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Blepharoplasty

Blepharoplasty, eyelid surgery, is the surgical operation which removes the excess skin and muscle and fat to treat the droopy eyelids.

What is blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty, eyelid surgery, is the surgical operation which removes the excess skin and muscle and fat to treat the droopy eyelids.

What is the aim of blepharoplasty?

Function-wise the vitality of the eyes is unquestionable however their appearance is also significantly important as eyes are one of the most prominent features on the face. Blepharoplasty is more popular among women who aim to have surgery for esthetical reasons as well as to eliminate functional problems, while men mostly prefer this surgery to fix functional problems. A strong and popular option for anti-aging concerns, blepharoplasty also intervenes with the poor eyesight the person might have due to sagging eyelids, in addition to disease related issues on the eyelid skin. Some of the disease related problems blepharoplasty can eliminate includes cholesterol crystals in the anterior chamber of the eye, vein marks on the eyelids, or deformities caused by tumor removal surgery etc. The anti-aging aspects expectedly target the wrinkles, the sagginess and the bags under the eyes.

Who can have blepharoplasty & how is it decided?

Women and men, who want to eliminate anti-age concerns and/or suffering from vision problems due to dropped eyelids are candidates for blepharoplasty. Following a very detailed eye examination by the plastic surgeon and the ophthalmologist in addition to medical history evaluation, the candidate’s motivation and expectations are discussed. The medical history section will also focus on previous eye related issues such as dry eyes, glaucoma, allergies, as well general health issues and regular medications the candidate is taking. The expectations on the result of the surgery is important in terms of deciding if having blepharoplasty alone is sufficient to get the targeted outcome, or whether if it should be supported by other procedures such as mid-face lift or endoscopic brow lift or any other supplementary procedure.

How long does blepharoplasty take?

If the surgery only targets the deformity on the upper eyelid, the operation is quite short averaging at 30 minutes.  On the lower eyelids the operation can take up to 1.5 hours. The restricting factor on the total surgery time is the case when additional surgeries that is required on the rest of the face. The eyelids are more complex than the rest of the anatomical and functional features of the face demanding a meticulous planning and extreme surgical precision; the time factor should not cause the procedure to seem easier than the longer operations. Blepharoplasty can be done with local or general anesthesia depending on the extent of the surgery.

What is the recovery period of blepharoplasty?

Relatively minor discomfort is observed after blepharoplasty. The bruising and swelling, depending on the extent and the areas blepharoplasty is applied on, is at their height on the day of the surgery, however they rapidly start disappearing on the very next day. The bandages are removed in less than a week and the stitches, if they need to be removed, are removed in one week. If self-dissolving stitches are used then they would not need removal. Regular activities can be resumed at their full form in 7-10 days. Within 2 weeks, there would not be very visible bruising or swelling.

A note to consider

Considering the sensitivity of the area it is involved in, blepharoplasty should be handled with an experienced surgical staff.

Pre-operative Instructions for Blepharoplasty

  • Avoid using aspirin and/or similar blood thinners 1 week prior to surgery and they should not be used until instructed by your doctor. Additional medications will need to be refrained from as well, it will be discussed and advised by your physician.
  • No eating or drinking 6 hours before the surgery including drinking water.
  • In case of a prescribed medicine, it can be consumed with a small amount of water under the supervision of your physician.
  • As it interferes with the scar healing, smoking is advised to be quit 2 months prior to the surgery. Additionally, in order to avoid any problems with the anesthesia it is vital that the patient should not smoke 24 hours before the surgery.
  • Avoid sun burns at least 2 weeks before the surgery.
  • Arrange someone to drive you to and from the hospital and also an overnight stay after the surgery.

post-operative instructions for Blepharoplasty

  • The patient will need to apply ice packs on the eyes starting from the night of the surgery unless advised otherwise by the physician.
  • The prescribed eyedrops and/or ointments will need to be applied following a self-eyelid cleanse instructed by the doctor.
  • The patient will not be able use contact lenses for at least 2 weeks.
  • Avoid getting direct sunlight and wear at least 30 SPF sunscreens and use sunglasses to protect the eyelid skin from the sun.
  • Refraining from consuming high sodium products to help with the swelling which will occur after surgery. Consuming high fiber foods will help the patient to avoid constipation.
  • High energy requiring activities like excessive exercising, jogging etc. should be avoided.
  • The patient should not rub their eyes.

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