Blepharoplasty is a surgery used to repair droopy, sagging eyelids. With this cosmetic procedure, a plastic surgeon removes excess fat, muscle, and skin tissue about the eye. As you age, the skin loses elasticity, and the eyelids stretch. The muscle around the eyelids weaken, and excess fat gathers about and below the eyes. The blepharoplasty rejuvenates the eyes, making you appear more alert and younger.
Candidates for Blepharoplasty
You may need a blepharoplasty if you:
Have drooping or sagging skin about the eye.
Are having visual problems related to excessive eyelid tissue.
Wish to make your eyes appear younger and more alert.
Have bags under your eyes.
Before the Procedure
Before your blepharoplasty, you meet with the plastic surgeon for an initial consultation. If you are having surgery to improve vision, your insurance may pay for costs. During the consultation, the doctor will:
Take a medical history – This involves asking questions about past and current health problems, what surgeries you had, and your expectations.
Take photographs – The doctor will take pictures of your face for your medical file. He may want to see pictures of your younger self for review.
Inquire about medications – Certain agents that thin the blood are to be held for several days before the procedure.
Perform a physical exam – The examination is conducted to test tear production, measure the eyelids, and make sure you are healthy. You may need to have an ophthalmologic exam before your procedure to ensure good tear production.
Discuss smoking – You need to stop smoking for 6 weeks before surgery to promote wound healing.
Discuss after care – You need to have someone available to drive you home and to stay with you for a night or two after the procedure.
During the Procedure
The blepharoplasty is done using sedation or general sedation. After you are put to sleep, the surgeon makes tiny incisions along the fold of the eyelids. After removing excess fat, muscle, and skin, the incisions are closed with sutures. An incision may be made below the lower lash line so the doctor can redistribute excess fat, muscle, and sagging skin. This incision is also closed after repairs are made.
After the procedure, you will spend time in the recovery room where a nurse monitors you for around 40 minutes. Expect to have some blurred vision from lubricating ointment placed in the eyes, soreness, bruising, and redness, and mild discomfort. The eyelids will be puffy and swollen for a few days. We advise putting ice packs on the eyes to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
You must avoid strenuous activities for 1-2 weeks, and if you use contact lenses, you must wait at least 2 weeks before putting them in. To avoid light sensitivity, you can wear sunglasses, and you should sleep with the head of your bed elevated. You will return to the plastic surgeon’s office in 3-7 days for suture removal.
In a randomized controlled study, patients were evaluated regarding surgical outcomes and patient satisfaction following a blepharoplasty. According to researchers, the success rate of the procedure was 96%, with the majority of patients being extremely satisfied with their surgery.
Viana GA, Osaki MH, & Nishi M (2011). Clinical outcomes, patients’ satisfaction and aesthetic results after lower eyelid blepharoplasty. Rev Col Bras Cir, 38(5), 317-322.