EYE LID SURGERY
Both the upper and lower eyelids are affected by the aging process. As with other areas there is weakening of the supporting tissues and loss of elasticity of the skin. In the upper eyelids the excess skin gives a hooded appearance. In the lower eyelids the most frequent problem is puffiness and tired looking eyes. It is important to differentiate extra loose skin in the upper eyelids from sagging eyebrows which also gives a hooded appearance to the upper eyelid. The latter will require an eyebrow lift.
Blephroplasty removes excess skin and re-distributes fat in the upper and lower eyelids. This gives the eyes a less tired and more youthful appearance. The surgical scars are placed in the eyelid fold for the upper eyelid and just below the lashes for the lower eyelid. Both scars become almost invisible several weeks after surgery. It is important to wait several months before the freshening of the eyes becomes fully apparent. This is often accompanied by an improvement in self-esteem and confidence.
For upper eyelids surgery is primarily to deal with the excess skin that has gathered above the lid. In some patients there are some fat bulges in the upper lid especially on the inner part of the upper lid. The excess skin is removed and the wound directly closed. One buried continuous pull through suture is used to close the wound which is removed at 1 week.
For lower eyelids, surgery is primarily to deal with the abnormal fat that has gathered causing bulges under the eye. The operation type will depend on the exact problem. An incision is made just under the eyelashes to get access to the fat. The excess fat can then either be removed or repositioned depending on the appearance of the area under the eye. The incision is closed with one continuous suture.
For Lower eyelids surgery (with or without upper lids) a general anesthetic is necessary. For upper eyelids in isolation surgery can be performed under general anesthetic or local anesthetic with some sedation.
Very thin steristrips are applied to the wounds which will need to stay on for 1 week.
There is always some bruising and swelling associated with eyelid surgery. Most of this usually resolves after 1 week. However this variable and occasionally bruising can take 2-3 weeks to fully resolve. It is recommended that you take 7-10 days of work to recover from the surgery. During this period there may be some discomfort around the eyes and patients may experience some watering of their eyes.
Scars heal extremely well and are almost invisible after 3-6 months. In the early period they will be visible and may appear a little red
Very rare complications include haematoma (collection of blood) requiring removal of some sutures and infection.
There may be some irritation to the eye after the surgery (eye watering, redness) which can take several weeks to resolve. In rare cases the irritation results in a clear film of fluid on the eye (Chemosis) which may require some eye drops.
With lower eyelids there is a small risk of the eyelid drooping 1-2 mm. This usually improves as the swelling subsides. On occasions this may require a small operation.
- General Anaesthetic (1-2 hours)
- Hospital stay: 1 night
- Home with surgical tape on wound
- Removal of sutures: 1 week
- Time off work: 2 weeks
- Return to full activities (gym etc.): 4-6 weeks