If you feel that the appearance of your eyes makes you look older than you really are, it can be very frustrating. Unfortunately, the thin skin around the eyes very quickly betrays our advancing years, loosening and sagging as a result of age-related changes such as the natural decrease in our body’s production of collagen an elastin – two components responsible for keeping our skin taught and smooth.
The good news is that you don’t need to live with the effects of sagging eyelids. Many patients with this problem are now turning to blepharoplasty surgery to help them turn back the clock.
What is blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is the name for a cosmetic surgery that is better known as an eyelid lift. It can be performed on either the upper or lower eyelid. This fairly simple procedure involves cutting away any excess skin on the eyelid that may be making it feel or look heavy. In some instances, a patient may have such a large amount of excess skin on the upper eyelid, it can make the eyelid droop over your field of vision.
The incisions are made in the natural creases of the eyes wherever possible, and this is to enable your surgeon to best hide any scarring. Surgery on the upper eyelid usually takes around an hour, whereas blepharoplasty that is performed on the lower eyelid can take a little longer. The entire surgery is usually carried out while you are under the effects of a general anesthetic. This means that you will be asleep and have no awareness of the procedure.
What can I expect when recovering from blepharoplasty?
Although eyelid surgery is fairly simple, it is still recommended that you take at least a week off of work while your eyes heal. You should be able to go home the very same day, but you will need someone to drive you as you will not be able to get behind the wheel for at least a few days. It is also important to have someone with you while you wait for the effects of the general anesthetic to wear off, which can take up to 24 hours.
You can expect some bruising and redness, and this will take several weeks to fade completely. However, the results of your surgery should be visible fairly quickly. Any inflammation will continue to reduce during the days and weeks after your surgery.
Caring for your eyes after blepharoplasty
It is crucially important to take good care of your eyes after blepharoplasty surgery. Doing so can help minimize any risk of complications during healing and ensure you make the swiftest and most straightforward recovery. Here are our top tips for caring for your eyes after your blepharoplasty.
- You may have had sticky strips placed over your eyelids after your procedure, and these may need to stay in place for a number of days. Follow your surgeon’s advice with regards to how long you should wear these and do not be tempted to peel them off early.
- Sleep with your head slightly raised. Doing so will help to reduce the amount of swelling you experience, and subsequently, any associated discomfort can also be eased.
- Gently clean your eyelids using the ointment, drops or cream provided by your surgeon. Use a clean wipe or cloth for each eye to reduce the risk of spreading any germs.
- Take your pain medication as directed by your surgeon. Many people are tempted to wait until the pain is unbearable for fear of becoming reliant on their painkillers. However, this puts you in unnecessary discomfort and can actually slow the healing process. Stick to taking them as prescribed.
- Use ice packs wrapped in a towel to help reduce swelling and discomfort.
- Do not use any cosmetics or moisturizers on your face for at least the first week after your surgery. Doing so could cause irritation to the wounds, and this could lead to complications developing.
- If you need to go outside, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun and any wind.
- If you can, quit smoking. Smoking is well known for slowing the healing process due to it inhibiting the flow of oxygenated blood around your body.
- Avoid strenuous activity and swimming for at least 5-7 days after your surgery.
- You will not be able to wear contact lenses for at least a week. Therefore, you should ensure that you have glasses capable of correcting your vision during this time.
If you are considering blepharoplasty and would like more information about any part of the procedure, including the recovery, our knowledgeable team would be happy to alleviate your concerns. Please do not hesitate to contact us and get in touch.