Blepharoplasty surgery is 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.
Prior to your procedure the eyelids will be marked out so that the incisions follow natural lines or creases and ultimately become “invisible”, and to allow the determination of the correct amount of skin to be removed. During the 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. The upper eyelid scar lies in a natural eyelid crease line formed by the attachment of your eyelid muscle to the skin at the upper level of the tarsal plate. This is usually 8mm to 10mm above the eyelash line, or virtually non-existent as in Asians. If eyelids are droopy (ptosis) this can also be corrected by shortening the muscle that raises your upper eyelid. If lower eyelid fat bulging is the only problem, there may be no need for skin or muscle adjustment. It is then possible to perform this procedure without any external lower eyelid scar. An incision is made on the inner aspect of the lower eyelid and the excess fat removed or adjusted.
The trend is for surgery to become less invasive, with more skin and fat preservation reducing postoperative hollowness and complications. As previously stated, scars heal beautifully. Incisions in the eyelids typically heal to a point where they are almost imperceptible, due to the thinness of the skin.
After your blepharoplasty surgery
Immediately after your operation you will be nursed with your head up. Your vision will be blurred by the presence of a lubricant in your eyes which is inserted at the end of blepharoplasty surgery. Ice packs may be used to limit the swelling and bruising.
Drops and lubricants will be provided to you on discharge with instructions for their use. The eyelids have a protective and lubricating role for your eyes. After blepharoplasty surgery, whilst the eyelids are swollen, this 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, however can be covered with make up after a week. Outside of home many patients wear sunglasses for a week or two to cover bruising. Temporary swelling after eyelid surgery may mean you have trouble seeing for a day or two, with some patients report short term trouble closing their eyes to sleep. A running suture is used to close the incisions in the eyelids and is removed with minimal discomfort after five days.
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;
Risks associated with Surgery
• Poor Scarring
• Bruising / haematoma
• Revision surgery to correct or improve outcome
Specific risks associated with Blepharoplasty surgery
• Pigmentation changes
• Dry Eyes
• Ectropion or Entropion
• Inability to close eyes
• Eyelash loss
• Altered vision / blindness