Several factors such as aging, sun damage, smoking, stretching and obesity can cause the eyelids to droop and sag as the supporting tissues deteriorate. This area is often one of the first to deteriorate, as the skin of the eyelid is thinner than the rest of the face. Eyelids that droop or bulge can cause people to appear much older or fatigued than they actually are.
WHAT IS BLEPHAROPLASTY?
An eyelid lift or blepharoplasty removes the excess skin, tightens the muscle and sculptures the underlying fat to a more youthful appearance. Many patients lose elasticity of the upper eyelid skin, causing droopy eyelids and obstruction of peripheral vision. This may require surgery of the eyelids to improve visual function.
A transconjunctival blepharoplasty hides the scar inside the eyelid and removes the fat from the baggy lower eyelid. Often overlying skin is tightened with a laser.
Blepharoplasty is now the most popular facial plastic surgery procedure after rhinoplasty. The popularity of this procedure reflects the importance of the eyes in perfecting overall appearance. In fact, two-thirds of adults consider the eyes to be the defining feature of the face. If you are unhappy with the appearance of your eyes, you may want to consider blepharoplasty to improve your look and boost your confidence through a safe procedure with minimal downtime.
The best candidates for blepharoplasty are individuals who are in good overall health and who do not smoke or have any serious eye conditions. If you have loose, sagging skin or puffy bags around your eyes, this procedure can help reduce these unwanted effects and leave the eyes looking young and fresh.
It is important for patients to have realistic expectations before undergoing surgery in order to be satisfied with their results. While this procedure can enhance your appearance and may improve self-confidence as a result, it cannot alter your entire appearance or change the structure of your face.
THE BLEPHAROPLASTY PROCEDURE
The blepharoplasty procedure is performed under local anesthesia with sedation. General anesthesia may be used for anxious or nervous patients. Patients may choose to have this procedure on their upper or lower eyelids or both. Depending on these choices, the procedure can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
If the upper eyelid is being treated, an incision is made along the natural crease of the eyelid. Once the incision is made, your doctor may reposition fat deposits, tighten muscles and tissue or remove excess skin in order to leave the eye looking younger and refreshed. For the lower eyelid, an incision is made just below the lash line in order for excess skin to be removed.
After the procedure is performed, the incisions are closed with sutures and usually wrapped in gauze to allow the area to heal.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE FOR EYELID SURGERY?
There really isn’t much preparation needed for blepharoplasty. You’ll need to stop taking any blood-thinning medications, along with anti-inflammatory medications for a week prior to your surgery. Some supplements will also need to be stopped; you’ll need to inform Dr. Turk of any you are taking. If you smoke, you’ll need to stop for at least two weeks prior and two weeks afterward, as smoking dramatically impacts wound healing.
Even though recovery from eyelid surgery is not difficult, it’s a good idea to prepare your bed/recovery area. Have lots of entertainment ready. Comfy blankets and pillows are a must. Also, you won’t want to do much around the house for a couple of days, so enlist some help from a spouse or partner, or a neighbor or relative.
Thank you to Dr. Turk and his entire staff
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RECOVERY AFTER EYELID SURGERY
After the blepharoplasty procedure, your doctor may recommend applying a lubricating ointment and cold compresses to aid the healing process and minimize side effects such as swelling, bruising, irritation or dry eyes. The eyes may be wrapped in gauze after the procedure as well.
Patients can usually return to work within two days but should avoid exercise and strenuous activities for at least two weeks. Swelling and other side effects usually subside within two weeks after surgery. Your doctor will give you specific instructions on how to care for your eyes are surgery.
Results of a blepharoplasty procedure are visible as swelling and bruising subside and will continue to improve for up to a year after surgery. This procedure is designed to produce long-lasting results. While surgery cannot prevent your eyes from aging, most patients are satisfied with their results and do not seek repeat procedures.
The scars from the blepharoplasty procedure are usually well concealed and will fade with time until they are virtually unnoticeable. The incision is hidden in the crease of the eyelid in an upper blepharoplasty, and just below the lashes in a lower blepharoplasty.
IS EYELID SURGERY PERMANENT?
The changes and rejuvenation made by Dr. Turk with eyelid surgery are permanent. The excess skin he removes is gone for good. The fat that is repositioned won’t move back to its former location. If he tightens loose muscles that have allowed your eyelids to droop, those changes are forever.
These are once in a lifetime procedures, and our patients at Naples Cosmetic Surgery are universally thrilled with the outcome. A nice thing about eyelid surgery is that it delivers dramatic results, but it does so in a subtle way. People who don’t know you’ve had this surgery will notice that your face somehow looks younger, your eyes more alert, and you’ll have the overall impression of being refreshed. They just won’t have any idea of how this happened. How great is that!
You may have some new sagging as you continue to age, but your eyelids will do so from a much younger starting position. You’ll enjoy your new eyes for the rest of your life.
As with any surgical procedure, there are certain risks associated with this procedure. Although rare, these risks include bleeding, infection, dry eyes, skin discoloration and an inability to fully close the eyes. Many of these risks can be minimized by choosing an experienced surgeon and following proper care instructions after surgery. You can discuss these risks, along with any other concerns you may have, with your doctor to reduce anxiety and worries about your surgery.
Dr. Turk's Blepharoplasty Before & After Images
HOW LONG BEFORE I CAN WEAR CONTACT LENSES AFTER EYELID SURGERY?
Dr. Turk recommends patients wait one week before wearing their contact lenses after this surgery.
HOW LONG BEFORE I CAN DRIVE AFTER EYELID SURGERY?
If you’re taking your prescription pain medication, obviously you cannot drive. Most of our patients don’t use their pain medication, however, opting instead for simple over-the-counter pain medication. Otherwise, as long as you’re able to make the movements necessary for proper driving and safety, you’ll be able to drive. Many patients wait until their pain basically resolves, which is just a couple days, for the most part, to start driving again. If you’re concerned about swelling and going out in public, give it a week.
IS BLEPHAROPLASTY PAINFUL?
Our patients are surprised at how easy their recovery is after this surgery with Dr. Turk. If you make diligent use of the cold compress we provide, this really decreases not only the amount of swelling and bruising you experience, but it also limits recovery pain. This is surgery, but recovery is truly one of the easier recoveries involved with any cosmetic surgery. In just a few days, you’ll feel great. In a week, most of your recovery, other than some on again off again light residual swelling for another week or so, will be complete.