Have you noticed that you’re using a little more concealer than usual due to very visible bags under your eyes even though you get plenty of sleep? Have you noticed a slight droop in your eyelids or sagging eyebrows? If this sounds familiar to you, you may need to speak with your doctor about Blepharoplasty, pronounced (BLEF-uh-roe-plas-tee).
What Is Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that may involve removing excess skin, fat, and muscle to repair droopy eyelids. Did you know that aging can cause weakening of your eye muscles as well as causing your eyelids to stretch? Sure does, and that can cause excess fat above and below your eyelids, resulting in sagging eyebrows, under eye bags, and droopy upper lids.
Additionally, extremely sagging skin surrounding your eyes can cause a reduction in your peripheral vision. Blepharoplasty drastically reduces or eliminates vision problems, making your eyes appear youthful and alert.
To help decide if blepharoplasty is right for you, Dr. Sarmela Sunder, founder of Sunder Plastic Surgery, has put together some information on what you can realistically expect from blepharoplasty and learn about the benefits and the risks.
Why Is It Done?
If you have sagging or droopy eyelids that hinder your eyes from completely opening, or they bog down your lower eyelids, you may want to consider blepharoplasty. Some reasons to consider blepharoplasty include:
- Bags under your eyes
- Droopy or baggy upper eyelids
- Additional skin on your lower eyelids
- Excess skin in your upper eyelids that interferes with your peripheral vision.
One benefit of blepharoplasty is that it can be performed simultaneously with other procedures, like brow lifts, face-lifts or skin resurfacing.
What Are the Risks?
It is important that you understand all that is involved in the blepharoplasty procedure so that you can weigh the benefits against the risks and whether it’s a good option for you. Some potential risks include:
- Discolored skin
- Dry, irritated eyes
- Visible scarring
- Injury to your eye muscles
- Infection and bleeding
- A follow-up surgery
- Temporary blurry vision or loss of eyesight (rare)
- Inability to close your eyes or other eyelid issues
Keep in mind that there are common risks related to surgery in general, such as a negative reaction to the anesthesia as well as blood clotting. Speak with your doctor about how surgical risks may apply to your individual situation.
What You Can Expect
Before the Procedure
Blepharoplasty is generally performed in the office on an outpatient basis. You will be given numbing medication in your eyelids as well as intravenously (IV) to induce relaxation.
During the Blepharoplasty Procedure
If you’re having surgery on both your upper and lower eyelids, your surgeon will generally work on your upper eyelids first, then complete your lower eyelids. If your situation is one where your upper eyelid droops near to your pupil, your surgeon may also perform a procedure called ptosis (TOE-sis) to provide additional support to the eyebrow muscle.
After the Blepharoplasty Procedure
After the procedure, you will be monitored for any signs of complications and released to recuperate at home if no issues arise. Additionally, after surgery, you may experience some temporary discomforts, including:
- Watery eyes
- Double vision
- Sensitivity to light
- Pain and discomfort
- Puffy or numb eyelids
- Bruising and swelling as with a black eye
- Blurred vision from the lubricating ointment applied to your eyes
After Surgery, Suggestions From Your Doctor Will Likely Include
- Quit smoking
- Try not to rub your eyes
- Do not strain, lift anything heavy, or go swimming for a week.
- Sleep with a slightly raised head for a few days.
- Clean your eyelids with the prescribed eye drops or ointment.
- If you wear contact lenses, do not put them in your eyes for a minimum of two weeks post surgery.
- If needed, go to your follow-up appointment to have your stitches removed.
- Wear dark sunglasses to protect your eyelids from the sun and the wind.
- Place ice packs on your eyes for 10 minutes every hour the night after surgery. The next day, place the ice packs on your eyes up to five times throughout the day.
- Use acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain for the week post surgery. You should avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve, others), naproxen (Naprosyn), and other medications or herbal supplements that may increase bleeding.
Seek Immediate Medical Attention if You Experience
- Chest pain
- Vision problems
- Shortness of breath
- Severe new eye pain
- An unusual heart rate
What Is the Healing Time?
The post-surgery bruising and swelling will generally subside within 10 to 14 days. However, the scars from the surgery may take months to fade away.
Learn More About a Blepharoplasty
Many patients express happiness and satisfaction with the results of their blepharoplasty, and some say they’ve even gained more self-confidence. For some, the results may last forever, but for others, there may be a recurrence of droopy eyelids.
If you’ve been noticing issues around your eyes or if you’re thinking about any type of facial surgery, contact the office of Dr. Sarmela Sunder to schedule an in-person or video consultation today. In the meantime, take a look at our blog over here.