A blepharoplasty improves the appearance and youthfulness of the eyelids. As we age, the eyelid skin can become lax and droopy, sometimes to the point of affecting a person’s vision. The fat around the eye can also become displaced causing fullness or puffiness above or below the eye, or “bags”. Sometimes the muscles that lift the eyelids can also be involved. A detailed physical exam with one of our top blepharoplasty surgeons at Lift Plastic Surgery in Houston can pinpoint which of these problems are involved. Surgery can be performed on the upper eyelids, the lower eyelids, or both. Blepharoplasty should not be done within 6 months of having LASIK surgery, and is generally not recommended in people who have problems with dry eyes.
What happens during surgery? During surgery, an incision is made in the natural crease of the eyelid so that scars will be camouflaged. If there is excess tissue, a strip of skin and muscle will be removed. If there is excess fat, this will be removed and/or recontoured to provide the most youthful appearance. Sometimes a suture is placed to tighten the lower eyelid during healing (canthopexy), which can make the eyelid appear distorted or upturned initially, but relaxes with time to give a natural appearance. The incisions are then closed with sutures.
What will my blepharoplasty recovery be like?
After surgery, you should expect swelling and bruising around the eyes. This will be significantly improved after a week, but may take several weeks to completely resolve. You will also need to minimize exercise or vigorous activity for 4-6 weeks after surgery to allow for proper healing and to prevent bleeding and worsening of swelling. You should plan for activities accordingly. Cold compresses to the eyes will also help mediate this. You will not be able to wear makeup on the eyes until the incisions are healed. You may have sutures that need to be removed in the office after 5-7 days.
What are the risks? Blepharoplasty can cause problems with dry eyes or tearing, but this will usually improve with time. Additionally, something called “ectropion” can occur where scarring pulls the lower lid down and out. This can be permanent but, in most cases, resolves over several months with a combination of massage and taping