Am I A Candidate?
Aesthetic eyelid surgery is usually performed for those people with excess skin that obscures either vision or the natural upper eyelid crease. A swollen or tired appearance as well as excess skin and small wrinkles of the lower eyelids are indications for lower eyelid surgery, as are festoons (bags) or droopiness. Other treatments may also need to be considered, such as a forehead lift to treat the position of the eyebrows, laser resurfacing or chemical peels to treat crow’s feet, or bleaches to treat the dark circles of the lower eyelids. Dr. Lee will help you select the approach to produce the optimal result.
How Is Surgery Performed?
During upper eyelid surgery, the incision is placed within the natural fold of the eyelid in order to camouflage the scar. It then extends out into the crow’s feet area. Extra skin, muscle, and fat are removed. For the lower eyelids, the incision is hidden just below the lower lashes. Redundant skin, muscle, and fat are also removed, or redistributed to reduce puffiness or to fill in depressions. Additional adjustments such as muscle tightening may also be performed.
What Are The Risks?
Significant complications are rare. Some of the potential risks that will be discussed at your consultation include hematoma (accumulation of blood that may require removal), infection, and anesthesia reactions. Excessive tearing can initially occur, but dry eyes may also be noted, requiring treatment. A transient diminution of sensation, bowing of the eyelid outward (ectropion), or impaired eyelid function can also occur, requiring further treatment, possibly surgery. These risks can be minimized by following instructions that you will be given before and after surgery.
What Can I Expect?
The recovery time, however, varies among individuals. During the first night after surgery, you should keep your head elevated at all times and apply cold compresses to your eyelids. Pain medication as well as antibiotics are prescribed, avoiding aspirin and other anti-inflammatory medications. Varying amounts of swelling and bruising is expected during the first few days after surgery. Swelling may persist for several weeks. The sutures are removed within a week, and make-up can be applied thereafter. Straining and heavy exercise should be avoided for several weeks, but you can go back to work usually after a week. Your vision may, however, still be slightly blurry. Contact lenses should also be avoided for 1 to 2 weeks. In addition, your eyes may be initially sensitive to light, requiring sunglasses. Eye drops may also be required to help with dryness.
How Long Do The Results Last?
Although your genes and lifestyle play a role, aesthetic eyelid surgery usually produces long-lasting results. The fat that is removed will not return, but skin laxity and fine wrinkling will still progress and may recur. The eyebrows may also drop down with time, reproducing the upper eyelid drooping and fullness. A forehead lift and/or a secondary eyelid procedure may be warranted at that time.
Overall, aesthetic eyelid surgery produces a refreshed and rejuvenated appearance to the main focus of any face, your eyes. Because of the healing process, a period of 6 weeks usually passes before you obtain a stable look or result. The incisions will fade over the course of the rest of the year.
You will return to Dr. Lee’s office for follow-up at prescribed time periods. Your relationship continues with our practice so that all of your ongoing questions and concerns may be addressed during your recovery.