Eyelids

Beautiful woman face with a flowerEyelid surgery (technically called blepharoplasty) is a procedure to remove fat – usually along with excess skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery can correct drooping upper lids and puffy bags below your eyes – features that make you look older and more tired than you feel, and may even interfere with your vision. However, it will not remove crow’s feet or other wrinkles, eliminate dark circles under the eyes or lift sagging eyebrows. While you can add an upper eyelid crease to Asian eyes, it will not erase evidence of your ethnic or racial heritage. Blepharoplasty can be done alone or in combination with other facial surgery procedures such as a facelift or browlift.

Understanding the process

Understanding of the procedures. Blepharoplasty generally takes one to three hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. If you have all four eyelids, the surgeon will probably work on the upper lids first, then the lower. In a typical procedure, Dr. Cárdenas makes incisions following the natural lines of the eyelids and in the creases of the upper lids and just below the lashes in the lower lids. The incisions may extend into the crow’s feet or lines at the outer corners of your eyes. Through these incisions, Dr. Cardenas skin of fat and muscle tissue is removed, removes excess fat, and often trims sagging skin and muscle. The incisions are closed with very fine sutures. If you have a pocket of fat beneath your lower eyelids but do not need to remove the skin, the surgeon may perform a transconjunctival blepharoplasty. In this procedure the incision is made inside the lower eyelid, leaving no visible scar. It is usually performed on younger patients with thicker, or more elastic skin.

Are you a good candidate?

Blepharoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self confidence, but not necessarily change your looks to match your ideal, or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with Dr. Cardenas. The best candidates for eyelid surgery are men and women who are physically healthy, psychologically stable and realistic in their expectations. Most are 35 years or older, but if sagging, baggy eyelids in your family, you may decide to have eyelid surgery at a younger age. There are certain medical conditions make blepharoplasty more risky. These include thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism and Graves’ disease, dry eye or lack of sufficient tears, high blood pressure or other circulatory disorders, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. A detached retina or glaucoma is also reason for caution, consult your ophthalmologist before surgery.

Preparation / Anesthesia

Based on a review of the medical history of the patient, it may be necessary for the doctor to perform additional blood tests and an electrocardiogram before continuing with the procedure. The procedure is typically performed under general anesthesia by an anesthesiologist, however, sometimes be performed under local anesthesia or sunset. 

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Incisions

Usually the incisions are made along the natural lines of your eyelids, and in the creases of the upper lids and just below the lashes in the lower lids. The incisions may extend into the crow’s feet or lines at the outer corners of your eyes.

Risks

The minor complications that occasionally follow blepharoplasty include double or blurred vision for a few days; temporary swelling at the corner of the eyelids, and a slight asymmetry in healing or scarring. Small white spots may appear after suture removal; the surgeon can remove them easily with a very fine needle.

Aftercare

Keep your head elevated for several days and use cold compresses to reduce swelling and bruising. (Coagulation varies from person to person reaches its peak during the first week and usually lasts from two weeks to a month.) They will show you how to clean your eyes, which can be a little sticky for a week normally. Use eye drops as the eyelids may feel dry at first and your eyes burn or itch. For the first few weeks you may also experience excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, and temporary changes in vision such as blurred or double vision.

Recovery

You should be able to read or watch television after two or three days. However, you can not wear contact lenses for about two weeks, and even then it might cause some discomfort for a while. Most people feel ready to go out in public (and back to work) in a week to 10 days.