Blepharoplasty, or eye lift or eyelid surgery is a cosmetic procedure that tightens the skin around the eyes. It aims to reduce the signs of ageing by solving problems such as hooded upper eyelids, wrinkles and crow’s feet around the eyes, along with the sagging look under the eyes that many people develop as they get older.
How is Blepharoplasty performed?
Upper Eyelid Surgery
The surgery to fix upper eyelids includes an incision made along the skin, or the naturally occurring wrinkle on the upper eyelid. This is cut and removed with great precision. The cut is stitched back to give a smoother and tighter skin above the eye.
Lower Eyelid Surgery
Incisions are the most commonly used technique for lower eyelid surgery. The surgeon can make an incision either on the edge of the eyelid to transfer fat or inside the eyelid. At times, laser resurfacing is also used to tighten the skin and remove wrinkles. Dissolvable stitches are usually used so that these simply disappear as the tissue heals.
When should I consider Blepharoplasty?
Skin elasticity begins to decline in the 30s, making anyone over 35 a candidate for eyelid surgery, although it is performed most often in people over 50.
How to prepare for Blepharoplasty
You can take a number of steps to ensure you get the best possible result following surgery. These include:
- Stop smoking at least 6 weeks before surgery, and do not consume any alcohol for 2 weeks prior to surgery as both can prolong your recovery time
- Keep yourself hydrated for safe recovery and an optimum outcome
- Do not take any aspirin or anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen 2 weeks before surgery as this can increase bleeding
- Do not wear any make-up, creams or other cosmetics on the day of your procedure. You will also be required to remove contact lenses, false eyelashes or jewellery on the day of surgery.
Post-Operative care following Blepharoplasty
You might experience the lingering effects of the sedation following surgery, so make sure someone can take you home as you will not be able to drive for at least 24 hours.
The eyelids tend to swell and bruise after surgery, but this naturally subsides during the recovery stages. However, you can facilitate the process by applying ice cubes and keep your head elevated.
Sometimes there is discolouration around the area, or even in the white of the eye. This does not cause any pain or impair vision, and usually disappears within 7 – 10 days.
Avoid bending, straining the eyes or lifting heavy objects for at least 1 week following surgery. You should also avoid smiling or yawning excessively as this can cause unnecessary strain on the muscles around the eyes, and may open the stitches.
Sleep in an upright position and keep your head elevated. Use extra pillows if needed.
If you do experience any pain following surgery, you can take paracetamol, but avoid aspirin and ibuprofen to reduce your risk of bleeding.
Are there any complications following Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is considered a safe procedure, but as with any invasive surgery, complications can occur. Although they are rare, they can include infection, bleeding, dry eyes and abnormal colouring of the eyelids. If you experience any of these symptoms following Blepharoplasty, you should contact your surgeon or the hospital immediately.