What is a Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)?
Blepharoplasty is another term for eyelid correction surgery. As we age, our eyelid muscles weaken and excess fat accumulates in the eyelids, leading to drooping saggy eyelid and the formation of bags under the eyes. This tends to make us older and can also obstruct peripheral vision.
A Blepharoplasty helps remove excess fat and tissue from the eyelids, making us look younger and more alert as well as eliminating any obstruction to peripheral vision.
Who should get a Blepharoplasty done?
Those who have congenitally droopy or saggy eyelids as well as those that have developed these conditions due to age are candidates for Blepharoplasty.
How do you prepare for a Blepharoplasty?
1. Inform the surgeon or clinic beforehand about any medication you are currently on, either prescription or over-the-counter (OTC)
2. Avoid aspirin or any blood thinners starting 2 days before the surgery
3. Avoid Vitamin E starting 2 days before the surgery
4. Stop smoking for at least a week before the surgery
5. Inform the surgeon or clinic beforehand about any serious medical conditions you might be suffering from leading into the surgery. The clinic will always perform a blood test prior to the surgery but it is still wise to inform them beforehand of any pre-existing conditions
6. Inform the surgeon of clinic beforehand about any drug allergies you have a history of.
How is the Blepharoplasty procedure done?
This is generally done as an outpatient procedure, i.e., it does not require hospitalization and is usually done under local anesthesia or sedation. If the surgery is being performed on both the upper and lower eyelids, the plastic surgeon will usually start working on the upper eyelid first. The surgeon usually cuts along the fold of the upper eyelid and removes any excess fat, muscle or skin and then closes the incision. A similar process is repeated for the lower eyelid to remove excess fat, muscle and sagging skin. In those extreme cases where the upper eyelid is drooping far enough to cover the pupil of the eye (thereby obstructing vision), the surgeon also provides additional support to the upper eyelid muscle to ensure it does not droop that far using a procedure called “Ptosis repair”.
The procedure can take one hour or even longer if both upper and lower eyelids are operated upon.
What happens after the Blepharoplasty?
At the end of the operation you are generally required to spend a few hours in a recovery room to monitor for any potential complications and, if none are observed, you can go home the same day. An ointment is applied to the eyes to lubricate it which might lead to slightly blurred vision. Temporary discomfort after the surgery might include watering eyes, sensitivity to light, double or blurred vision, puffy or swollen eyelids, swelling and bruising and some pain. The surgeon will typically advise you to apply ice packs to the eyes regularly throughout the day for around 10 minutes at time to bring down the swelling and bruising. You will need to make a follow up visit to the clinic to have the stitches removed on the 5th day after the surgery.
Typical precautions to be observed following the surgery include:
– Avoiding smoking for one month after the surgery as this can delay the healing process and increase the risk of post-surgical infection
– Avoid using contact lenses for 2 weeks after the surgery
– Avoid rubbing your eyes
– Avoid direct sun exposure; wear dark sunglasses to protect your eyelids from the sun and wind
– Sleep with your head elevated at around 20 to 30 degrees to avoid blood accumulation in the area of the surgery
– Make sure you take your medication as prescribed by the doctor and ensure that you complete the course of medication no matter how well you are healing
How long will it take to recover from the Blepharoplasty?
The patient can go back home on the same day. You will, however, not be able to fly for at least 1 week after the surgery.
Most of the bruising and swelling typically subside within 2 weeks and any residual swelling lasting beyond this point will most likely only be noticeable to you. Any scars will start to fade after 3 months.
What is the cost for a Blepharoplasty procedure?
The cost will vary from USD 1,300 to USD 4,000 depending on the types of treatment, hospitals and location.