With age the skin folds of the upper eyelid tend to increase. In most cases, drooping eyelids tend to make a person look tired and sometimes look angry.
What is blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty refers to eyelid surgery and is designed to remove the excess fat, along with skin and muscle, from the upper and lower eyelids. This procedure will not eradicate the wrinkles around the eyes (crows feet) nor will it elevate droopy eyebrows. There are other procedures designed for these purposes. Dark circles under the eyes may improve a bit if this is related to large bags, but most often the dark appearance of the lower eyelid skin remains.
What are the goals of blepharoplasty?
A blepharoplasty procedure can improve vision by removing the excessive skin of the upper eyelids which can hang down and interfere with you vision. It may also brighten your face and restore a more youthful appearance.
Can anyone have a blepharoplasty?
You may be a good candidate for a blepharoplasty if you are in good health. If you have a healthy skin that’s not severely sun or weather damaged.
When can I get back to my routine?
You will be able to watch television and read 2 or 3 days after your surgery. You should be ready to return to work approximately 10 days after surgery. You should avoid contact sports for 2 weeks, and activities that can increase your pulse or blood pressure for 1 week. You will not be able to wear contact lenses for approximately 2 weeks after your surgery, and they may feel uncomfortable for a while.
How is the procedure performed?
The procedure is performed at Dr. Bourget’s clinic, usually under intravenous sedation. The procedure usually takes one to three hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. Incisions are made following the natural lines and creases in your eyelids. The excess skin, fat and muscle are removed. You will then be sutured, leaving hairline scars that may begin to fade within a few days.
Preparations before surgery:
If you are having your blepharoplasty done with laser you will be given a separate sheet with instructions. For all other blepharoplasy surgeries you will be asked not to eat or drink 6 hours prior to surgery. To wear comfortable clothing, with loose sleeves. Be wearing no make-up or nail polish. If you are taking medication Dr. Bourget must be notified, as he will have specific instructions for your medication. You must have someone to drive you home after surgery and to be with you for a few hours after surgery.
What can I expect after surgery?
Your vision may be blurry as Dr. Bourget will probably lubricate your eyes with ointment. You may feel tightness around your eyes. Ice compresses will make you feel more comfortable and will reduce swelling and bruising. You will be given prescriptions for pain. Bruising varies from one patient to the next: it usually reaches it’s peak 2 to 3 days after surgery and can last anywhere from two weeks to a month. You should wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from wind and sun. Sleeping on your back with your head elevated will reduce swelling. Dr. Bourget will see you at his office the following day, and regular follow-up appointments will be necessary. Sutures will be removed approximately one week after surgery.
Risks and Complications:
All types of surgeries have risks and complications, usually they are minor and not permanent. Complications include bleeding, infection or blood cloths. You can reduce the risks by closely following Dr. Bourget’s instructions before and after surgery. You may have a reaction to the anesthesia, ointment or medication given.
The minor complications that occasionally follow the blepharoplsty include double or blurred vision for a few days. Visible scars, tightness in the lids, drooping lower lids, or dryness may be present, but usually improve within weeks. Occasionally these conditions are permanent, or secondary procedures are necessary to correct them. Partial vision loss in an eye occurs in extremely rare cases, but only as the result of severe complications. Dr. Bourget can answer any questions and concerns you may have.
It is normal for some patients to experience a brief period of “let-down” or depression after cosmetic surgery. Some may subconsciously have expected to feel and look better “instantly,” even though they rationally understand that this will not be the case. Patients commonly question their decision to have surgery during the first few days after surgery. As the healing occurs, these thoughts usually disappear quickly. If you feel depressed, understanding that this is as a “natural” phase of the healing process may help you to cope with this emotional state.
As you recover, you can expect to have some bruising and swelling, but you’ll probably see improvements very quickly. The more closely you follow instructions given by Dr. Bourget and his surgical team, the greater the chance you’ll look better sooner and there’s also less chance of complications. With good healing, you’ll soon feel comfortable back at your regular activities.
Dr. Bourget will advise you about returning to work and other activities. Avoid contact sports for two weeks and activities that can increase your pulse or blood pressure for a few days. This will decrease your risk of bleeding and swelling.
On the mend
Here are some tips to help you heal faster and look better sooner:
Sleep on your back and elevate your head to minimize swelling. Cold or ice packs help to reduce swelling, bruising, and pain. Use frozen peas in the package or crush ice cubes and put the ice into a zip-lock bag. This should help not hurt. If the ice feels too uncomfortable, don’t use it as often. Ice 20 minutes per hour, when not asleep. (Stop icing if it gives you a headache). We recommend that you do NOT eat salty foods following surgery. This will only increase your swelling.
Use an ointment prescribed by Dr. Bourget if your eyes are dry.
Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from wind and sun.
You can resume wearing contact lenses and eye make-up approximately 2 weeks after your surgery, if they feel comfortable.