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Your eyes and the surrounding features of your face can say a lot about how you feel. Bright, open eyes reflect happiness and energy, while sagging eyes look sad and tired. Eyelid facial plastic surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, can improve the appearance of your eyes and overall face, achieving a refreshed, more youthful look. It can also improve vision, if you suffer from droopy eyelids. Surgery can be done on the upper lids, lower lids or both. This procedure can be done alone, or in conjunction with a forehead/brow lift or face lift. Common reasons that patients decide to have eyelid facial plastic surgery include:
- Heavy or droopy eyelids that obstruct vision
- Puffy eyelids that result in dark circles beneath the eyes
- Excess or loose eyelid skin
Eyelid surgery is conducted on an outpatient basis, usually with a combination of local anesthesia and sedation but can be done in the office under certain conditions.
Upper Eyelid Facial Plastic Surgery
During upper eyelid facial plastic surgery, an incision is made in the fold of the upper eyelid and excess skin, fat and muscle are removed or repositioned. The scars are most often not seen because they are located in the creases of the eyelid.
Lower Eyelid Facial Plastic Surgery
Lower eyelid facial plastic surgery is done to remove wrinkles and excess skin, so that the eyes do not appear puffy or droopy. A small incision is made inside the eyelid to remove fatty tissue, extra skin and/or muscle. Stitches are not necessary if the incision is made inside the lid. Your surgeon will inform you of the benefit of each approach for your concern. After making an incision, excess fat, muscle and skin is trimmed and the incision is closed with fine sutures. The surgery generally lasts between 1 and 2 hours.
Surgical dressings are not normally needed. An ointment is often used to prevent eye dryness, which may cause some blurriness of vision. Expect some swelling and bruising on and around the eyes. Cold compresses can help reduce the swelling in addition to any pain medication your doctor may prescribe. It is important to keep your head elevated as it will decrease both bruising and swelling after your surgery.
Immediately after the surgery, light sensitivity, excessive tearing and double vision may occur. These symptoms will pass in a matter of days. Puffy eyelids and numbness are more likely to last a few weeks longer. Permanent stitches are removed around 5 days after surgery. Generally, patients return to most normal activity within a week, although heavy lifting, bending at the waist, swimming, extreme neck movements and strenuous activity may be restricted for some additional weeks.