1) Am I a candidate for this procedure?
The normal ageing process itself as well as years of unhealthy lifestyles, lack of adequate sleep, stress, smoking and sun damage will gradually lead to changes like drooping of the eyebrows, excess upper eyelid skin and lid folds, puffy or sagging lower eyelids, excess wrinkling of lower eyelid skin, malar bags and an exaggeration of lid-cheek junction. These changes can make one look sad, tired or worn, angry or prematurely old. If you have any of these changes that bother you when you look at yourself in the mirror or have been told by your family or friends, and you are otherwise a healthy individual, you may well be a good candidate for blepharoplasty or Eyelid rejuvenation. A detailed consultation with a qualified Aesthetic Surgeon will further guide you to the appropriateness of your candidature for this surgery.
2) General information about the procedure.
Your Aesthetic Surgeon will evaluate in detail the extent of eyelid skin laxity, wrinkling, fat bulges, eyelid elasticity and any underlying medical conditions before planning the surgery. This will be discussed with you using a hand-held mirror so that you are shown and made aware of the changes that can be satisfactorily corrected to give you a result you will be pleased with. You may be asked to bring old photographs for comparison to evaluate the changes that have occurred over time.
The surgery may be performed under Local Anaesthesia with sedation or under General Anaesthesia depending upon the comfort of the patient and the operating surgeon. Under anaesthesia, the excess skin is trimmed off, the bulging fat bags removed / smoothened and the eyelids tightened to give you a more youthful look. The surgery is usually a Day care procedure and the patient is discharged the same evening. Stitches are removed on 5th -7th day in most cases.
3) What kind of results can be expected?
You can expect some swelling and bruising around the eyelids for 10-14 days. As this gradually goes away, you will start to notice the rejuvenation that gives you a more youthful appearance of eyelids. Over the course of the next few weeks, the result continues to improve till the eyelids are soft, supple and free of swelling. The results are durable and can last for at least 8-10 years in most patients. However if the underlying factors for premature or accelerated ageing such as unhealthy eating habits, stress, smoking and inadequate sleep are not addressed, then the results will not be as durable.
4) What can go wrong and how is it remedied?
The results of blepharoplasty done by a qualified Aesthetic Surgeon are almost always good. Most patients encounter swelling and bruising which settles within 10-14 days. Minor post-operative problems like discomfort and feeling of tightness, dryness in the eyes or excessive tearing, difficulty in closing eyes fully or crusting due to secretions are always temporary, are easily treated conservatively and settle in a maximum of 3-4 weeks. Rarely, a blood collection or a clot may need evacuation. Infections and wound breakdowns are usually not a problem with eyelid surgery. In very rare cases, complications like bleeding may occur after surgery and need urgent intervention There may sometimes be an asymmetry in the results which may need minor revision. Scars are usually fine; they are hidden in the natural upper eyelid fold or along the lower eyelid margin near the eyelashes and they are nearly invisible in 6-8 weeks.
5) Common post-op dos and don’ts.
The patient is advised to sleep with head-end elevation for a week and wear goggles in public for an initial 2-3 weeks. Cold compresses are useful to reduce swelling and your surgeon may prescribe use of eyedrops/ointment for 10-14 days to prevent corneal drying. Smoking, drinking alcohol and vigorous activities are to be strictly avoided for 4-6 weeks. Reading, watching TV or working on a Computer screen may be resumed after 3-4 days with emphasis on reducing eye strain as much as possible for 4-6 weeks. Use of contact lens may be started after 2 weeks.
6) Average period of leave required and final results to be seen.
Patients may go back to work by end of 1 week. The final results are easily visible in 6 weeks, however the results including scars keep improving till 3-6 months.
Dr. Neha Chauhan
Consultant Plastic Surgeon