Blepharoplasty is a procedure that addresses deformities, disfigurations and age-related changes to the upper and lower eyelids. These changes can include excess skin or droopiness, loss of volume around the eyes, asymmetry, and vision impairment due to the redundant skin.
There are many reasons for someone to choose blepharoplasty or an eye lift, and it has several benefits. It is a procedure that is performed to:
- Remove excess skin from the eyelids
- Rejuvenate and refresh the tired, or aged eyelids
- Provide eyelid balance and symmetry
Before the Procedure
Blepharoplasty is a highly individualised procedure designed to address your individual goals and concerns. Before considering this procedure, you should be in good health, a non-smoker, and have reasonable expectations about what this surgery can and cannot achieve. Specifically, this operation cannot:
- Remove dark circles around the eyes
- Lift sagging eyebrows
- Eliminate crow’s feet
Blepharoplasty can be combined with other cosmetic surgery procedures such as a facelift, if you want to rejuvenate the entire face. It is performed under sedation, or general anaesthesia, depending on what the patient prefers. If performed in combination with other procedures, a general anaesthesia is preferred. Blepharoplasty is a day procedure and can be scheduled at any day facility.
During the procedure with Dr Perron in our Brisbane clinic, incisions will be made along the upper or lower eyelid in order to remove excess skin and tissue. Placing the incisions in the natural folds of the eyelid will reduce the appearance of scarring. The average procedure will take 45 minutes to two hours to complete, depending on what needs to be done. A dressing will be placed over the eyelids after the procedure to reduce swelling and bruising and prevent infection.
The recovery from this procedure usually takes a few days. It is common for there to be some swelling and minor bruising around the eyes after surgery. This can last for a few weeks and usually subsides without any residual concerns. You may also experience some mild eye irritation, which is also common. You will be provided with lubricating eye drops after the procedure to help eliminate this symptom.
Each patient has different anatomy and specific expectations. Not everyone is a good candidate for a blepharoplasty. Discuss your particular circumstances with Dr Perron before deciding what is best for you.
There are risks associated with any type of cosmetic procedure. The general risks associated with cosmetic surgery include the following:
- Bleeding and bruising
Specific risks associated with blepharoplasty include the following:
- Too much skin excision, resulting in cornea injury
- Itchiness, watering or dryness of the eyes
- Lower eyelid drooping (ectropion)
- Temporary visual changes, which can be long lasting
In extremely rare cases, blindness can occur. This risk is increased with coughing, strenuous exercise, lifting, and smoking. Dr Perron will discuss all of the potential risks and complications with you during your consultation so that you know what to expect. If at any point during your recovery you experience excessive swelling or pain, it’s important to schedule an appointment at the clinic as soon as possible.
No, blepharoplasty is not designed to remove the wrinkles at the outer corners of your eyes (crow’s feet) or to fix sagging brows. There are other procedures available that can be used to remove wrinkles near the eyes, including laser resurfacing and intense pulsed light treatments.
As with any surgical procedure, some scarring is to be expected. However, scarring with blepharoplasty is minimal and practically non-existent after several months of healing. This is mostly because the incisions are so small and are placed within the natural creases of the eyelids.
The hair-thin sutures are normally removed within three to five days of the operation. The removal process may sting a little bit but it is over very quickly.
The cost associated with this surgery starts at about $2,500, but since every patient has very different requirements, a final cost can only be determined during your consultation. Hospital and anaesthetist fees are just some of the factors that determine final costs. If this procedure is deemed medically necessary, Medicare and private health insurance will cover some, if not most of the costs. You can discuss this with Dr Perron once your needs have been determined.
The healthier you are prior to your surgery, the better. It’s also best to stop smoking several days before the procedure as this can affect the healing process. You may also need to stop the use of eyedrops and refrain from wearing contact lenses, but Dr Perron will discuss these specific requirements with you during your consultation.
While this is not a major procedure, patients will need to take a few days off work – a week is the minimum but 10 days is ideal. Patients who have addressed their upper lids should be back at work within 10 days but those who have worked on their lower lids will need around two weeks to recover. To alleviate discomfort and swelling, it’s best to sleep with your head in an elevated position and to get as much rest as possible. Staying hydrated will also aid your recovery. As you can imagine, pairing the eyelid surgery with additional procedures can affect the recovery time.
If excess skin is impairing your vision, it’s definitely worth considering eyelid surgery. However, if it’s purely cosmetic, there’s no need to rush into the procedure, especially if you’re concerned about taking time off work after surgery. The majority of blepharoplasty patients are over the age of 45 but there are often patients in their thirties who require the procedure much earlier in life. Dr Perron will be able to tell you whether you can hold off on the procedure or if it’s best to go ahead sooner.
There are a number of reasons why the eyelids can start to droop, including volume loss caused by the natural ageing process. If the muscles of the eyelid are damaged, it can also create a sagging effect. Muscle damage can be caused by both injury and disease. More serious causes of droopiness can be an eye tumour.
Many patients actually choose to combine blepharoplasty with a brow lift. If you have forehead wrinkles and a notably sagging brow, only a brow lift might be necessary. However, if your eyelids are also puffy or bulging, you may want to combine the procedure with blepharoplasty for a more rested appearance. If a sagging eyelid is interfering with your vision, it’s likely that only blepharoplasty will be necessary.
Revision blepharoplasty is very unlikely and, in most instances, if patients are not happy with their results, they probably need to schedule a brow lift. Only so much skin can be removed during eyelid surgery, so a second procedure is not recommended.