Blepharoplasty – Eyelid Surgery
Blepharoplasty is a simple day case procedure that can wipe years off your face!
The eyes are one of the most important areas of the face. When someone is speaking with you they focus alternatively on your eyes and mouth. Sadly, the skin around the eyes is delicate and fragile and is an area that rapidly shows signs of aging.
Upper Eyelid Surgery
One of our most commonly performed procedures is the removal of redundant skin folds from the upper eyelid and/or removal of pockets of fat beneath the eyes. As we age and sun damage our skin we develop increasing laxity of the very thin eyelid skin. This causes the skin of the eyelid to lengthen. When the eye is open the redundant skin has to go somewhere so it tends to fold like a concertina door forming a hooded look in the upper eyelid.
This hooded look can be made worse (or even totally caused by) the eyebrows moving downwards which also happens as we age. This tends to aggravate the hooded appearance. In extreme cases, the weight of the skin on the upper lid can cause obstruction of vision.
This excess upper eyelid skin can only be treated by removing it. At Australian Skin clinics, we use a radiofrequency instrument to remove the skin. Like a laser, this will seal the blood vessels and reduce the risk of bleeding. The wound is sutured and the suture line is generally not visible when the eye is open as it disappears into the eyelid fold.
Lower Eyelid Surgery
The “bags” that many clients complain about under the eyes is generally not caused by fluid but rather by fat pads. There are two in the upper eyelid and three in the lower. If “fat bags” is your problem then they need to be addressed, either by complete removal or by shrinking them back and placing them deeper below the skin.
Redundant skin in the lower eyelid can be removed by cutting but the cut can be visible as a fine scar immediately below the lower eyelashes. The preferred method of treating the lower eyelid is to remove the fat pads from an incision on the inside of the eyelid (so there is no external scar) and then tighten the skin by laser resurfacing the lower eyelid skin. Laser resurfacing can only tighten to a limited degree so if there is a large amount of loose skin in the lower eyelid then it needs to be removed by surgery.
After The Procedure
After the procedure the eyelids will be some swelling and bruising. The eyes are not painful so the only reason you may wish to take time off work is so that people don’t see what you have had done. Most people can return to work after one week but may need to wear makeup. Sutures are usually removed between the third and fifth day.
Eyelid surgery is generally uncomplicated but as with any surgical procedure there are some possible complications. Wound infection occurs in about 2% of all surgical cases. This usually responds to antibiotics. If you are prone to cold sores, these can be activated and require specific cold sore medications.
Bleeding from the area where the fat was removed is an exceptionally uncommon but serious complication. The source of the bleeding is found and cautery used to stop it. If the bleeding is extremely severe the eyesight can be permanently affected. Both bleeding and bleeding severe enough to affect eyesight are extremely uncommon.
Occasionally there can be some thickening of the wound. This can be easily dealt with by laser or by removing the thickened tissue. Immediately after the operation there can be some difficulty fully closing the eyes but this usually settles in the first week. Drooping of the lower eyelid is also possible but usually settles without treatment.
Dr Simon Rosenbaum
For more information or to arrange a consultation, call 07 5509 0077 or complete our contact form below.