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Eyelid surgery (eyelift, blepharoplasty)

Eyelift or blepharoplasty, is a plastic surgery that basically removes excess skin as well as fat on upper and/or lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery can correct drooping upper lids and puffy bags below your eyes - features that make you look older and more tired than you feel, and may even interfere with your vision. However, it won't remove crow's feet or other wrinkles, eliminate dark circles under your eyes, or lift sagging eyebrows. While it can add an upper eyelid crease to Asian eyes, it will not erase

evidence of your ethnic or racial heritage. Blepharoplasty can be done alone, or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a facelift or browlift.

In most cases both sides are performed at the same time. It is, however, not uncommon to do only the upper eyelids or the lower eyelids alone. Again this is the choice and/or the need of the patient. Incisions are made in the fold of the upper eyelid and just below the lash margin of the lower eyelid. These incisions extend to the outside of the eyelid and into the smile lines. Once the incisions are made, bags caused by fat pads in the eyelids are removed. The extra skin is removed and the incisions are closed with sutures. The surgery takes one to two hours and can be done under local anesthesia with intravenous sedation or general anesthesia. Most are performed using local anesthesia with sedation. Following surgery the patient remains in the recovery room for a period of time and then may return home with a responsible adult. If the surgery is performed with a facelift, we require the patient to spend the night in a skilled nursing facility. The sutures are removed in four to six days after the surgery. The discoloration takes one to three weeks to resolve. It may take several months for all the swelling to subside and the scars to smooth down and look their best.

After surgery, the surgeon will probably lubricate your eyes with ointment and may apply a bandage. Your eyelids may feel tight and sore as the anesthesia wears off, but you can control any discomfort with the pain medication prescribed by your surgeon. If you feel any severe pain, call your surgeon immediately.

Your surgeon will instruct you to keep your head elevated for several days, and to use cold compresses to reduce swelling and bruising. (Bruising varies from person to person: it reaches its peak during the first week, and generally lasts anywhere from two weeks to a month.) You'll be shown how to clean your eyes, which may be gummy for a week or so. Many doctors recommend eyedrops, since your eyelids may feel dry at first and your eyes may burn or itch. For the first few weeks you may also experience excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, and temporary changes in your eyesight, such as blurring or double vision. Your surgeon will follow your progress very closely for the first week or two. The stitches will be removed two days to a week after surgery. Once they're out, the swelling and discoloration around your eyes will gradually subside, and you'll start to look and feel much better.

As with most plastic surgeries done currently, eyelift is a very safe procedure and complications are rare. It is normal to have some bruising and swelling for a week or so after the eyelift surgery is done but things like cold compresses applied to the eyes can help reduce these problems.

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All information is intended for reference only. Please consult your physician for accurate medical advices and treatment. Copyright 2005, health-cares.net, all rights reserved. Last update: July 18, 2005