The eyes are perhaps our most important facial features. They are our source of vision, but not only that - ‘the eyes are the mirror of the soul’ and have the ability to show our feelings and emotions and to greatly influence overall facial expressions.
There is a way to put an end to tired-looking, puffy and sagging eyes with a procedure called blepharoplasty. In a matter of days, you can regain your youthful appearance and be more confident than you ever thought possible.
The eye area often shows the earliest signs of ageing. The upper and lower eyelids may develop ‘bags’, folds or wrinkles that can add years to one’s appearance. There may be swelling and puffiness especially in the morning that gradually becomes more permanent, and there is often a lowering of the brow line. However, these problems are not just age-related, they can be hereditary in origin (when they usually appear in the twenty to thirty age group), or can be due to an allergy or some systemic disorder that can then lead to earlier ageing.
What is Blepharoplasty / Eyelid Surgery?
Blepharoplasty is a surgical operation designed to remove the excess fatty tissue and loose skin and to create a more youthful, wide-eyed look. The upper eyelid lift is performed in cases where the patient requires to lose the excess tissue above the eye that has developed over the years. This problem can also be treated sometimes by lifting of the eyebrows.
The eyebrow may be lifted on its own, or it may be done as part of an overall facelift operation. The lower eye operation is obviously used in cases of eye-bag removal.
All types of wrinkles around the eyes will be lessened by blepharoplasty, but not totally eradicated.
Both the upper and lower lids can be corrected at the same time or treated separately and if required, combined with a full-face lift. This treatment is suitable for both men and women. In either case, results can be extremely effective and dramatically reduce the impression of ageing.
How is the Blepharoplasty performed?
The operation is usually performed under local anaesthesia or intravenous sedation if required either as day case or overnight stay in the hospital. The procedure itself takes about an hour for either upper or lower eyes depending on the individual case. Sutures used either absorbable in 7-10 days or non - absorbable and which are removed after 5 days. There may be some discomfort, swelling, tenderness, and bruising of the eye area. This is only temporary. Patients usually return to work one week after surgery. Make-up is allowed after three to 5 days and most of the swelling has subsided.
Recovering after Eyelid Surgery
Dark glasses are worn after the procedure for 2 weeks. Post-operative care instructions are given by the surgeon and nursing staff and these must be carefully followed to ensure best results.
The position of the incisions for this procedure varies, and this will be discussed by the surgeon. They are inconspicuous in location, usually in a natural crease line of the upper eyelid, or just below the lash line for the lower lid, sometimes in mild cases from inside the eyelid (transconjunctival).
Possible complications of Blepharoplasty
Vision can be affected in 0.2 % of patients. There is a slight risk (although rare), of downward displacement of the lower eyelid, which is called ‘ectropian’. This is a result of skin tension and can usually be corrected by ‘squeeze’ exercises, involving repeated tight closure of the eyelids.
Occasionally, this displacement may be significant enough to require a second corrective operation. Other problems that may arise are those associated with any surgical procedure ie infection, scarring and prolonged swelling. This will be discussed during consultation with surgeon, together with other questions or concerns you might have.