Blepharoplasty: Eyelid Surgery
Drooping eyelids and excessive bagging under the eyes can be more than just an annoyance; they can also impair your field of vision. Today, people don’t have to resign themselves to putting up with these issues. Advances in cosmetic surgery allow surgeons to correct these problems and more.
What is blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is surgery on the upper eyelid, the lower eyelid, or both. It can be done simply for appearance sake or because drooping is impairing your field of vision. The end result, regardless of the reason for the surgery, is a younger, more alert appearance.
What does blepharoplasty treat?
Eyelid surgery is used to treat both aesthetic issues and functional problems created by drooping eyelids. You may want to consider blepharoplasty if you suffer from
- Excess hanging skin that covers the natural fold of the upper eyelid.
- Loose, hanging skin from the upper eyelid that hangs over the lashes.
- Deep grooves under your eyes.
- Fatty deposits that create “puffiness” around your eyes.
- Bags under the eyes.
- Anything with the eyelids that impairs your vision.
If you suffer from any of these issues, you may be a candidate for eyelid surgery. To find out, make an appointment with a board-certified cosmetic surgeon to discuss whether blepharoplasty is right for you.
Who is a candidate for eyelid surgery?
At your consultation Dr. Tolson will discuss your medical history with you and any conditions you may have that would inhibit the healing process. Be prepared to talk about
- Previous surgeries you have had.
- Any medical conditions you suffer from.
- Medication you are currently taking.
- Your outcome of previous cosmetic surgeries.
- Your expectations.
- Your motivation for the procedure.
In addition to these basics, Dr. Tolson will discuss your overall cosmetic goals with you and what you expect to gain from the procedure. He’ll check to make sure that you don’t suffer from any serious eye conditions that the surgery may make worse. Patients who have a positive outlook, realistic goals, and don’t smoke are ideal candidates for blepharoplasty.
In addition to the medical side of the exam, Dr. Tolson will evaluate the elasticity of your skin. Be sure to bring photos of your younger self as reference material for the doctor.
What’s involved in the procedure?
Blepharoplasty is an outpatient procedure that Dr. Tolson performs in his AAAASF-certified operating room in Cumming, Georgia. You will be given a local anesthesia along with sedation or general anesthesia to keep you comfortable during the surgery. Throughout the one- to two-hour surgery, Dr. Tolson’s surgical staff or our board certified anesthesiologist will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen level, and pulse. Once the procedure is complete, you will be taken to recovery to be monitored before release. A lubricating ointment will be applied to the eyes to keep them from drying out. You may experience blurred vision from the ointment, so be sure to have someone available to drive you home afterwards.
What does recovery look like?
Dr. Tolson or someone from his staff will go over post-operative care with you before you are released. You will want to make sure you have these items on hand before the surgery:
- Ice pack.
- Gauze pads.
- Eyedrops or artificial tears (Dr. Tolson will tell you exactly what to have).
- Clean washcloths and towels.
- Over-the-counter pain killer. Be sure to avoid aspirin or anti-inflammatories that may cause you to bleed more.
You can also help your body in the healing process.
- Stay home the prescribed amount of time.
- Lubricate the wounds regularly so they don’t dry out.
- Sleep with your head elevated so fluid doesn’t collect around the wounds and cause unnecessary swelling.
- Avoid strenuous activity for two weeks. This includes bending over, placing the head below the heart, and lifting things above your head.
- Avoid activities like watching TV, reading, wearing contacts, and using electronics as these dry out your eyes.
- Wear sun glasses to protect your eyes from both the sun and wind when outside.
What side-effects should I be aware of?
Immediately after the surgery, you may notice excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, and double vision. These should subside with time. Your eyelids may be puffy and numb, but that should wear off within several days. Swelling and bruising, much like what happens when you get a black eye, is normal and should disappear within one to two weeks. Even though bruising and swelling is present, minimal pain should be experienced. If you have severe pain, speak with your doctor immediately.
What is involved in the procedure?
Eyelid surgery should follow the natural contour of the eyelids. Dr. Tolson is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons. He understands how to work with the body’s natural shape, enhancing what is already there so that the end product is natural and appealing.
To minimize scarring, tiny incisions are made in the folds of the upper eyelid. A newer procedure for bottom eyelids allows for the incision to be made inside the eyelid and excess fat can be removed through the incision.
Once the incision is made, the doctor may redistribute fatty tissue and tighten muscles, if necessary. Generally, self-dissolving sutures are used. If regular sutures have been used, Dr. Tolson will schedule a time for you to return and have the sutures removed. If you are only having extra skin removed, a skin pinch may be done. Hyaluronic acid fillers are sometimes injected into the tear trough of the lower lids to help rejuvenate their appearance. The fillers tend to last only six months. If you suffer from dry eyes, less tissue will be removed. To add the finishing touches, skin can be resurfaced and wrinkles will be smoothed out.
No longer do you have to just cope with unsightly bags and drooping that diminish your eyesight. Dr. Tolson and his staff have the experience to help you reduce wrinkles, puffiness, drooping, and bags.
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