Blepharoplasty - WMBB News 13 - The Panhandle's News Leader


Plastic Surgery of the Eyelids

Blepharoplasty is a common procedure where excess skin and fatty tissue are removed from around the eyes. Drooping eyebrows can also be corrected at the same time.

Blepharoplasty can be done to improve both visual function and cosmetic appearance. Excessive upper eyelid tissue can block the upper field of vision. Correction of overhanging skin folds will improve the function of the upper eyelid and peripheral vision. Even if vision is not affected, blepharoplasty may be performed to improve a sagging, tired appearance.

Due to the effects of the sun, diet, pollutants, gravity, heredity and poor skin care, the skin around the eyes begins to loosen and relax. Over time, sagging occurs from the force of gravity pulling on the eyelid tissue. Changes also occur in the fatty tissue located just beneath the skin. These normally firm fat pads begin to protrude, causing bulges or "bags" to form under the eyes.

In addition to changes in appearance and a limited field of vision, excess eyelid tissue can also cause physical discomfort. The weight of the excess eyelid tissue may cause brow ache and fatigue. In some cases, excess skin may causes the eyelashes to turn in and irritate the eye.

Blepharoplasty is performed by removing excess skin and fatty tissue from around the eyes. Upper and lower incision lines are marked along the natural skin folds of the eyelids. The fine incisions made are hidden in the natural skin folds or lash lines of the eyelids and are almost invisible during healing. In some cases, with surgery of the lower eyelids, an incision is made on the underside of the eyelid so it is completely invisible during healing.

Blepharoplasty is usually performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia, depending on the amount of reconstruction needed, the patient's preference, and health.

Quiet rest with the head elevated is usually recommended after surgery to relieve any soreness and discomfort. Cold compresses may be applied to reduce swelling and bruising which may last several days. You will need to clean the area around the dye during healing and in some cases eye drops may be recommended.

Where fine sutures are used they either dissolve on their own or are removed a one week after surgery. Temporary blurred vision and excessive tearing may also be experienced after the procedure.

The results of plastic eyelid surgery can be quite dramatic. However the final outcome depends on many factors including the extent of reconstructive work required, the patient's skin structure and age, and the healing process.

Expected benefits and possible complications should be discussed with the doctor prior to having surgery. Incision lines, which are hidden in the natural skin folds (upper lids), may initially appear as small red marks, and will fade over time. Ultimately the fine hairline scars become virtually unnoticeable in most people. In most cases, blepharoplasty can successfully improve visual function and physical appearance.