As you age, your body continues to change, and often it shows signs of aging. Sagging skin, puffy eye bags, and drooping eyelids are some of the signs that suggest aging.
However, drooping and sagging eyelids can also occur due to unhealthy lifestyle choices. Irrespective of the reason, it is not good for your overall appearance as it makes you appear tired and older looking.
Eyelid surgery is a surgical procedure that aims to rejuvenate the areas surrounding your eyes by removing fatty skin and tissues. Once the saggy skin has been removed, your eyes will appear more refreshed.
This procedure can help in enhancing facial appearance by reducing baggy and puffy eyelid tissues. Each patient has his or her own issues; therefore, there are different types of eyelid surgery.
Types of Eyelid Surgeries
Eyelid surgeries can be performed for medical reasons or solely for aesthetic purposes.
Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery
This is a surgical procedure that is performed without any medical need. The main purpose of cosmetic eyelid surgery is to improve your facial appearance. It treats drooping eyelids and under-eye bags.
Functional Eyelid Surgery
This procedure is performed when the patient’s eyesight has become impaired due to the loose skin of the eyelid. Functional eyelid surgeries treat peripheral vision and allow patients to wear contact lenses or eyeglasses more comfortably.
Moreover, when there is excessive skin on the upper eyelid, it strains your muscles as they struggle to lift the eyelid and results in irritation and numbness. Functional eyelid surgery helps in elevating this issue as well.
Eyelid surgeries are performed on both upper and lower eyelids.
Eyelid Lift Surgery
Blepharoplasty is a type of eyelift surgery that aims to repair saggy eyelids. The procedure removes excess muscles, skin, and fat from the eyelid area. As you grow older, your eyelid tends to stretch, and the supporting muscles become weak.
Subsequently, excess fat gets accumulated above and below your eyelids, resulting in drooping upper lids, baggy under eyes, and sagging eyebrows.
Along with making you appear older, excessive sagging around the eyes can result in peripheral vision or side vision, particularly on the outer and upper regions of your vision field. A Blepharoplasty procedure can help in eliminating this problem while making your eyes appear more alert and younger.
Eye Bag Surgery
Eyebags are often caused when the muscles supporting your eyelids get stretched and weakened. This happens mostly due to aging, and this drooping can cause fat to get accumulated below them.
Eye bags make you look dull and older. Eye bag surgery can remove the excess skin and fatty tissue in order to tighten up the eyes, making you look younger.
Double Eyelid Surgery
In this type of eyelid surgery, creases are formed in the upper eyelids, resulting in double eyelids. While some people have visible creases called double eyelids, others are born without these creases known as a monolid or single lid. Double eyelid surgery is performed for multiple reasons including –
- The eyelids interfere with the vision
- Patients have one double eyelid and one single eyelid, and they would like them to match
- A double eyelid makes the eyes appear bigger
How Do You Prepare for Eyelid Surgery?
Prior to scheduling a Blepharoplasty procedure, you need to take consultation with an ophthalmologist and a plastic surgeon or general cosmetic surgeon who specializes in eye surgeries. During the appointment, you will be discussing:
- Medical History
The surgeon will ask questions regarding any previous eye surgeries. You should also reveal any past or existing eye conditions such as glaucoma, allergies, dry eyes, diabetes, circulatory problems, thyroid issues, etc.
Moreover, the surgeon would also want to know about the use of medications, vitamins, herbal supplements, tobacco, drugs, and alcohol.
- Keep Your Expectations Practical
Share your expectations regarding this procedure with your doctor. He or she will give you a practical answer about the kind of results you should be expecting from the surgery.
- Get Physical Examination
The surgeons will conduct a thorough physical examination. He or she will be testing the tear production as well as measuring different areas of the eyelids.
- A Vision Test
The eye doctor will check your eyes and visions that including the peripheral vision. This will also need to support your insurance claim.
- Eyelid Photography
The eye facility will take photographs of your eyes from different angles. These photos are used by surgeons to plan for the surgery. Additionally, these pictures will also support your insurance claim.
- Changing your lifestyle
Before the procedure, you will have to make certain lifestyle changes that include –
- Stopping medication such as aspirin, warfarin, ibuprofen, naproxen, naproxen sodium, and many other drugs and herbal supplements. If you are scheduled for eyelid surgery, ensure to ask your surgeon before taking any medication.
- You need to stop smoking for a couple of weeks before the procedure.
The Process of Eyelid Surgery
Blepharoplasty is generally performed in an outpatient environment. The surgeon will inject a numbing medication into the eyelid, and you will be provided with intravenous drugs that will help you to relax.
The surgeon then moves to make it cuter along the eyelid’s fold and removes the loosened muscles, excess skin, and accumulated fat. Thereafter, the opened area will be closed with small stitches that generally stay for around 3 to 6 days.
What Happens After Surgery?
Post the procedure; you have to spend some time in the recovery room where you will be monitored for any side effects. Following are some things you may experience after the eyelid surgery:
- Watery eyes
- Blurred visions
- Light sensitivity
- Double vision
- Numb, puffy eyelids
- Swelling as well as bruising
- Mild pain
If you experience chest pain, severe eye pain, bleeding, vision problem, or shortness of breath, seek medical attention immediately.
Understanding the Healing Procedure
Once you wake up from the surgery, you will have blurry vision. This happens because of the antibiotic ointment that is applied to the eye region in order to avoid the top surface from becoming dry. You will have to use the ointment for one week after the surgery four times a day.
Moreover, to further prevent dryness, you will be prescribed artificial teardrops. You have to use an ice pack for 24 to 48 after the surgery.
The patients are required to sleep in a rather upright position after the surgery. So you have to use multiple pillows to get to the shape. This is recommended to reduce the swelling and prevent the accumulation of fluid.
During the healing process, you should completely avoid taking part in any strenuous activities like exercising or lifting heavy things. While you can walk right after the surgery, it is recommended that you walk at a gentle pace.
For the first couple of weeks, you should wear dark sunglasses to protect the eyes from the sun and wind, which can cause irritation. Additionally, make sure you get proper naps as the eyes tend to get tired quickly during this period.
Slight Bruising is Normal
Post the surgery; you will experience moderate bruising and swelling. However, some people experience more than moderate bruising as well. This should subside in 1 to 2 weeks when you had surgery only on the upper eyelid.
If the procedure is done on both upper and lower eyelids, the bruising will take 2-4 weeks to reduce. Post this period; the bruising will become almost unnoticeable. While dressings are placed over the eyes post the surgery to reduce swelling, it is not necessary during the recovery period.
A Relatively Painful Surgery
Eyelid surgery is not a painful procedure, and the healing process is also very easy. Post the surgery, you will be experiencing only mild pain, which can be managed by non-prescription painkillers.
The doctors will prescribe you the medication before you get discharged. You can get up and move after a few hours of the surgery.
How to Wash Your Face After the Eyelid Surgery?
After a couple of days of eyelid surgery, you can take a shower or bath. However, you have to make sure that the eyes remain dry. If you are showering, keep the showerhead below your face.
Wash your hair over the sink, preferably with the help of someone. There is no problem if the splashes of water get to your eyes, but when your eye wound is exposed to moisture for a long period, it may result in infection.
After three to seven days you can wash your eyes gently using soap and water. Pat lightly with a clean and dry towel and make sure you do not pick at scabs. They will fall off when ready to this is a part of the recovery process.
Post one week of the surgery, when you are sutured are removed, you can wash your face normally. And after 14 days, you can use makeup, granted that your eyes have healed completely.
Guide For Choosing the Right Eyelid Surgeon
If you have decided that eyelid surgery is right for you, then the next step is to find the right eyelid surgeon. Following are some things that will help you with the same
1- Get References
First, make a list of reputed surgeons in your city. Thereafter, get recommendations from your family, friends, or general healthcare providers.
If you do not get any referrals, then leverage the internet and search for the best ophthalmologist in your city.
2- Consider Experience and Credentials
The eyelid surgeon you choose must have relevant experience and credentials. Check whether or not the surgeon holds board certification for ophthalmology. You can also look for a plastic surgeon who performs eyelid surgery regularly.
The next factor you should be looking at is the experience of the doctor. The higher the experience, the better prepared the doctor is to reduce the complications and provide better results. Commonly the complications in eyelid surgery are associated with vision.
Therefore, it is imperative to ensure that the surgeon has strong experience in performing eyelid surgeries. He or she should also hold expertise in preventing and correcting issues related to the vision.
Additionally, it is also important to ensure that the doctor holds a staunch position with the state as well as federal agencies.
3- The Reputation of the Hospital
The surgical procedure typically needs a skilled and experienced team of medical professionals. Therefore, you should consider the quality of care provided by the hospital, where the surgeon practices.
Ideally, you should look for a facility near your home that has a reputation for providing quality performance. Additionally, find a surgeon who can perform the surgery at the hospital itself.
4- Interview the Eyelid Surgeon
Once you have a handful of good eyelid surgeons remaining on the list, call the office of your every surgeon, and request a consultation. Prepare a list of questions to ask the doctors including –
- How commonly do you perform eyelid surgery?
- What results can you expect from them?
- Can you show some before and after pictures of your patients?
- How often do you experience complications in the surgeries
- How do you deal with complications if they arise?
5- Insurance Benefit Claim
Insurance companies generally do not provide coverage for cosmetic procedures. They only cover eyelid surgeries that are proven to be medically essential. Before you schedule the procedure, get in touch with your insurance providers, and discuss the coverage for the surgery.
Understand the overall costs associated with eyelid surgery, including fees of the surgeon, facility fees, anesthesia fees, etc. Often, surgeons develop a payment plan to cater to your financial needs. However, do not compromise on the quality just to save money. While eyelid surgery is not a major surgical procedure, patients need to take some time off their work. This is because post surgery, they have to spend around 7-10 days for recovery. This period is longer in lower lid surgery as the patients may have to take time off for two weeks. However, after 2-3 days, patients can certainly work from home as it will not have any effect on the recovery process.