The ageing process causes the eyelids to sag and droop, which in combination with bags and puffiness can make a person appear more tired and older than they really are.
Both upper and lower eyelid surgery can have a dramatic effect on rejuvenating your eyes. Surgery is often required for the upper eyelid, however, a combination of surgical and non-surgical methods can be used to refresh the lower eyelids.
Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) Technique
Excess skin in the upper eyelid may come to rest on the upper eyelashes giving a heavy or tired look, it also makes it difficult to wear eye make-up. Prominent fat pads in the upper eyelid can add to the aged look. Eyebrows often descend as well, and a combination of brow lift and blepharoplasty may be required.
As we age, gravity acts on the lower lids to make them loose and wrinkly, and eventually folds develop in this area. The muscles supporting the lower eyelid become weak and the underlying fat may bulge forward which produces bags and can give the appearance of looking tired.
Upper blepharoplasty surgery in many cases can be performed under local anaesthetic in our dedicated procedure rooms, while a general anaesthetic option is also available for the patients that wish to undergo the procedure in this manner. While the operation is reasonably straightforward, the challenge arises in the pre-operative evaluation and planning.
Your eyebrow position and shape have a large influence on your upper eyelid and in some patients it is the brow which is the primary problem.In this situation, a browlift may be the more appropriate procedure. Keeping these two areas in harmony leads to a fresh and rejuvenated appearance.
A strip of excess skin and some muscle is removed from the upper eyelids. Occasionally, a small amount of excess fat is also removed just from the inside edge of the upper eyelid. The incision is sutured and the stitches need to come out approximately five days after the surgery.
In much the same way as the upper eyelids are influenced by brow position, the lower eyelid appearance is influenced by the cheek. This makes lower blepharoplasty a technically more demanding procedure.
An incision is made either directly below the eyelashes or within the inner aspect of the eyelid itself. Depending on what is required for you, the fatty bulges can be redistributed, removed or in the majority of cases a combination of both, to achieve a more youthful appearance to the lower eyelid. The structures supporting the lower eyelid are also tightened, to deliver a more youthful lower eyelid.
Upper and lower blepharoplasty can be combined with other cosmetic facial procedures, such as facelift, brow lift or non-surgical interventions to rejuvenate the entire face.
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Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) Recovery
Local anaesthetic is used during your surgery so your recovery should be relatively painless and you should only need simple analgesia to control any discomfort after the surgery. You will have some blurred vision caused by the use of a lubricant in your eyes which is inserted at the end of your blepharoplasty surgery, and you will continue to use this lubricant and/or eye drops for up to a few weeks after the surgery.
Post-operatively, swelling, discolouration and bruising is to be expected and this generally lasts up to two weeks. Ice packs may also be used to limit the swelling and bruising, and make-up can be used after a week to camouflage these signs. Sun protection is paramount and we suggest wearing sunglasses when outside following your surgery, which also of course also helps cover your bruising.
Temporary swelling after eyelid surgery can affect your vision and your eyes will fatigue more quickly in the early days after your surgery. You should avoid extended television viewing, reading, or straining your eyes for a few days after surgery. Contact lenses may be worn within two weeks once bruising and swelling settle. You may drive and return to work once your vision has returned to normal and you are not taking any strong analgesia.
plastic surgery PROCEDURES
Meet the Experts
Dr Rohit Kumar is an Australian trained and fully certified cosmetic plastic and reconstructive surgeon.
Dr Kumar completed his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree in 1995 at the University of Queensland. He subsequently went on to successfully complete a Masters Degree in the field of Burns Surgery in 2004 – MMedSci (Burns)
His advanced surgical training commenced in the specialty of General Surgery in which he trained for four years. This gave him a solid foundation of technical knowledge and surgical perspective upon which he then built his considerable skills, once he commenced his advanced training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. The Australasian training scheme in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is one of the most thorough and rigorous in the world and upon successful completion of this training, over a period of ten years, Dr Kumar was awarded his Fellowship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery – FRACS (Plas).
He thus brings over 15 years of surgical experience to his practice having been involved in over ten thousand procedures in that time.
Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) Risk
If you are considering blepharoplasty surgery then it is important that you are informed of the potential risks, complications and side effects of this surgery.
While all care is taken to minimise or totally avoid these complications and side effects, complications may and do occur despite the best medical care. It is important that you carefully read and understand the risk factors and they will be discussed in more detail when you have your consultation with your surgeon.
The Risks include…
- Pigmentation changes
- Dry eyes
- Ectropion / entropion
- Inability to close eyes
- Eyelash loss
- Altered vision / blindness