Eyelid Surgery 101: A Basic Guide on Blepharoplasty
What is Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty, or eyelid lift or eyelid surgery, is a surgery to eliminate skin, and to add or remove eyelid fat. Actually, the term eyelid lift can be considered a misnomer, since the eyelids are not really lifted during the procedure.
Upper eyelid surgery use incisions to remove fat and skin. To bring the skin together and make an eyelid crease, a thin stitch is needed.
Lower eyelid procedures include skin incisions inside the eyelid and below the lash line. This is known as the transconjunctival approach. This also allows access to the eyelid without any visible incisions, making it a perfect method for patients who need to remove or add fat. It can also be combined with efficient laser resurfacing to reduce wrinkles and lines.
How can a patient prepare for an eyelid procedure?
Before undergoing eyelid procedure, the patient should understand all the surgery details, from preparation to recovery period. It’s important to have a thorough discussion and examination with your surgeon. Of course, you would want to learn about the risks and benefits involved.
Make sure to follow your doctor’s pre-surgery and post-surgery instructions. If needed, read them again and again, and make sure you wouldn’t miss anything. Most patients would choose to purchase pain relief medications and other crucial items such as gauze even before the procedure.
Why is eyelid surgery performed?
Excess skin on the upper eyelid can bring about a negative impression. It can result to puffiness, aged appearance, and at times, it can block your vision’s upper field.
When is upper blepharoplasty performed? It is performed to eliminate excess fat and skin, improving the patient’s vision.
Asian eyelid surgery, or double eyelid procedure, is performed to enhance or make an upper eyelid crease. This is often done on Asian patients to westernize the look of their eyelids.
Lower blepharoplasty is needed to remove excess skin, and also to improve the eyelid contour by removing or adding fat.
In some instances, tightening the eyelid is necessary to correct sagging. To improve skin texture and remove wrinkles, laser skin resurfacing can be performed.
What are the potential risks and complications involved in eyelid surgery?
An eyelid surgery may seem like a small procedure, but it is still a surgery that involves certain risks. Its major risks? Abnormal eyelid position, loss of vision, bleeding, infection, scarring, dry eye and double vision.
Are you a good potential candidate for eyelid surgery?
In most cases, a physical examination is required so your physician can make sure that anesthesia and intravenous sedation will work well for you.
In general, all patients who are in good health and with realistic expectations are suitable for an eyelid procedure.
Is Blepharoplasty expensive? How much does it cost? Can insurance cover the expenses?
The price of an eyelid surgery will depend highly on the complexity and type of the surgery performed. Most of the time, insurance carriers will shoulder the upper eyelid surgery cost if the patient’s vision is greatly affected. This case must be documented and proven after an examination.
Is the healing and recovery period long and difficult?
Most of the time, patients have a short and quick healing time after eyelid procedures. Swelling and bruising may happen on the day after the procedure. However these will go away after some days and weeks.
What happens 2 days after the surgery? Cold compresses are essential to reduce swelling and bruising around the face and eyes. You also need to move once in a while. Light activities like walking can help speed up a patient’s recovery.
Thin bandages should be placed on the incision sites, and removed after a few days. Stiches, on the other hand, should stay on the skin for around 1 week.
After 7 to 10 days, most patients can already resume their usual routine and activities.
2 weeks after the eyelid procedure, most of the swelling and bruising will be gone.