Blepharoplasty (Droopy Lids)
What is Eyelid Surgery?
Eyelid surgery, commonly known to surgeons as “blepharoplasty,” is used to remove fatty deposits and excess, loose skin around the eyelids as a result of aging and environment. Since the skin around the eyelid is much thinner than other parts of the face, it is often one of the first areas to exhibit signs of aging. It can be done alone to improve vision problems or tired-looking eyes; it can also be done in conjunction with procedures such as facelift surgery, lip enhancement, or a brow lift to create a more defined, new look.
Seattle eyelid surgery typically takes 1-3 hours depending on the number of lids being corrected, and how many complimentary procedures are being performed at one time.
Types of Blepharoplasty
Cosmetic surgeons have different techniques based on what they feel leaves the patient with the best aesthetic outcome. A functional blepharoplasty or a transconjunctival blepharoplasty can be performed. It is important to note that these procedures do not radically change your face but can enhance your appearance.
A functional blepharoplasty is performed when there is eyelid sagging that is affecting the patient’s field of vision. This type of blepharoplasty eliminates the drooping of skin and when done will greatly improve peripheral vision. If medically necessary, your insurance may cover this surgical process.
Transconjunctival blepharoplasty is another option for eyelid surgery in younger patients with thicker, more elastic skin. In this procedure, which only corrects the lower lid, excess fat is removed. This type of blepharoplasty is for cosmetic purposes and has no effect on a patient’s vision. The results will leave the patient looking younger and refreshed.
Blepharoplasty is performed on an outpatient basis in an outpatient surgery center, or a hospital. Local anesthesia, around your eyelids, and sedation anesthesia are most often used.
During the upper eyelid procedure, an incision is usually made along the natural crease of the eyelid. After the incision is made, Dr. Tarbet will remove excess skin, Reposition or remove fat deposits, and tighten tissue and muscles. For the lower eyelid, the incision is typically made below the lash line to remove the excess skin.
After the procedure, the incisions are most commonly closed with flesh-colored, self-absorbable sutures. Other options are tissue glue or surgical tape. Following the procedure, your eyelids are usually loosely covered with gauze. Scars may remain pink for nearly 6 months after surgery, but eventually, fade to a subtle white line. Smoking always delays healing time.
Though healing takes time, it is only temporary in comparison to the long-lasting youthful results you will gain with eyelid surgery!
Results of Eyelid Surgery
Initially, there may be bruising and swelling around the surgical site, that will resolve on its own. Your eyelids will continue to improve in appearance for up to a year. The scars from a blepharoplasty are well-concealed, and usually, fade with time and become virtually undetectable. While surgery cannot stop the eyes from aging, most patients are satisfied with their results and don’t look to repeat the procedure.
The Recovery Process
In order to aid in the healing process and minimize unwanted side effects, Dr. Tarbet recommends applying cold compresses, lubricating drops, and ointment. Moving forward, patients usually return to work within a few days to a week. Stitches can usually be removed three or four days after the procedure.
For the next two weeks after surgery patients cannot wear contact lenses or eyelid makeup. During this time it is advised that patients wear dark sunglasses to protect their eyes from the sun and wind. Patients should also avoid exercise and strenuous activities following their procedure. Dr. Tarbet will give more specific instructions on how to care for the eyes after your procedure.
Risks and Complications
As with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks associated with a blepharoplasty procedure. While rare, these risks include the following:
- Blurry or Double Vision
- Dry Eyes
- Skin Discoloration
Blepharoplasty Before & After