WHAT IS A BLEPHAROPLASTY?
Blepharoplasty is a very popular procedure among men and women of all ages. Blepharoplasty or “eyelid lift” corrects droopy eyelids that many times make a person appear tired, less alert, and possibly older than he or she really is. Puffy bags under the eyes and heavy upper eyelids are often hereditary and may show up at a very early age; however, they grow worse with time as gravity pulls them downward. If heaviness is very severe, one’s field of vision can be impaired.
Though blepharoplasty can be performed alone, Dr. Miles also may recommend a browlift to raise low, heavy brows to enhance the results. Sometimes, low brows are the main culprit involved with heavy looking upper eyelids, and a browlift may be all that is necessary to correct the eyelid heaviness. A blepharoplasty may also be performed in conjunction with a full facelift or other facial procedures. Since blepharoplasty does not help dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles around the eyes, a skin treatment, such as a laser resurfacing or chemical peel, may be performed along with the eyelid lift for better aesthetic appearance.
HOW AND WHERE IS THE SURGERY PERFORMED?
Blepharoplasty is a relatively minor procedure, which involves the removal of excess skin, fat, and muscle, one or all factors, depending upon the case. Dr. Miles prefers to use the laser instead of a scalpel to perform the surgery, because he has found that it greatly reduces bleeding and bruising by sealing tiny blood vessels.
In upper eyelid surgery, an incision is made in the natural fold or crease of each eyelid in order to make the scar as invisible as possible. Note: It rarely shows and heals quickly. Through this incision, excess fat and loose skin are removed as needed, and the area is closed with very fine, dissolvable sutures.
In lower eyelid surgery, an incision is made either inside the lid (trans-conjunctival), where only fatty material can be removed, or outside along the lower lash line, when fat, skin, and/or muscle can be removed. Both incisions are very inconspicuous. After the excess fat, skin, and muscle are trimmed away as needed, the incision is closed with fine, dissolvable sutures.
This outpatient surgery takes from one to two hours and is performed under local anesthesia in our fully accredited (AAAHC) surgery facility.
WHAT IS REQUIRED PRIOR TO THE SURGERY?
A thorough eye exam to determine your eye health, lab work, and in some cases, an EKG is required prior to the surgery. This will be determined following your personal consultation with Dr. Miles.
WHAT CAN ONE EXPECT FOLLOWING THE SURGERY?
Immediately after the surgery, an ice pack is applied to the eye area. The patient is instructed to leave cold packs on the area for approximately 48 hours following surgery to help with swelling and bruising (if any).
Elevating the head when lying down will enhance healing and relieve discomfort. An ointment and eye drops will also be prescribed for a few days to several weeks following surgery, as needed. Mild pain and rest medication also alleviate any discomfort.
Healing usually occurs within five days to one week; however, it is possible to have continued dryness, itchiness, blurriness, or sun sensitivity for several more weeks. It is also recommended that the patient limit strenuous physical activities during the healing period.
DOES INSURANCE PROVIDE ANY HELP?
Not generally, because eyelid surgery is usually considered cosmetic in nature.