1 What is a Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure will the sole purpose of repairing droopy eyelids that may involve removing excess skin, muscle and fat.

With age, your eyelids become loose as the muscles supporting them weaken. As a result, excess fat can accumulate above and below your eyelids, causing sagging eyebrows, droopy upper eyelids, and bags under your eyes.

Apart from making you look older, severely baggy skin around your eyes can reduce your side or peripheral vision, especially the upper and outer parts of your field of vision.

Blepharoplasty is mostly done on an outpatient basis. To help decide if blepharoplasty is right for you, find out what you can realistically expect and explore the benefits and risks of this procedure.

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2 Reasons for Procedure

A blepharoplasty can be considered for the following reasons:

  • Sagging or droopy eyelids.
  • Excess skin of the upper eyelids that interferes with your peripheral vision.
  • Droopy lower eyelids which may cause white to show below the coloured part of the eye (iris).
  • Excess skin on the lower eyelids.
  • Bags under your eyes.

A blepharoplasty can be done in combination with other procedures, such as a brow lift, facelift or skin resurfacing.

The insurance coverage may depend on whether the surgery repairs a condition that impairs vision.

If you have surgery for the sole purpose of improving appearance, the cost will not likely be covered by insurance.

3 Potential Risks

The potential risks of a blepharoplasty include:

  • Infection and bleeding.
  • Dry, irritated eyes.
  • Difficulty closing your eyes or other eyelid complications.
  • Noticeable scarring.
  • Injury to the eye muscles.
  • Skin discolouration.
  • The need for a follow-up surgery.
  • Temporary blurred vision or, rarely, loss of eyesight.

Risks associated with surgery in general, which include reaction to anaesthesia, the formation of blood clots and cardiac and pulmonary complications.

It is advised to talk to your doctor about how surgical risks apply to you.

4 Preparing for your Procedure

In preparing for your blepharoplasty procedure, you must follow your doctor’s orders. 

Before scheduling blepharoplasty, you will meet with a plastic surgeon and an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) to discuss the following issues:

Your medical history. You will be asked questions about previous surgeries and past or current medical conditions, such as dry eyes, glaucoma, allergies and others.

Your expectations. An honest discussion of your hope and motivation for surgery will help set the stage for a satisfactory result.

Prior to your eyelid surgery, you will undergo the following:

A physical examination. This will include testing your tear production and measuring parts of your eyelids.

A vision examination. Your vision will be tested, including peripheral vision. This is needed to support and insurance claim.

Eyelid photography. Your eyes will be photographed from various angles. This photos will help in planning the surgery, assessing its immediate and long-term effects and supporting and insurance claim.

And you will be asked to do the following: Stop taking medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and any other medication or herbal supplement associated with increased bleeding.

Quit smoking several weeks before your surgery. It is known that smoking can affect your ability to heal after the surgery. Arrange to drive you to and from the surgery in advance.

5 What to Expect

Here’s what you can expect before, during, and after your blepharoplasty procedure.

Blepharoplasty is usually done in an outpatient setting. Your surgeon injects a numbing medication into your eyelids and administers intravenous medication to help you relax.

This may make you groggy. During the procedure If you have surgery on your upper and lower eyelids, the surgeon generally works on your upper lids first.

He or she cuts along the fold of the eyelid, removes some excess skin, muscle, and fat, and closes the cut. On the lower lid, the surgeon makes a cut just below the lashes in your eye's natural crease or inside the lower lid.

He or she removes or redistributes excess fat, muscle and sagging skin, and closes the cut. If your eyelid droops close to your pupil, your surgeon may do blepharoplasty with a procedure called ptosis (TOE-sis) to address that problem.

Blepharoplasty usually takes less than two hours, depending on the amount and location of tissue being removed. After the procedure After surgery, you spend time in a recovery room, where you are monitored for complications.

You can leave later that day to recuperate at home. After surgery you may temporarily experience:

  • Blurred vision from the lubricating ointment applied to your eyes
  • Watering eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Double vision
  • Redness where the cuts were made
  • Puffy, numb eyelids
  • Swelling and bruising similar to having "black eyes"
  • Some pain

Your doctor will likely suggest you take the following steps after surgery:

  • Gently clean your eyelids and use prescribed eyedrops or ointments.
  • Avoid straining, heavy lifting and swimming for a few days.
  • Avoid strenuous activities, such as aerobics and jogging, for a few days.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • If you use contact lenses, don't put them in for about two weeks after surgery.
  • Wear darkly tinted sunglasses to protect the skin of your eyelids from sun and wind.
  • Sleep with your head raised higher than your chest for a few days.
  • Apply cool compresses to reduce swelling.

After a few days, return to the doctor's office to have stitches removed, if needed.

For a few days, avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), and other medications or herbal supplements that may increase bleeding. If needed, use acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) to control pain.

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:

6 Procedure Results

Many individuals show a good deal of satisfaction as a result of successful blepharoplasties, such as a more rested and younger appearance am moe self-confidence.

For certain individuals, the results of the surgery may last a lifetime. However, for others, droopy eyes may recur. Scars from the surgical procedure may take up to  six months or longer to fade.

Always take good measures to protect your delicate eyelid skin from too much solar exposure.