Cosmetic blepharoplasty (pronounced 'BLEF-uh-roe-plas-tee' and also known as 'eyelid reduction') is a very common cosmetic procedure that remove excess fat, skin or muscle from the eyelids, reducing the appearance of wrinkles or puffiness.
What is Cosmetic Blepharoplasty Used For?
This procedure will improve the appearance of droopy or hooded eyelids (upper or lower) and remove eye bags. Patients are advised to check with their doctor first, to rule out any medical conditions affecting the eyelids. Most eyelid reductions are sought to provide a more youthful appearance and therefore increased confidence. In some cases the excess skin gets in the way of peripheral vision and needs removing. Some cosmetic blepharoplasties in Asian patients are carried out to create a more visible eyelid.
What Does a
Cosmetic Blepharoplasty Involve?
A pre-surgical consultation will ascertain patients' medical history and suitability for the procedure as well as discuss the potential complications. The outpatient surgery is usually carried out under a local anaesthetic by a highly trained ophthalmic surgeon (a general anaesthetic is used in some cases); an incision is made in the eyelid and excess tissue removed. In upper eyelid surgery, the incision is made in the eyelid crease to ensure this is not visible after the procedure is complete. Suture strips are applied to support the eyelids after the surgery is complete. You may even be asked for consent for photographs to be taken before and after for prpmotional purposes.
Cosmetic Blepharoplasty F.A.Q's
How Long Does a Cosmetic Blepharoplasty Procedure Take?
The procedure can last from 1-2 hours; the upper eyelid is easier to operate on than the lower eyelid. Most patients are discharged the same day.
Will the Results Last?
The results are permanent in some patients; in others it may only be effective for 5-10 years. The appearance of the eyelids can be affected by ageing and the environment.
Are There any Side Effects?
Most patients experience some temporary side effects such as mild pain, puffiness, sensitivity, watery eyes, difficulty closing eyes (resulting in dryness), bruising and pink scars that eventually fade.
How Long Does it Take to Recover from a Cosmetic Blepharoplasty?
Patients are advised not to return to work until at least a week afterwards and most take two weeks off. Driving is not permitted immediately after surgery. The suture strips are usually removed a week afterwards (or dissolve of their own accord), but signs of surgery may still be apparent (swelling, bruising and redness). Scarring heals at different rates - they tend to have faded 12-18 months after surgery.
Is There any Aftercare Required for Cosmetic Blepharoplasty?
Patients are advised to keep their head elevated on pillows in bed and apply a cold pack to reduce the swelling, use the cleaning eyedrops provided and as instructed, wear sunglasses for protection against the sun and wind and to take pain relief if necessary, such as paracetamol (not aspirin or Naproxen, that can increase the risk of bleeding). It is important to avoid strenuous activities, swimming, hot baths, smoking and wearing contact lens. It also helps to resist rubbing the eyes. Makeup should be avoided for at least 10 days.
What are the Risks of a Cosmetic Blepharoplasty?
As with any surgical procedure, a small proportion of patients may experience complications. Cosmetic blepharoplasty may result in temporary double vision, blurred vision, uneven-looking eyes, infection, skin discoloration, excessive bleeding and haematoma (where blood collects beneath the skin). On rare occasions patients may end up with noticeable scarring, eye muscle injury, eyelid retraction and in very rare cases, blindness.
How to Prepare for a Cosmetic Blepharoplasty?
Quitting smoking 6 weeks before the surgery can reduce the risk of complications developing. Maintaining a healthy weight avoiding blood-thinning medication and showering 24 hours beforehand can also help. For patients who wear contact lenses, make sure you have a pair of glasses to wear after the surgery. Patients are also advised to bring someone with them who can drive them home