The eyes are key elements in facial expression; they convey emotion, vitality and age. They are also the first feature of the face to show signs of aging. The eyelids begin to sag, become loose and baggy making you look tired, old, sad or even grumpy.
Blepharoplasty or eyelid rejuvenating surgery is the removal of excess skin, muscle or fat from the upper and lower eyelids while retaining the natural shape of the eye, thus creating a refreshed and more youthful appearance.
YOUR CONSULTATION WITH DR DONA
Your first visit to Dr Eddy Dona will allow you to discuss any questions you have regarding Blepharoplasty. Dr Dona will assess and advise you on your options taking into consideration your desires and expectations and reasons for wanting the procedure.
PREPARATION FOR SURGERY
Do not take any blood thinning medications such as; aspirin or any medicine containing aspirin, large amounts of vitamins or anti inflammatory drugs.
You should cease smoking for at least 2 weeks prior to surgery, as it increases surgical and anesthetic risks and can lead to serious complications.
Your complete medical history should be made aware to Dr Eddy Dona, fully disclosing all health problems. All relevant details should be disclosed when you fill out your “Patient Registration Form” and during your initial consultation.
THE DIFFERENT PROCEDURES?
There are 3 possible incision locations depending on which areas need attention Dr Dona will advise which will apply to you. The upper eyelid and lower eyelid can be treated in the same operation.
Upper eyelid reduction – the incision is made in the natural crease line, which is usually 8mm to 12 mm above the eyelash line. Excess skin and fat pads are removed. The scar sits in a natural crease and is practically invisible when your eyes are open.
Lower eyelid reduction, outer – the incision is made just under the eyelash line in the lower eyelid. Skin and muscle is elevated and then excess skin is removed along with removing or tightening up the lower eyelid fatty layer.
Lower eyelid reduction, inner – the incision is made inside the lower eyelid, no external scar is produced. This technique is used when no skin or muscle adjustment is needed, only fat removal.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING YOUR RECOVERY?
You can usually drink fluids and eat a light meal two to three hours after eyelid reduction surgery.
The discomfort is usually mild and limited to the incisions. Some bruising and swelling is to be expected in the area and usually subsides in three to four weeks. Sleeping with your head elevated will reduce swelling.
Any stitches or dressings that are used will typically be removed after 1 week during your first follow-up appointment.
Pain relief will be prescribed if required. You are not permitted to drive while you are taking prescription pain relief or sedatives.
You can resume normal everyday activities a few days after surgery but do not smoke, undertake strenuous activity or consume a lot of alcohol during healing.
It is advised to take between two and three weeks off work. Healing is usually complete within a few months.
You may need to clean your eyes as they sometimes get crusty and itchy. Lubricating eye drops may be used. Your eyes may also be sensitive to light for a few days. You may wear sunglasses, use sunblock and wear a hat to protect your face when outside.
Make up may be worn after about 10 days.
There may be some temporary changes in vision that usually resolve quickly. Contact lenses cannot be worn for at least two weeks.
WHEN CAN YOU EXPECT THE FINAL RESULTS?
It is important to keep in mind that improvement in appearance rather than perfection is the goal of surgery.
However, a refreshed, less tired more vibrant look is the aim of eyelid rejuvenating surgery.
WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE COMPLICATIONS?
Complications are uncommon with blepharoplasty but as with any surgery, there are always involved risks and potential complications. These include:
- Loss of eyelashes
- Pain and discomfort
- Skin pigmentation, usually present before surgery may become more prominent following surgery
- Injury to cornea
- Asymmetry of the eyelids
- Ectropion (pulling down of the lower eyelid)
- Itchiness, watering or dryness of the eyes
- Changes in vision
- Blindness – rarely, the risk is considered to be about one eye in every 40,000 procedures. Smoking, pre-existing eye disease, straining, lifting and coughing add to this risk.
WILL PRIVATE HEALTH INSURANCE COVER COSTS?
Insurance plans and medicare will cover eye lift surgery if your vision is obstructed and it is functionally disturbing. There are specific criteria before the procedure will be approved by medicare. Speak to Dr Dona about whether you may qualify to have some of your surgical costs covered by your health fund.
SOME ADDITIONAL FACTS
Dark circles under and around the eyes, crows feet or droopy eye brows will not be removed through eye lift surgery.
Other operations that may be performed in conjunction with eye lift surgery include brow lift, rhinoplasty, facelift and neck lift.