Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
Cosmetic eyelid surgery or Blepharoplasty is the removal of eyelid bags from the upper or lower eyelids. In most cases these bags are made up of skin and some fat.
Am I suitable for a cosmetic eyelid improvement surgery (Blepharoplasty)?
As you age the skin on the eyelids starts to slacken and fat can protrude through. If you have eyelid bags of the upper or lower eyelids, you would probably benefit from a blepharoplasty, although occasionally the procedure may need to be combined with a forehead lift, if droopy eyebrows are also the cause.
How is Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery, or a Blepharoplasty, performed?
In most cases both the upper and lower eyelids will need correction to maintain balance of your new look. In both cases this means removing the skin and underlying fat to give a flatter, tighter, younger appearance, although it is important not to remove too much fat as this can give a sunken appearance.
In both cases scars are produced on the eyelids, but because of the unique properties of the eyelids these settle down extremely well and are almost imperceptible.
Will a blepharoplasty improve temple lines and dark circles?
Temple lines and dark circles will not be improved by a blepharoplasty, but other procedures may be suitable to improve these areas.
I have thyroid disease, will this improve my eye problems?
Although the eye problems related to thyroid disease are a condition of the soft tissues surrounding the eyes, they require a different type of operation to improve. This can be discussed further at your initial consultation.
What will my recovery be like?
You will have swelling of the eyelids and some bruising post operatively, however, the week following your cosmetic surgery your stitches will be removed. Most patients can go back to work after a couple of weeks, although exercise should be avoided for 6 weeks.
What are the risks involved with a blepharoplasty?
Complications are uncommon in cosmetic eyelid surgery, although bruising can take a while to fully settle and the scars can be red for a few months. Sometimes the lower eyelids don't quite close for the first few weeks after the operation; this is normal and improves as the scars settle.
Very occasionally the lower eyelashes can point out away from the eye: this is a condition called ectropion and in most cases settles on its own. Other risks and benefits will be explained to you during your consultation.
Your new look
The benefits of a Blepharoplasty will last for years: you will have lost that "tired" look, and friends and colleagues will remark on your new, rejuvenated appearance.
"Blepharoplasty is one of the commonest procedures I perform and one I am particularly fond of as I think the results can be very natural and make the patient look awake and invigorated. I start my Consultations by understanding what it is the patient is trying to achieve and then examine the eyes, the eyebrow position and the cheek position to recommend the best treatment. In a small number of patients a brow lift is needed to give the best results and this can be done through either the scar for the upper lid blepharoplasty or by using keyhole surgery from inside the hairline of the scalp. Many patients would also benefit from a small amount of fat injection around the cheeks to give a more youthful appearence.
In most cases I like to perform surgery to both the upper and lower lids at the same time as i think if you improve one area it tends to highlight the other. If it is just upper lids you are looking for I will do these under local anaesthetic as a day patient which lowers the cost but if it is lowers or uppers and lowers I think a little sedation or a general anaesthetic is more comfortable, and in that case I tend to keep patients in hospital over night.
The upper lid has both skin, a small amount of thickened muscle and fat removed and I leave a single stitch with pulls out between 7-10 days after the procedure. For the lower lids, 2 or 3 stitches are used at the outer end of the scar and a couple of dissolving stitches just under the eyelashes.
With eyelid surgery significant bruising and swelling occurs in most people, but most of the swelling tends to be away by the end of the first week and most of the bruising by the end of the second. I normally say that patients can get back to a desk job after 2 weeks with any residual bruising covered with make up.
I like to see patients a week after surgery then at six weeks and six months.
The scars tend to be a bit red initially but settle over the first few months. Scars around the eyes are almost always very good and I like patients to massage these after the first 3 weeks."