What is a blepharoplasty?

A blepharoplasty is an operation to remove excess skin and fat from your eyelids and to tighten your skin and soft tissues around your eyes.

Is a blepharoplasty suitable for me?

As you get older, your skin loses its elasticity (stretchiness) and gravity pulls down on the soft tissues of your eyelids (see figure 1).

Sometimes a drooping eyebrow and forehead can make your upper eyelid look as if it is sagging.

Skin in a lower eyelid can lose its tone, sag and develop wrinkles, and appear puffy caused by bulging fat pads.

Your surgeon will carry out a detailed assessment before deciding if surgery is suitable for you.

What are the benefits of surgery?

Your face should look younger and brighter. If an upper eyelid is interfering with your vision, your vision should improve.

Are there any alternatives to a blepharoplasty?

Your surgeon may be able to assess you for laser skin resurfacing, where a laser is used to gently burn the surface of your skin.

Injecting Botox can smooth out fine wrinkles.

What does the operation involve?

A blepharoplasty is usually performed under a local anaesthetic that is injected in your eyelids. The operation usually takes an hour to 90 minutes. Your surgeon will make a cut on the natural skin crease of your eyelid and will remove any excess skin and fat.

What complications can happen?

1 General complications

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site

2 Specific complications

  • Too much skin is removed
  • Bleeding into your eye socket
  • Cornea abrasion
  • Double vision
  • Cosmetic problems

How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home after a few hours.

Do not do strenuous exercise or bend down for the first week. Sleep with extra pillows to keep your head raised.

Do not wear eye make-up or drink alcohol for a few weeks, and try to keep your face out of the sun.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible. Before you start exercising, ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice.

The results of a blepharoplasty can last for 5 to 10 years and sometimes can be permanent. Your face will still continue to age but should always appear younger than if you had not had surgery.

Summary

A blepharoplasty is an operation to make your eyelids appear younger and for some people to improve your vision. You should consider the options carefully and have realistic expectations about the results.

Acknowledgements

Author: Mr Paul Roblin MSc FRCS (Plast.) and Prof Anthony King MD FRCOphth

Illustrations: Medical Illustration Copyright © Nucleus Medical Art. All rights reserved. www.nucleusinc.com

 

This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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