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Eyelid Surgery/Blepharoplasty

Article-Eyelid Surgery/Blepharoplasty

Procedure Description: Eyelid Surgery, or blepharoplasty, is used to remove the fat deposits and loose skin that may form on the lower eyelids with age. Before performing blepharoplasty, surgeons should first evaluate brow position to determine that patients are candidates for blepharoplasty versus a browlift. For traditional eyelid surgery, an incision is made along the lash line and smile creases. Then, excess fat, muscle and skin are removed . Fine sutures are used to close the incision and permanent stitches will be removed 3 to 5 days after the procedure. If you have a pocket of fat beneath your lower eyelids, but do not need to have any loose skin removed, your surgeon may recommend a transconjunctival eyelid surgery. In this procedure the incision is made inside your lower eyelid, leaving no visible scar. It is usually performed on younger patients with fatty lower eyelids. Transconjunctival blepharoplasty does not tighten the skin, but it reduces the puffiness in the lower eyelid region, then excess skin is addressed by trimming or with laser or chemical peels.

Length of Procedure: Eyelid surgeries generally take about 1 to 3 hours to complete, depending on the technique used and the extent of the repair.

Recovery: After surgery, the physician will lubricate your eyes with ointment to reduce dryness in this area. Your vision may be blurred temporarily from the ointment. The first evening after surgery, you should rest quietly with your head elevated. It will help to apply cold compresses to your eyelids. At first the incisions will probably be red and somewhat bumpy. Eventually, the resulting scar should become flat and inconspicuous. Your sutures (stitches) will be removed sometime within the first week. The swelling and discoloration around your eyes will gradually subside, and you'll start to look and feel better each day. Swelling and bruising varies considerably from person to person. Bruising typically disappears within seven to ten days. Within the first week you will be permitted to use makeup, if desired, to conceal any discoloration.

Your vision may be somewhat blurry for a few days or longer. Your eyes may be temporarily sensitive to light, and you may experience excess tearing or dryness. For the first week, you’ll need to avoid activities that dry the eyes, including reading, watching television, wearing contacts and using a computer. Also avoid excessive blinking, which leads to increased swelling. You should also wear dark sunglasses for a couple of weeks to protect your eyes from wind and sun irritation.

Risks: Potential complications include: retrobulbar hematoma, which is a rare, but serious, bleeding behind the eye; temporary problems with excessive tearing ; decreased sensation in the eyelid ; dry eyes, including symptoms of dryness, burning, stinging or gritty sensation in your eye(s); prominence or firmness of the scars; blurred vision; asymmetry in healing or scarring; milia, or whiteheads where the sutures emanate from the skin; difficulty closing eyes completely; or ectropion, which is a pulling down of the lower lids.

Results: The more alert, youthful look that this surgery provides is usually long lasting. Thin scars may remain slightly pink for six months or so, but can easily be concealed with makeup. They eventually fade to a thin, nearly invisible white line. The removal of fat is permanent, but the looseness of the skin and fine wrinkling of the eyelid area may return in the future. Even though the aging process continues, patients are usually happy with their appearance for many years following eyelid surgery. Some patients find that they want to make additional improvements at a later time. If continued loss of skin tone in the forehead later causes sagging of the eyebrows, a forehead lift or second eyelid procedure may be performed.

Estimated Cost: The total fee for blepharoplasty can range from $2,000 to $5,000 or more.

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