It has often been said that your eyes are the "windows to your soul", because they are the most expressive way we communicate our emotions. Unfortunately, your eyes can be deceiving if the significant effects of aging have altered them. Instead of looking rested, alert and energetic, drooping eyelids or puffy bags under the eyes can make you appear to be tired, run-down, angry or unhappy. If you feel that your eyes make you look older, sad or fatigued, you may want to consider cosmetic eyelid surgery, also called Blepharoplasty.
How is the eyelid procedure performed?
Depending on your features and the recommendation of your physician, you may undergo cosmetic eyelid enhancement on the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both. Through a strategically placed incision, the upper eyelid procedure involves the removal of excess skin and fatty tissue. Because it is placed in the natural contour of the upper eyelid, the incision is camouflaged upon healing. Lower eyelid treatments also involve the removal of excess skin and fat. The incision may be made just under the lower lash line or inside the lower lid. Through a personal consultation, your surgeon will decide the best approach for revitalizing your eyelids.
How will I look and feel afterwards?
Every patient varies in degree of bruising and healing, thus preventing a specific answer. However, we can offer a general outline of expectations:
- If bruising or swelling appears, it usually emerges within the first few days. Resting with the head elevated and applying cold compresses will help alleviate these conditions.
- Within the first week or two, the stitches will dissolve or be removed; cosmetics can then be used to cover any temporary residual discoloration. You may also resume any normal activities considered non-strenuous.
- After a few weeks, you may resume vigorous exercise and wearing contact lenses.
- Over the next few months, you may experience a reduction of swelling and the final results will begin to take shape.
Will I have to be in the hospital?
Cosmetic eyelid procedures can be done in a hospital, in an outpatient surgery center, or in your physicians office-based surgical suite. Blepharoplasty is considered an outpatient procedure; therefore, you will most likely return to the comfort of your home the same day. Local anesthesia with intravenous sedation is most common for this procedure. However, you and your surgeon may decide that general anesthesia may be the best choice for you. Both methods will insure your ultimate comfort and safety during the process.
What kind of risks are involved?
Eyelid surgery is a safe procedure that has been performed for over 75 years. Thousands of men and women experience this surgery every year with no major complications. As with any surgical procedure, there are some risks. Your surgeon can discuss the details with you in a personal consultation.
How long will it last?
Your eyes and, consequently, your entire expression will look younger for years. Discuss with your physician the best ways to maintain your results.
What kind of follow-up care will I need?
You will return to your surgeon's office for a postoperative visit in a week to 10 days. Usually there are more frequent visits in the first 2-4 weeks and then only occasionally thereafter.