Your eyes are the part of your face that can show the most significant aging.  Making the decision to have eyelid surgery, which can help provide a more youthful appearance, should be carefully considered.  Below is information you will need when it comes to understanding eyelid surgery, who is the ideal candidate, and the risks and recovery associated with this specific procedure.

Eyelid Surgery Overview
Eyelid surgery, or Blepharoplasty, is a specific facial cosmetic surgery that entails removing excess skin, fat or muscle from droopy upper and lower eyelids.  In short, the surgery can help improve the appearance of the upper and lower eyelids.  Eyelid surgery is usually performed on adult men and women that have healthy muscles and tissues in their face.  It is important for each eyelid surgery candidate to have a realistic expectation on how much an eyelid surgery can help in providing a more youthful, and alert appearance.  Viewing before and after photos will help provide a sense of what you can expect from undergoing eyelid surgery.

The Ideal Candidate
There are a number of factors that go into identifying those that are good candidates for eyelid surgery such as those that are emotionally stable and are well-informed about the procedure. Below are other qualifying conditions that are ideally looked for in those looking to have the surgery performed.

  • Non-smokers
  • Healthy individuals that do not have any life-threatening illnesses or other medical conditions that can prevent proper healing
  • Individuals without serious eye conditions

When you consult an eyelid surgeon, it is important to disclose any information you believe may be important for your doctor to know.  Candidates may be excluded from the surgery if they have any of the following conditions:

  • Eye disease such as glaucoma or a detached retina.
  • Thyroid disorders such as Graves’ disease or an under or overactive thyroid.
  • Cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure or other circulatory diseases.
  • Diabetes
  • Bone structure that may not support the surgery.

Your doctor, when preparing for eyelid surgery, may ask you to perform a number of things leading up to the surgery in order to be fully prepared for the surgery. These might include getting a medical evaluation, taking specific medications, and stop smoking just to name a few.  You will also receive basic instructions prior to the surgery such as what to do the night before the surgery, the surgical procedure itself, and then post-operative care and recovery.  Remember that you may need help from a family member of friend the day of your surgery if your surgery is performed on an outpatient basis.

The Procedure
Most eyelid surgery is performed under local anesthesia.  This means you are sedated, numbed and awake.  In some cases, general anesthesia is used which will completely put your to “sleep”.  Your doctor will talk to you about what type of anesthesia will be administered and why.  Once the anesthesia has been administered, a number of small incisions will be made along crease lines.  Every incision made is dependent on the specific surgery.  Talk to your physician about the where and how many incisions will be made with your procedure.  The goal of each incision is to divide the fatty tissue and muscle from the skin so that excess skin, fat or muscle can be removed.

The recovery time from an eyelid surgery varies depending on the surgery.  It is typical that one week after surgery, the vast majority of bruising and swelling will subside.  Women can also start wearing makeup by this time as well.  Once your surgery is over, you can expect that your eyes will be lubricated and covered with bandages.  Prior to your surgery, as it pertains to your recovery, there are a number of questions you should ask your doctor including:

  • What medications will I need to take after the surgery?  Will they be over-the-counter or prescribed?
  • Where will I be taken after my surgery
  • Will I have bandages on after they surgery and, if so, how long will I need to keep them on?
  • How many stitches can I expect and will they be removed?
  • When will I be able to go home?
  • When can I return to normal activities?
  • When can I wear makeup again?
  • Will I need to return for follow up care?

Risks with Eyelid Surgery
All facial surgery procedures share a number of risks no matter how small the procedure may be.  Some of the risks involved with eyelid surgery include:

  • Blurred vision
  • Unfavorable scarring
  • Infection
  • Anesthesia risks
  • Blood clots
  • Persistent pain
  • Numbness around the eyes
  • Loss of eyesight

Finding the Right Surgeon
Before having the procedure done, it is important to gather all the information you can from a board certified plastic surgeon.  The surgeon you choose should be able to provide you with every answer to each of your questions.  Ask to see their training background including any certifications and associations they may be a member of.  Beyond their training, ask about the number of times they have actually performed the surgery.  Be sure to view some of their before and after eyelid surgerywork.