The supporting muscles of eyelids usually tend to stretch and weaken as part of the aging process. Excess fats gather above and below the eyelids leadings to sagging of the eyebrows. Bags consequently form under the eyes as the upper lids begin drooping. This created an aged, fatigued appearance which appears quite off-putting. There are some people who are born with droopy eyelids, and some develop some diseases that cause eyelid drooping. Functionally, these changes usually block an individual’s peripheral vision hence creating issues in vital day-to-day activities such as driving and reading.
What is Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty, popularly known as an eyelid lift surgery, is a procedure done to repair drooping eyelids and sagging. In most cases, this procedure becomes necessary once eyelid drooping reduces one’s vision. A vision test is usually performed by eye doctors to determine whether the surgery is really necessary. It can be performed on the lower lids, upper lids or both.
Some people will have an eyelid lift just to improve their appearance, although it does not remove any wrinkles around the eyes or get rid of the dark circles under the eyes. This procedure is usually considered a medical necessity and can be covered by insurance. It can only be insured if the eyelids are interfering with your field of vision. Otherwise, the surgery is considered a cosmetic procedure and thus can’t be covered by insurance.
Description of Blepharoplasty Procedure
The process usually takes 1-3 hours depending on the extent and type of surgery required. The procedure is usually performed while one is awake. Here’s how it is done:
You are first given medicine to enable you to relax. The surgeon then injects numbing medicine around the eye to make sure that you do not feel any pain during the surgery. Tiny cuts or incisions are made into the folds or natural creases of the eyelids. Any extra fat tissue and loose skin are removed before tightening the eyelid muscles. The incisions are eventually closed with stitches at the end of the procedure.
Risks Associated with the Blepharoplasty Procedure
Besides bleeding and infection, other risks associated with having an eyelid lift include:
· Having difficulties in closing the eyes
· It might cause damage to the eye or even loss of vision. This is however, quite a rare occurrence.
· Temporary swelling of the eyelids
· It may take quite some time to heal completely
· Double or blurred vision
· You might get tiny whiteheads once the stitches are removed
· Uneven healing or scarring
There are several medical conditions that make eyelid lift more risky. These include high blood pressure, dry eye, diabetes, thyroid problems and heart disease.
After the Procedure
You are allowed to go home even during the day of surgery. You are however recommended to arrange ahead to have an adult with you who will drive you home. The doctor covers your eyes and eyelids with certain ointment and a bandage. At this time, your eyelids may feel a bit tight and sore, especially if the numbing medicine has not worn off completely. This discomfort can however, be controlled easily with pain medicine.
You are advised to keep your head raised for several days. It is also recommended to place cold packs on the area in order to reduce the swelling and bruising. You can wrap the cold pack in your towel before applying. This will help prevent causing cold injury of the skin and eyes. In some cases, your doctor might recommend eye drops to help reduce itching or burning.
If the process was done correctly and you’ve followed all instructions to the letter, you should be able to see well after 2-3 days. You should not wear any contact lenses for two weeks since the time of the surgery. It is highly advised that you avoid any strenuous activities which can raise your blood pressure for about three weeks. This can include bending, lifting weights and other rigorous sports.
The stitches will be removed by your doctor 2-7 days after the surgery. This will cause bruising that may last about 2-4 weeks. During this period, you may notice increased tears, blurred or double vision and high sensitivity towards light.
Scars might remain slightly pink for about 6 months after the surgery. They will however, fade eventually to some kind of thin white line. These results may be permanent for some people.
Making an Informed Decision
Most people approach eyelift surgery for the very simple reason that any work around their eyes is a frightening proposition. A proper pre-surgical consultation is quite necessary with blepharoplasty. You can prepare detailed questions in advance, and ensure to work with a doctor who has a solid educational, yet experiential background. He or she should be able to answer to all your concerns patiently, effectively and in detail. Anyone contemplating this surgery should be psychologically stable, physically stable and realistic enough in their expectations.