Eyelid Surgery (technically called Blepharoplasty) is a plastic surgery procedure to remove fat as well as excess skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. At the Lombardi Plastic Surgery Center in NJ, we use Eyelid Surgery to correct drooping of your upper lid and puffy bags below your eyes–features that make you look older and more tired than you feel and may even interfere with your vision.
The best candidates for eyelid surgery are men and women who are physically healthy, psychologically stable and realistic in their expectations. Most are 35 or older, but if droopy, baggy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have eyelid surgery at a younger age.
The initial consultation with your plastic surgeon is very important. The plastic surgeon will need your complete medical history, so check your own records ahead of time and be ready to provide this information. Be sure to inform your plastic surgeon if you have any allergies, are taking any vitamins, medications (prescription or over-the-counter), or other drugs and if you smoke.
Upper eyelid surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia, which numbs the area around your eyes, along with oral or intravenous sedatives. You’ll be awake during the surgery, but relaxed and insensitive to pain. Some surgeons prefer to use general anesthesia. In that case, you’ll sleep through the operation. Lower eyelid surgery is always performed under general anesthesia due to the intricacies of the procedure. Eyelid surgery can be done alone, or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a facelift or brow lift.
Eyelid surgery usually takes one to three hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. In a typical procedure, the plastic surgeon makes incisions following the natural lines of your eyelids, in the creases of your upper lids and just below the lashes in the lower lids. The incisions may extend into the crow’s feet or laugh lines at the outer corners of your eyes. Working through these incisions, the plastic surgeon separates the skin from underlying fatty tissue and muscle, removes excess fat, and often trims sagging skin and muscle. The incisions are then closed with very fine sutures. Transconjunctival blepharoplasty is the commonly performed lower eyelid treatment, which provides excellent correction of fat pads below the eyes which create the look of bags. In this procedure the incision is made inside your lower eyelid, leaving no visible scar.
After your procedure, the surgeon will probably lubricate your eyes with ointment and may apply a bandage. Your eyelids may feel tight and sore as the anesthesia wears off, but you can control any discomfort with the medication prescribed by your surgeon.
Your surgeon will instruct you to keep your head elevated for several days and to use cold compresses to reduce swelling and bruising. Your surgeon will follow your progress very closely for the first week or two. The stitches will be removed two days to a week after surgery. Once they’re out, the swelling and discoloration around your eyes will gradually subside and you’ll start to look and feel much better.
You should be able to read or watch television after two or three days. However, you won’t be able to wear contact lenses for about two weeks and even then, they may feel uncomfortable for a while.
Most people feel ready to go out in public and back to work in a week to 10 days. By then, depending on your rate of healing and your doctor’s instructions, you’ll probably be able to wear makeup to hide the bruising that remains. Your surgeon will probably tell you to keep your activities to a minimum for three to five days and to avoid more strenuous activities for about three weeks.
The positive results of your eyelid surgery–the more alert and youthful look–will last for years. For many people, these results are permanent.
If you have questions, we are happy to help. Call us at 732-460-9555.