Popular Questions and Answers about Eyelid Surgery
The world of blepharoplasty is as complex as it is fascinating, encompassing a range of techniques, each tailored to the unique needs and goals of the patient. From addressing the puffiness of lower eyelids to lifting the droopiness of upper eyelids, this procedure is not one-size-fits-all.
In this blog, Sydney Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Bish Soliman aims to shed light on all the details associated with getting a blepharoplasty, from getting ready for the surgery to expectations and durability of the results.
FAQs about Types of Blepharoplasty Procedures
What are the different types of blepharoplasty procedures?
- Blepharoplasty procedures can be broadly categorised into two types: upper eyelid surgery and lower eyelid surgery. Upper eyelid surgery focuses on removing excess skin, fat, and muscle from the upper eyelid area to reduce droopiness and improve vision if it’s impaired. Lower eyelid surgery targets under-eye bags, puffiness, and wrinkles, often involving the removal or repositioning of fat and tightening of skin.
How is upper eyelid blepharoplasty performed?
- Upper eyelid blepharoplasty involves making precise incisions in the natural crease of the upper eyelid. Through these incisions, excess skin, muscle, and fat are removed or repositioned to create a more alert appearance. The procedure aims to retain the natural eyelid contour while correcting any functional issues like vision obstruction due to drooping skin.
What does lower eyelid blepharoplasty address?
- Lower eyelid blepharoplasty is primarily performed to correct under-eye bags, reduce puffiness, and smooth out wrinkles or fine lines. The procedure involves the removal or repositioning of excess fat in the lower eyelids and may include tightening of the skin. The incisions are usually made just below the lash line or inside the eyelid, leaving minimal visible scarring.
Can both upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty be done simultaneously?
- Yes, it’s common for both upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty to be performed in one session. This approach is efficient and can provide a balanced appearance to the entire eye area. The decision to combine these procedures depends on individual patient needs and Dr Soliman’s assessment.
Is there a non-surgical alternative to blepharoplasty?
- While blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure, there are non-surgical alternatives for those seeking minimal improvements. Treatments like fillers, neuromodulator injections, or laser resurfacing can address some signs of ageing around the eyes. However, these methods have limitations and might not achieve the same results as surgical blepharoplasty, especially for more significant eyelid sagging or puffiness.
What is transconjunctival blepharoplasty?
- Transconjunctival blepharoplasty is a variant of lower eyelid surgery that involves making incisions inside the lower eyelid, leaving no visible external scars. This technique is ideal for patients who require fat removal or repositioning without the need for skin removal. It’s particularly suited for younger patients with elastic skin and is less invasive compared to traditional lower eyelid surgery.
FAQs about How to Prepare for Blepharoplasty
What medical evaluations are required before undergoing blepharoplasty?
- Before a blepharoplasty, a thorough medical evaluation is essential. This includes a detailed examination of your eyelids, vision tests, and possibly a review of your past medical and surgical history. Dr Soliman might also request a physical examination and lab tests to ensure you’re fit for surgery.
Should I stop taking certain medications before blepharoplasty?
- Yes, Dr Soliman will advise you to stop or adjust certain medications before the surgery. This often includes avoiding blood-thinning medications and supplements, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and certain vitamins, to reduce the risk of bleeding during and after the procedure.
Are there any lifestyle changes I should make before the surgery?
- It’s recommended to stop smoking at least six weeks before and after the surgery, as smoking can impede healing and increase the risk of complications. Additionally, maintaining a healthy diet and avoiding alcohol can also aid in a smoother recovery.
What should I discuss with Dr Soliman during the pre-operative consultation?
- During the pre-operative consultation, discuss your expectations, any concerns, and the desired outcome. It’s also important to inform Dr Soliman about any eye conditions, previous surgeries, and medications you’re taking. This is the time to ask any questions you may have about the procedure, recovery, and potential risks.
How should I prepare my home for recovery after blepharoplasty?
- Prepare your home for a comfortable recovery by arranging for someone to assist you post-surgery, especially in the first 24-48 hours. Set up a recovery area with essential items within easy reach, such as medications, ice packs, gauze, and a thermometer. Ensure that you have enough pillows to keep your head elevated.
Do I need to arrange for someone to drive me home after the surgery?
- Yes, you’ll need someone to drive you home after the surgery, as you won’t be able to drive yourself due to the effects of anaesthesia and the initial discomfort post-surgery. It’s also advisable to have someone stay with you for at least the first night.
Is there anything I need to do on the day of the surgery?
- On the day of the surgery, avoid wearing makeup, jewellery, or contact lenses. Dress in comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that does not need to be pulled over your head. Follow any specific instructions given by Dr Soliman, such as fasting if required.
FAQs about Eligibility and Consultation for Blepharoplasty
Who is a good candidate for blepharoplasty?
- Good candidates for blepharoplasty are individuals who have drooping eyelids, bags under their eyes, or other eyelid-related concerns that affect their appearance or vision. Candidates should be in good overall health, non-smokers, and have realistic expectations about the outcomes of the surgery. It’s also important that they don’t have any serious eye conditions.
Are there age restrictions for undergoing blepharoplasty?
- While there’s no specific age limit for blepharoplasty, it’s most commonly performed on individuals over the age of 35. However, if droopy or baggy eyelids are a family trait, you might decide to have the surgery at a younger age. The key consideration is the physical condition of the eyelid and the surrounding area, not just the age of the patient.
How does my overall health impact my eligibility for blepharoplasty?
- Your overall health plays a significant role in determining your eligibility for blepharoplasty. Conditions like diabetes, thyroid problems, dry eye, glaucoma, high blood pressure, and cardiovascular disease can affect the surgery’s outcome and increase the risk of complications. It’s crucial to disclose your full medical history to Dr Soliman.
Can blepharoplasty correct vision problems?
- Blepharoplasty can improve peripheral vision if it’s impaired by drooping eyelids. However, it’s not a remedy for other vision problems like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. If droopy eyelids obstruct your vision, blepharoplasty can remove the excess tissue to clear your field of sight.
FAQs about How Is the Procedure Performed and Anaesthesia for Blepharoplasty
What are the steps involved in a blepharoplasty procedure?
- Blepharoplasty involves precise incisions made in the natural creases of the eyelids or inside the eyelid. Through these incisions, excess skin, muscle, and fat are removed or repositioned. The incisions are then closed with fine sutures, which minimise scarring. The specific steps can vary depending on whether the procedure is for the upper or lower eyelids.
What type of anaesthesia is used for blepharoplasty?
- The type of anaesthesia used in blepharoplasty can vary. For less extensive procedures, local anaesthesia may be sufficient. This means the patient is awake but relaxed and feels no pain. For more complex procedures, general anaesthesia, where the patient is completely asleep, might be used. The decision depends on the extent of the surgery and the patient’s health.
How long does the blepharoplasty surgery take?
- The duration of a blepharoplasty surgery can vary, but it generally takes between one to three hours. The exact time depends on the complexity of the surgery and whether both upper and lower eyelids are being operated on simultaneously.
Is blepharoplasty an outpatient procedure?
- Yes, blepharoplasty is performed as an outpatient procedure. This means patients can go home the same day of their surgery. They will need someone to drive them home due to the effects of anaesthesia and the initial post-operative discomfort.
Are the results of blepharoplasty permanent?
- The results of blepharoplasty are long-lasting, but they are not considered permanent because the aging process continues. While the procedure can significantly reduce the appearance of drooping eyelids and bags, these issues may gradually reappear over time. However, the results can last for many years.
How are incisions made during blepharoplasty to minimise scarring?
- In blepharoplasty, incisions are placed to minimise visible scarring. For upper eyelid surgery, incisions are made in the natural crease of the eyelid. In lower eyelid surgery, incisions are made just below the lash line or, in some cases, inside the eyelid (transconjunctival approach). These techniques help to ensure that any resulting scars are well-concealed.
FAQs about Recovery after Blepharoplasty Surgery
How long is the recovery period after blepharoplasty?
- The initial recovery period for blepharoplasty lasts about 10 to 14 days. But complete recovery, including the fading of scars and the full stabilisation of results, can take a few months. Most patients can return to work and normal activities within two weeks, but this can vary depending on individual healing rates and the extent of the surgery.
What can I expect immediately after the surgery?
- Immediately following blepharoplasty, it’s common to experience swelling, bruising, irritation, and dry eyes. Dr Soliman may recommend applying cold compresses and ointments to help reduce swelling and discomfort. You will also likely have bandages on your eyes, which are usually removed a few days after the surgery.
Are there any specific postoperative care instructions I should follow?
- After blepharoplasty, Dr Soliman will provide detailed instructions for postoperative care. These include keeping your head elevated for several days, using prescribed eye drops or ointments, avoiding rubbing your eyes, and protecting your eyes from sunlight with sunglasses. Adhering to these instructions is crucial for a smooth recovery and optimal results.
When can I resume wearing makeup and contact lenses?
- You can start wearing makeup again about two weeks after blepharoplasty, once the incisions have healed sufficiently. Contact lens wearers may need to wait a bit longer, around two weeks or until the eyes feel comfortable enough, as the eyes may be more sensitive or swollen after the surgery.
What are the signs of complications I should watch out for?
- While complications from blepharoplasty are rare, it’s important to watch for signs such as persistent pain, increased redness, swelling, bleeding, or visual disturbances. If you experience any of these symptoms, or if you have concerns about your recovery, you should contact Dr Soliman immediately.
How can I ensure the best possible results from my blepharoplasty?
- To ensure the best results, follow all postoperative instructions from Dr Soliman, attend follow-up appointments, and give your body time to heal. Avoid strenuous activities, excessive sun exposure, and smoking, as these can negatively impact the healing process and the appearance of your results.
When will I be able to see the final results of my blepharoplasty?
- The final results of blepharoplasty can be seen once the swelling and bruising subside, which may take several weeks. However, it can take a few months for the incision lines to mature and the full effects of the surgery to be apparent. Patience is key, as the healing process varies from person to person.
FAQs about Risks and Complications of Eyelid Surgery
What are the common risks associated with blepharoplasty?
- Common risks of blepharoplasty include bleeding, infection, scarring, and temporary issues such as dry eyes, irritation, and blurred vision. Some patients might also experience sensitivity to light or difficulty closing their eyes. These complications are generally rare and can be managed effectively with proper postoperative care.
Can blepharoplasty lead to vision problems?
- While extremely rare, there is a small risk of vision problems following blepharoplasty. This can include temporary blurred or double vision immediately after the procedure. Permanent vision loss is exceedingly rare and typically related to severe complications like bleeding or infection.
Is there a risk of asymmetry after eyelid surgery?
- Yes, there is a risk of asymmetry after eyelid surgery, as with any cosmetic procedure. This can happen if the healing process varies between the two eyes or if there are differences in how the surgical corrections settle.
What are the potential long-term complications of blepharoplasty?
- Long-term complications from blepharoplasty, though rare, can include changes in eyelid position, such as eyelid turning inwards (entropion) or outwards (ectropion). There’s also a risk of chronic dry eyes or lasting numbness around the incision areas. These complications can often be corrected with additional treatments or surgery.
How can I minimise the risks of blepharoplasty?
- To minimise the risks associated with blepharoplasty, it’s crucial to choose a qualified and experienced surgeon, follow all pre- and post-operative instructions, and attend all follow-up appointments. Disclose your full medical history and any medications to Dr Soliman, and avoid activities that could strain your eyes or affect healing post-surgery.
FAQs about Eyelid Surgery Results
How long do the results of blepharoplasty last?
- The results of blepharoplasty are generally long-lasting, with many patients experiencing benefits for several years. But it’s important to note that the procedure does not halt the ageing process. Over time, skin and tissues will naturally age, which might lead to gradual changes in the appearance of the eyelids.
Will there be visible scars after eyelid surgery?
- Scarring is a natural part of the healing process, but blepharoplasty scars are well-concealed. For upper eyelid surgery, scars are hidden in the natural crease of the eyelid, and for lower eyelid surgery, they are either just below the lash line or inside the eyelid. With time, these scars can fade and become less noticeable.
Can blepharoplasty change the shape of my eyes?
- Blepharoplasty primarily aims to correct issues like drooping eyelids or bags under the eyes, and it’s not typically intended to change the shape of your eyes. However, by removing excess tissue and tightening the remaining skin and muscles, it can sometimes subtly alter the eye’s appearance, making them look more open and refreshed.
Is it possible to combine blepharoplasty with other facial surgeries?
- Yes, blepharoplasty can often be combined with other facial surgeries like a brow lift, face-lift, or rhinoplasty. The decision to combine procedures depends on the patient’s overall health, aesthetic goals, and Dr Soliman’s assessment.
FAQs about Choosing the Right Surgeon for Your Blepharoplasty
Is it important to review a surgeon’s before-and-after photos of previous blepharoplasties?
- Yes, reviewing before-and-after photos of previous blepharoplasties performed by the surgeon is crucial. These photos give you an idea of the surgeon’s skill level and the types of results they achieve. Look for patients with similar concerns and facial structures to yours to gauge the potential outcomes for your surgery.
How should I prepare for the consultation with a potential blepharoplasty surgeon?
- During the consultation, be prepared to discuss your medical history, any medications you take, and your expectations for the surgery. Bring a list of questions to ask about the surgeon’s experience, the procedure, recovery, risks, and costs. Pay attention to how well the surgeon listens to your concerns and explains the procedure.
What questions should I ask during my consultation with a blepharoplasty surgeon?
- Ask about the surgeon’s experience with blepharoplasty, the specific technique they would use for your case, the recovery process, potential risks and how they handle complications, and the total cost of the procedure. Inquire about the facility where the surgery will be performed to ensure it is accredited and has proper safety standards.
Further Reading about Blepharoplasty Surgery with Dr Bish Soliman
- Read Dr Bish Soliman’s Blog about What Are Hooded Upper Eyelids and How to Correct Them
- Read Dr Bish Soliman’s Blog about Recovery after Eyelid Surgery
- Read Dr Bish Soliman’s Blog about Tips to Reduce Swelling and Bruising After Eyelid Surgery
- Read Dr Bish Soliman’s Blog about How Painful Is It To Get Blepharoplasty Stitches Removed?
- Read Dr Bish Soliman’s Blog about How Effective Are Silicone Strips for Plastic Surgery Scars
- Read Dr Bish Soliman’s Blog about Will Medicare cover my Eyelid Surgery?
- Read Dr Bish Soliman’s Blog about Getting Back to Exercise after Blepharoplasty Surgery
Medical References about Blepharoplasty Surgery
- Review Functional outcomes of upper eyelid blepharoplasty
- Comparison of Clinical Outcomes of Upper Eyelid Blepharoplasty Using Two Different Suture Techniques
- Does suture material and technique really matter? Lessons learned from 800 consecutive blepharoplasties
- Blepharoplasty – Mayo Clinic
- Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery) – WebMD