Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a type of surgery that alters the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both. The aim is to improve the appearance of the area surrounding the eyes and to improve vision obscured by drooping eyelids.
Blepharoplasty can alter:
- draping skin that obscures or blocks your vision
- loose or sagging skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid – this can sometimes affect a person’s vision
- excess fatty deposits that appear as puffiness beneath the eyelid skin
- bags under the eyes
- droopiness of the lower eyelids – to avoid showing white below the iris
- extra skin and fine wrinkles of the lower eyelid.
Recovery from eyelid surgery generally takes several weeks.
Absorbale sutures are used for upper lids and for lower lids the stitches will be removed in 5 -7 days
In the first week, patients will want to make sure that their eyes receive plenty of rest. The redness and swelling occurring after the blepharoplasty procedure will fade with time.
Recovery will also include ensuring that any exertion that may increase blood flow to the eyes is avoided. Patients may be able to return to work approximately 10 days after the surgery.
For the first couple of days following the surgery, the incisions should be treated with ointment to keep them lubricated. Cold compresses can be placed on the eyes to reduce swelling as well. Eye drops may be needed to help keep the eyes from drying out.
In the first week after the procedure, patients should avoid any activities that may dry up the eyes, including reading, watching television, wearing contacts, and using a computer.
Swelling and bruising can be minimized by keeping the head elevated as much as possible during the first few days of recovery.
Patients may feel well enough to resume normal activities around the tenth day of recovery.
For the first couple of weeks following the surgery, dark sunglasses are recommended to protect the eyes from irritation caused by the sun and wind. Patients may notice that their eyes tire easily for the first several weeks of the recovery period; frequent naps are recommended.
Throughout the first three to four weeks after the surgery, any activities that increase blood flow to the eyes should be avoided, including bending, lifting, sporting activities, and even crying. Patients will be informed by their doctor when any type of exercise regimen can be resumed.
Risks and Possible Complications
All surgery carries some degree of risk. Some of the possible complications of blepharoplasty include:
- surgical risks such as bleeding or infection
- temporary or permanent areas of numbness
- temporarily blurred or impaired vision
- dry or watery eyes
- difficulty closing your eyes – for example, the upper eyelid may remain open while you are asleep, which can dry out the eye surface and cause scarring
- lid lag – a pulling down of the lower eyelid (this is often temporary)
- inflamed, itchy scars
- may require further surgery to treat complications.
This is not a complete list.