EYELID SURGERY - BLEPHAROPLASTY
Eyelid Surgery also known as Blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure that corrects drooping upper eyelids and puffy bags below your eyes. It cannot correct crows’ feet wrinkles, malar bag deformity or lift sagging eyebrows. Blepharoplasty can be done in conjunction with other facial surgery such as a brow or face-lift or done alone.
What You See
When you look in the mirror and see tired, sad looking eyes staring back at you there are several reasons for this: genetics(thank your parents), loss of skin elasticity, the natural pull of gravity, skin damage from smoking and the sun. These factors can cause the supporting tissue to deteriorate allowing the skin around the eye to droop and sag. Hooding of the upper eyelid skin can even affect your vision. Also, deflation of the upper half of the face can lead to a deepening of the crease at the eyelid check junction (tear trough deformity) and dark circles.
The Best Candidate
Tightening eyelid muscles, tissue and/or removing excess fat can achieve a younger more refreshed look. The popularity of this procedure for both men and women reflects the importance of the eyes, as the center of your face, to projecting an overall youthful appearance and self-confidence. The best candidates for eyelid surgery are patients who have realistic expectations, are physically & psychologically healthy, are non-smokers and those who can afford some “down time” for recovery. Patients with thyroid disease, dry eye symptoms and ocular diseases like glaucoma can make blepharoplasty more risky.
Risks and Complications
All surgery carries some uncertainly and risk but when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon complications are infrequent and usually minor. The common effects of any surgical procedure can be expected and will include: swelling, pain, scarring, bruising, the need for eye lubrication and fatigue from anesthesia.
The more common complications include: temporary blurred vision, swelling of the eye conjunctiva (chemosis), temporary dry eye symptoms, and minor asymmetry. A rare complication is infection of the eye and a defective scarring called ectropion or the pulling down of the lower eyelid. Further surgery may be required in this case.
Prior to your first appointment you will be asked by the staff to register on My Touch MD, watch relevant videos and read information about the procedure you desire. The surgical consultation with Dr. Harrison will take about an hour. A surgical plan and a discussion of your goals will be agreed upon at this time. Photos will be taken, a detailed medical history and physical will be discussed and we always leave time for you to ask questions. Relevant consent forms will be emailed to you for review. After your surgery is scheduled you will have a pre-operative appointment to sign consent forms, review the surgical plan, receive prescriptions, discuss pre/post operative written instructions, have blood work done and make any final payments.
Eyelid surgery may be performed in Dr. Harrison’s office-based facility, an outpatient surgery center or a hospital. It rarely requires an inpatient stay but is usually done on an outpatient basis. Blepharoplasty typically takes one to three hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. Dr. Harrison’s has adapted the lower eyelid surgical technique to allow blending of the eyelid cheek junction softening the tear trough deformity and reducing the dark circles. The incisions are placed in the natural fold of the eyelid making them virtually invisible.
You will need to have made prior arrangements for transportation home from the hospital and someone to help with your care. Dr. Harrison will instruct you to keep your head elevated for several days, keep your eyes lubricated with drops during the day and ointment at night and use the Swiss therapy eye mask (provided to you) to reduce swelling and irritation. Your stiches will be removed at your post-operative appointment within 5-6 days. It is normal to experience bruising around your eyes, excessive tearing, blurred or double vision and increases sensitivity to light during the first 10 days after surgery.
Getting back to Normal
You should be able to read or watch television after two or three days. You will not be able to wear contact lenses for several weeks. Your activity level needs to be kept to a minimum for two weeks (no heavy lifting, stooping or straining) but you can get back to the gym in three to four weeks. Most people are presentable to go “out in public” or back to work within ten days of surgery. You may need to wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from sunlight and wind.
Be patient, the final result takes months to be fully realized. Once the bruising is gone you will notice the scars can be slightly pink for six months or more after surgery. Scars usually fade to a thin white line that even you will have a hard time seeing. People may say you look more rested or alert but not be able to tell you have had plastic surgery… unless you tell them. You can expect these results to last for many years so enjoy your youthful, refreshed look!
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