use pillow to keep your head elevated during sleep
5. When you experience discomfort, take the pain medication that was prescribed
6. Drink fluids frequently to prevent nausea that arises from the pain medication drugs
7. Wash your face after the first day and pat it dry
8. Light exercises are allowed. However, heavy tasks might be carried out after six weeks
9. For six weeks after the operation, you will be avoiding the sun. You will also be required to use sun cream for approximately one year after the surgery.
10. You will be expected to go for several follow-up appointments after the operation. The first one is usually after the first week. Any complications that might occur should be communicated to your physician for further assistance.
11. Bandages must be won as long as the doctor recommends so. Always put a piece of cloth between the ice and the body when relieving pain in the swollen area.
- While at home, avoid sunbathing or exposing yourself to too much sun, two weeks before the operation.
- Ensure that you fill all your drug prescriptions before the operation.
- Bring a friend with you to the operation to care for you afterwards.