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Blepharoplasty

Eyelid Lift Surgery in Newcastle & Sydney NSW

An Eyelid Lift or Blepharoplasty is a procedure performed on the upper and lower eyelids that removes excess fatty tissue and/or loose skin resulting in a youthful and more rejuvenated appearance.

Your eyes make an incredible first impression as they are one of the first facial features peoples observe but they are also one of the first to show the signs of ageing. If you feel that the natural ageing process is making you look tired, you can enjoy a younger, more refreshed and confident appearance with eyelid surgery. The rate of this ageing process varies for each person but is accelerated by the effects of sun exposure, smoking and the stresses of daily life.

Ageing is an irreversible, relentless process of tissue degeneration resulting in loss of elasticity and stretching of the skin. Whilst the eyes themselves are expressionless, the eyelids are very important indicators of our emotions. If you feel that the natural ageing process is making you look tired, you can enjoy a younger, more energized and confident appearance with eyelid surgery.

The eyelids are complex structures that are unforgiving and must be treated with care, for these reasons it’s extremely important to seek out an expert Plastic Surgeon who has experience in blepharoplasty. It requires a delicate touch, an artistic approach and a full understanding of the eyelid anatomy to maintain and enhance one’s facial natural beauty

Are you a Candidate for Blepharoplasty?

There is no particular age that is best for eyelid surgery. We all age differently according to a variety of factors: individual genetic makeup, and environmental influences such as sun exposure, skincare and smoking. In general, a more youthful look is maintained when eyelid surgery is performed on a younger patient whereas in the older patient a more dramatic change may be obtained.

The best candidates for eyelid surgery are both men and women who are physically healthy, psychologically stable and realistic about their expectations. Most are in their 40’s to 60’, but if droopy, baggy eyelids run in your family you may decide to have eyelid surgery at a younger age.

The Benefits of Eyelid Surgery

The eyes are the first facial feature people observe and unfortunately, they are also one of the first to show the signs of ageing. Loose skin in the upper eyelid may come to rest on the upper eyelashes giving a tired look, it also makes it difficult to wear eye make-up. While fat pads in the eyelid bulge forward adding to the aged look. That is why blepharoplasty surgery has become an essential tool to maintain and enhance one’s natural beauty.

These changes are effectively and safely treated by modern eyelid surgery techniques. So if you’re considering blepharoplasty surgery, ask yourself some of the following questions.

• Would you like smooth, tighter looking skin around the eyes?
• Do you feel your eyelids look puffy?
• Do you want to get rid of lower eyelid bags?
• Is the excess eyelid skin interfering with your vision?
• Do you want to improve the symmetry of your eyelids?
• Would you like to experience greater positive self-esteem and confidence?
• If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you could benefit from eyelid surgery.

What to Expect from Blepharoplasty Surgery

Modern eyelid surgery has advanced significantly to allow patients a natural, youthful appearance with improved safety and longevity. Which specific eyelid procedure performed, will be based on your individual needs. While blepharoplasty is often done alone, it is also routinely combined with either a brow lift in upper eyelid surgery or a midface or facelift in lower eyelid surgery.

Blepharoplasty can be performed under either local anaesthesia in the comfort of Dr Turner’s rooms or general anaesthesia in a fully accredited hospital with the assistance of a qualified anaesthetist. Expect the operation to take one to three hours, and you are discharged the same day.

Upper & Lower Eyelid surgery is usually performed under general anaesthesia in a fully accredited hospital. You can expect the operation to take 1-2 hours and you will be discharged the same day. During the procedure the excess skin is removed, muscle tightened and redundant fat excised. The surgical incisions are sutured meticulously leaving hairline scars that usually fade quickly. Incisions in the eyelids typically heal to a point where they are almost unnoticeable. After the operation, vision is blurred by the presence of a lubricant in your eyes which is inserted at the end of the surgery, Ice packs may be used to minimise swelling and bruising.

Post-operative swelling, discolouration and bruising are expected generally lasting up to two weeks. Temporary swelling after eyelid surgery may mean you have trouble seeing for a day or two, with some patients reporting difficulty sleeping and closing their eyes. A running suture is used to close the incisions in the eyelids and is removed with minimal discomfort after 5 days. Patients should avoid watching TV, reading or straining your eyes for a few days, and keep your head elevated. Patients are usually able to drive and return to work once they discontinue narcotic pain medication and any discomfort has eased.

Upper Eyelid Surgery

The trend in modern upper eyelid surgery has become less invasive, with more skin and fat preservation, reducing postoperative hollowness and complications. Prior to the procedure your eyelids will be marked out so that the incisions follow the natural eyelid crease and allows accurate determination of the correct amount of skin to be removed.

During the upper eyelid procedure, the excess skin is removed, muscle is tightened, and redundant orbital fat is excised or replaced in the orbit. The surgical incisions are sutured meticulously leaving hairline scars that usually fade quickly, but never completely disappear. If eyelids are droopy (ptosis) this can also be corrected by shortening the muscle (known as the “levator muscles”) that raises your upper eyelid.

Lower Eyelid Surgery

There are numerous techniques available in lower eyelid rejuvenation, from non-surgical treatment with dermal fillers and laser resurfacing, to fat grafting and ‘no touch’ blepharoplasty to traditional lower eyelid and midface lift surgery. The exact procedure that Dr Turner will perform will be based on your individual needs.

In younger patients with good skin quality that are concerned only with lower eyelid fat bulging, it is often possible to perform a ‘no touch’ or transconjunctival blepharoplasty procedure with the incision made on the inner aspect of the lower eyelid so there will be no visible incision lines. The bulging fat than is carefully removed or repositioned into the tear trough area in a procedure called an orbital reset.

In older patients that have excess lower eyelid skin or malar bags, a more traditional lower eyelid procedure is needed. In this procedure an incision is made just below the eyelash line and extends into one of the eyelid crows feet. The excess skin is removed, muscle is elevated and tightened to support the lower eyelid and excess fat is removed or repositioned into the tear trough area.

Double Eyelid Surgery – Asian Blepharoplasty

Many people from Asian communities are born with eyelids that lack a defined eyelid crease and so have a single eyelid or monolid appearance. The absence of the upper eyelid crease often gives the appearance of a smaller, puffy or droopy looking eyes. Asian blepharoplasty surgery has become an increasingly common procedure to help create a natural looking upper eyelid to make the eye look bigger and brighter.

There a few options available in double eyelid surgery, from simple suture methods, to limited incision and full eyelid incision methods. While each has its advantages and risks and Dr Turner will discuss which procedure is suitable based on your individual needs.

Associated procedures that can be combined with Eyelid Surgery

Brow Lift

The brow position also plays an integral part in the eyelid appearance. The hooding of the upper eyelids is aggravated by the frequent descent of the eyebrows into the eyelid area (brow ptosis) as we age and often requires a combination of a brow lift with your blepharoplasty surgery

Midface Lift

In men and women with significant malar bags or festoons, a lower eyelid procedure only is not sufficient to achieve the desired result. A more complex lower eyelid surgery combined with a midface lift (Concentric Malar Lift) is required to elevate the cheek tissue to fully correct and eliminate the malar bags to restore a more youthful appearance.

Facial Implants

In men and women with a weak cheekbone (maxilla), they are frequently affected by early ageing of the lower eyelid and malar regions and make seek lower eyelid surgery in their 20’s to 30’s. Lower eyelid surgery only is a higher risk procedure in these patients and to achieve ideal aesthetic result they often require augmentation of the maxilla with a cheek implant to improve support to the overlying cheek tissue.

Fat Grafting

Fat grafting to the face to restore lost volume is not limited to facelift surgery alone, the use of small volume nano fat grafting to the brow region, upper eyelid, tear trough region and malar area can have a dramatic effect to the overall result of your eyelid procedure.

Recovery After Your Blepharoplasty Surgery

Immediately after your operation, you will be nursed with your head up. Your vision may be blurred by the presence of a lubricant in your eyes which is inserted during the blepharoplasty surgery. Ice packs may be used for the first 24 hours to limit swelling and bruising.

After blepharoplasty surgery, whilst the eyelids are swollen, their function is compromised and so for a few weeks, it will be necessary for you to lubricate your eyes regularly with the ointment or drops. Post-operative swelling, discolouration and bruising are to be expected, generally lasting up to two weeks, this can be camouflaged with makeup after a week. Outside of home many patients wear sunglasses for a week or two to cover bruising.

You should avoid watching television, reading or straining your eyes for a few days, and keep your head elevated. You can usually wear contact lenses within two weeks once bruising and swelling resolve. Patients may drive and return to work once they discontinue narcotic pain medicine.

Risks Associated with Blepharoplasty Surgery

As with any surgery, it is important that you are fully informed of the potential risks associated with blepharoplasty surgery. While all care is taken to minimize these complications, they may and do occur despite the best medical care.

It is important that you carefully read and understand the potential risks and they will be discussed in further detail when you have your consultation with Dr Turner.

Some risks are more likely to occur than others;

•  Swelling
•  Poor Scarring
•  Infection
•  Bruising / haematoma
•  Revision surgery to correct or improve outcome
•  Pigmentation changes
•  Dry Eyes
•  Ectropion or Entropion
•  Inability to close eyes
•  Eyelash loss
•  Ptosis
•  Asymmetry
•  Altered vision / blindness

Note:

A few medical conditions make blepharoplasty riskier. They include thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism and Grave’s Disease, dry eye or lack of sufficient tears, high blood pressure or other circulatory disorders. A past history of a detached retina or glaucoma are also reasons for caution – if you have any of the above, please bring it to the attention of Dr Turner prior to blepharoplasty surgery so that if necessary, a further ophthalmology opinion can be obtained.

Your Consultation with Dr Scott Turner – Plastic Surgeon

If you’re considering an eyelid procedure, the very first step will be to meet with Dr Turner for a personal one on one consultation at one of his Sydney or Newcastle clinics. For many patients, we understand that this is a major decision, so we want to make the entire process as comfortable as possible. We’re here to explain each procedure in detail, so that you’re confident with your final decision.

To begin, Dr Turner will help you determine what procedure would be best, based on a number of key factors. Of course, every patient is unique, not only in terms of their skin and facial structure, but also their wants and needs. Dr Turner will guide you, discussing the options available from non-surgical techniques, to a range of upper and lower eyelid procedures for the maximum benefit so that you can achieve the results you desire.

Dr Turner and his team will:

•  Review all blepharoplasty and facial procedures with you.
•  Discuss all potential risks involved with eyelid surgery.
•  Outline in detail how the surgery is performed
•  Provide an explanation of what you can expect before, during, and after the procedure.
•  Provide detailed cost and payment information.
•  Answer all your questions.

Blepharoplasty FAQs

What causes eyelid puffiness?

Puffiness or swelling about the eyelids is produced by any one or more of three possible factors:
● Weakened eyelid muscles (the orbicularis muscles) allow the orbital fat to billow forward under the influence of gravity. This produces puffiness of the eyelids which is constantly present, but can be made to disappear by standing in front of a mirror and contracting your eyelid muscles such as in squinting. The problem can be surgically corrected by tightening the muscle sling with resuspension in the outer aspect of the lower eyelid (a procedure known as canthoplasty).
● Excessive fatty deposits about the eyeball produce bulges or bagginess. These fatty deposits are compartmentalised and when present in excess, the fat pushes the overlying thin eyelid muscle and skin forward producing the baggy contour defect. Removing the excessive fat or strengthening the retaining membranes (skin and muscle) corrects this problem.
● Excessive fluid accumulation about the eyes. This occurs commonly as a result of allergy and is usually worse on getting up in the mornings and improves as the day goes on – with the redistribution of body fluids on rising from the recumbent to the erect posture. Fluid accumulation is not corrected by surgery and if present may lead to a more protracted post-surgery recovery. Some morning swelling can be expected in all patients for some variable time after eyelid surgery.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO RECOVER FROM EYELID PLASTIC SURGERY?

Recovery from Blepharoplasty takes between one and three weeks. In the second week scar massage will commence to promote healing and reduce swelling. There may be a feeling of eyelid tightness or eye dryness and or sensitivity to bright light immediately after the procedure. For best long-term results, for the 7 to 10 days after surgery normal activities should be reduced. The eyelids will be sensitive for six weeks or so following surgery and should be handled according to your own level of comfort. Returning to work depends on your job demands, Dr Turner will advise you regarding this. You may be able to return to light work within one to two weeks. You should avoid any strenuous exercise for the first 6 weeks.

WHAT SCARRING CAN I EXPECT FROM BLEPHAROPLASTY PLASTIC SURGERY?

The surgical incision for upper eyelid reduction will usually almost completely fade within six weeks. What generally remains is a faint scar that is barely visible because of its position, blending into the eyelids’ normal creases. The incision for lower eyelid correction is either made inside the eyelid and so it is not noticeable, or just beneath the eyelashes on the outside, which heal quickly and are rarely visible after the first few weeks.

Is Blepharoplasty painful?

We all fear pain and have very different thresholds at which we perceive pain. Your eyelids may feel tight and sore as the anaesthesia wears off, but any associated pain is usually mild and should easily be relieved by mild analgesics. Dr Turner will ensure that you have prescriptions for postoperative pain relief before leaving the clinic or hospital.

How long will Eyelid Surgery last?

Cosmetic blepharoplasty surgery will not stop the biological clock but will reset it. Although there are many factors determining the overall individual result, on average you can expect from six to ten years of improvement. Unfortunately, the ageing process is progressive and after a period of years you will again develop ageing facial features including a recurrence of inelastic skin around the eyelids and perhaps weakened eyelid muscles. Usually further improvement can be obtained by a redo of your eyelid surgery which often needs to be less extensive than the original procedure, or alternatively a forehead repositioning or browlift may be indicated.

Is the surgery covered by Medicare and do I need a referral?

While you do not require a referral from your general practitioner to see Dr Turner, it is recommended to get one as you may be eligible for a Medicare rebate for the consultation and part of your procedure if you proceed. There are now strict criteria by Medicare to be eligible for eyelid surgery, so your procedure is classified as medical and not cosmetic. If your vision is impaired by the excess skin in the upper eyelid or if you suffer with droopy eyelids (eyelid ptosis). Dr Turner will discuss these with you and determine if you qualify for the Medicare rebate.

If you would like more information on the Blepharoplasty procedure, please contact one of our friendly staff on 1300 437 758

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