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Blepharoplasty

Blepharoplasty, otherwise known as eyelid surgery or Eye Lift, is a highly popular cosmetic surgical procedure which dramatically lifts droopy upper and/or lower eyelids by removing excess skin, fat, muscles or ligaments from the orbital region.

An Upper Blepharoplasty improves descending upper eyelids. Some patients may experience this mildly, while other cases are much more severe, in which the upper lids can droop low enough to impact vision. A Lower Blepharoplasty improves the appearance of excess skin and fat pads underneath the eyes. It should be noted that these procedures do not address drooping eyebrows, which is why Blepharoplasties are often performed alongside other procedures such as surgical brow lifts or non-surgical skin tightening treatments.

How Does It Work?

As we age, the skin loses its elasticity, as well as the volume and structural support below the skin – this includes collagen fibres, muscles, fat volume, and bone density. All of these things decline with age, and as a result, excess skin becomes noticeable around the eyes in the form of wrinkling and sagging eyelids. The fat pads around the eyes can also reposition themselves under the skin, migrating downwards. At a certain point, surgical intervention is the only way to address this.

The procedure is often performed under local anaesthetic. Fine incisions are made along the line creases of the upper eyelid, and sometimes along the outer lower rim. When removing only fatty tissue as opposed to skin, a Transconjunctival Blepharoplasty incision will be made inside the lower rim of the eye. A division is then made between the fatty tissue and muscle from the skin, so that excess skin, fat or muscle can be removed. A Transconjunctival procedure is often combined with Erbium Laser Resurfacing, and performed on the lower eyelids. This is because the skin is often loose and sagging once the fat below has been removed. Laser Resurfacing can be used to prevent this and re-tighten the skin around the eyes. Blepharoplasties, depending on the type performed, can take around 1-3 hours

Who Is Suitable For Blepharoplasty?

Those who are impacted by noticeable downward drooping of the eye area, who are also physically and emotionally healthy and have a good knowledge and understanding of the procedure, are generally suitable. Relative contraindications include dry eyes, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, glaucoma, or Graves’ Disease. Major medical illnesses and medications must be discussed with your doctor.

How Do I Prepare For A Blepharoplasty?

You should stop all aspirin, blood thinners, and anti-inflammatory medicines 1 week prior to the procedure. However, first please speak with your doctor. Excessive drinking and all forms of smoking/vaping should cease 2 weeks before and after the procedure. Following a cosmeceutical skincare routine at home in the weeks or months leading up to your surgery will also improve your skin quality and therefore improve its healing abilities.

What Is The Post-Procedure Care?

Your eyes will likely be lubricated and covered with bandages after surgery. Oral medications will be advised to reduce pain and discomfort. The doctor will also prescribe antibiotics (topical cream and oral tablets) to prevent infection.

The following care needs to be strictly undertaken as follows:

Your stitches will be removed about 5 days after surgery. Normal activities can resume after around 10 days, although strenuous activities such as lifting, bending, and carrying heavy loads need to cease for a period of three weeks. You will be advised to report any unmanageable pain or blurred vision to your doctor immediately.

What Are The
Risks?

Following surgery, you may experience teary eyes, itchy, burning, dryness, light sensitivity and/or blurred or double vision, which may persist for several days. Lubricating eye drops can relieve these symptoms . There will also be swelling and redness around the eyes. These are normal. Sometimes, patients have difficulty closing their eyes whilst sleeping; and although rare, this complication can be permanent. On rare occasions, the lower lids may also appear to be pulled down (called Ectropion) and if so may require additional surgery. The eyes may also look somewhat asymmetrical. As with any surgery, eyelid surgery risks include bleeding, infection, scarring, and reaction to the anaesthesia.

When Will I See Results?

The eyes will remain swollen and bruised for 1-2 weeks, and the incision site becomes less obvious after around 3 weeks. Best results will be noticed around the 6 month mark.

When Can I Return To Work?

On average we recommend at least 4-5 days off work, depending on what procedures were undertaken, and the nature of your work. In the case of additional Laser Resurfacing procedure, an extra 2 days downtime will be required.

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