Loss of elasticity of tissues leads to skin folds in the upper lids, deepening creases with formation of bags in the lower lids resulting in poor aesthetics of the eyes and often interfering with normal vision. In some people there is an inherited tendency for eyelid bags to develop in early adult life. Rarely medical conditions predispose to similar situation. These changes are particularly pronounced in the morning, resulting in a tired looking appearance. Additionally if forehead skin loses its elasticity the eyebrows droop and can make the condition look worse.
AM I A SUITABLE CANDIDATE?
Blepharoplasty surgery is safe when performed in the right setting. There is no ideal age group, but good general health including psychological stability and realistic expectations are prerequisites. The procedure may be carried out under a local anaesthetic, a local anaesthetic with sedation or general anaesthetic
THE BENEFITS OF SURGERY
Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) rejuvenates the eyelids producing a more youthful look. Often it can correct the visual problems and reduces the forehead wrinkling.
LIMITATIONS OF EYE LIFT SURGERY
Blepharoplasty will not eliminate dark circles, fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes. Skin removal has to be moderate, as excess skin loss will lead to inadequate eyelid function and closure. Therefore there will be some skin excess. The surgery does not remove festoons (puffiness of cheeks around the eye) completely, and other procedures may be required. Occasionally a mid face lift or brow lift may be required to optimise the results.
During the consultation all concerns will be addressed in detail. The eyelid skin and fat underneath, structure and function of the eyes will be assessed. General health, anaesthetic risks, risks of poor healing and unfavourable scars, effects of smoking, bleeding tendencies will also be assessed. Both mental and emotional attitudes will also be considered because a realistic attitude is crucial to the success of the surgery.
These include skin type, ethnic background, degree of skin elasticity and volume of tissue particularly fat, individual healing, and basic bone structure. Other conditions such as pre-existing eyelid asymmetry, drooping of eyelids and low brows need special attention.
HOW IS THE PROCEDURE PERFORMED?
The amount of skin to be removed is marked before making incisions. In the upper eyelid the cuts are hidden in the lid crease line and in the lower lid the cuts are usually made just below the lash line. Small strip of muscle and excess fat is removed conservatively and often fat is draped around the eye socket. Meticulous care is taken to seal all bleeding. The incision line is closed with fine stitches, which are normally removed after five days.
WHAT TO EXPECT POST-OPERATIVELY
Swelling and bruising of the eyelids is to be expected. The inside of the eyes may become bruised and look blood shot. Mild blurring of vision is common and is because of the ointment used in the eye. Pain is generally minimal. Dryness of the eyes is common and recovers in two to three weeks. Contact lenses should be avoided until dryness settles. Scars usually take about six weeks to settle, however it may take up to one year for the end result to show.
These include but not limited to: bleeding that may require urgent attention, infection, severe bruising, dry eyes, double vision and difficulty in eye movement. The eyelids may feel itchy and numb for several weeks after surgery. Rarely, the outside corner of the lower eyelid may pull down slightly (ectropion). This tends to settle but may need further surgery. Serious complications such as blindness have been reported but are extremely rare.
Please ask all questions you may have, and ascertain that your questions have been answered satisfactorily before you proceed to surgery.
Understand that this is lifestyle surgery and not an essential operation and should be considered a major intervention.
|Procedure time||1 - 2.5 Hours|
|General/Local anaesthetic||General or local depending on the case|
|No. of nights in hospital||Day case|
|Time off work||2 Weeks|
|Restrict activity||3 Weeks|
|Normal routine||3 weeks|