Facts About Upper Eyelid Surgery

Upper eyelid surgery is a frequently performed surgical procedure.  Also called blepharoplasty, the surgery removes fat deposits and loose skin that cause the eyelid to droop with age.  Sun damage and heredity also play a role in the changes that are seen in eyelids and the procedure is often done on younger people to remove puffiness.

Surgery on the upper eyelid is often performed at the same time that other procedures are done.  For example, it may be performed along with procedures for facelift, forehead lift, or chemical skin resurfacing.  The procedure is sometimes covered by insurance if the eyelid droops to the extent that it interferes with vision.

Upper eyelid surgery can significantly improve the appearance of your face.  It lessens the tired appearance caused by drooping eyelids.  If you are considering having this procedure done, consult with a board certified plastic surgeon.  The initial consultation will include a discussion about the changes that you looking for.  The surgeon will explain the benefits and risks of the procedure.  The limitations of the procedure and likely outcomes will also be discussed.

If you decide to have the procedure, a complete medical history will be taken and the skin around your eyes will be thoroughly examined.  Your eyesight and tear ducts may also be assessed at this time.  Before proceeding, you should make sure that all of your questions are answered.  Your doctor may also be able to show you computer generated before and after images of yourself, or at least photos of recent patients.

The procedure itself is fairly simple.  An incision is made in the upper eyelid in a natural skin fold.  This will later hide the scar.  Excess fatty tissue and skin is removed and the connective tissues and muscles may be tightened, if needed.  The skin is then sutured closed.  The instruments and sutures used are very fine in order to leave the least amount of noticeable evidence of the procedure.  The blepharoplasty procedure usually takes about one to three hours and is usually performed in an outpatient surgical center.  Local or general anesthesia may be used.

Most people report that there is only slight tenderness and a feeling of tightness around the eyes after the surgery.  The discomfort will only last for one or two days.  There will be bruising around the eyes, so even though the discomfort disappears rather quickly, if you want to be discreet about your procedure, you may need to restrict your activities for up to two weeks.

When you are in the recovery room, a nurse or the surgeon will apply an ointment to your eyes in order to reduce dryness.  The ointment can cause temporary vision problems.  Cold compresses and keeping your head elevated will reduce the pain and bruising.  For the first two days after the procedure, you will be asked to limit your activities.

Given time, the upper eyelid surgery scar will become flat and will be naturally hidden by the fold of skin on your eyelid.  The minor swelling and bruising will subside gradually, but quickly.  Within a few days you will be allowed to use make-up to help hide the discoloration.  Make-up is discouraged around the scar in order to prevent infection.  Your eyes could be sensitive to light for a few days and you may have excessive tearing or dryness in the days immediately following the procedure.  This is normal and eyedrops are fine to use for relief of burning or itching.

At the end of the recovery period, you should expect a more youthful and energetic look.  The results of upper eyelid surgery usually last a long time and the procedure does not need to be frequently repeated.  The removal of skin and fat is permanent, however the eyelids may begin to sag and droop again due to new wrinkling and poor muscle tone.

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