Lewis Gale Physicians May 09, 2018

If you are having an emergency, please call 911. If you are showing symptoms of drooping upper lids, then Dr. Donna Maxfield is available for same day and next day appointments. To schedule an appointment, call the office at (540) 265-1624 or click the button to schedule an appointment online.

Book An Appointment Online with Dr. Donna Maxfield

Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that removes excess skin and fat tissue from the eye area. It comes from the Greek word blepharon, meaning “eyelid”, and plassein, meaning "to form". The natural aging process, as well as heredity, causes the muscles around the eye to weaken and the delicate skin of the eyelids to sag. Blepharoplasty can be done as a cosmetic procedure to regain a more youthful appearance, but often becomes medically necessary to correct issues with the eyelids that cause: 

  • Drooping upper eyelids.
  • Puffiness of the upper or lower eyelids.
  • Upper eyelid skin resting on eyelashes. 

These issues may result in: 

  • Blocked or reduced vision related to upper eyelid skin excess or skin resting on lashing pushing lashes down.
    • Can cause impaired reading or difficulty performing activities that require close-up work
    • Can cause reduced peripheral vision or “blinder effect”
  • Fatigue and general eye strain.
  • Emotional distress. 

What To Expect Before, During, and After Blepharoplasty 

  1. Prior to the Procedure

The first step is to visit your ophthalmologist, who will determine if a blepharoplasty procedure is medically necessary. This may be done with: 

  • A physical exam, including exam of the eyelid and supporting structures.
  • Vision tests.
  • Photos of the eyelids and surrounding area. 

Leading up to your blepharoplasty procedure, your ophthalmic surgeon may advise you to: 

  • Follow a special diet.
  • Take certain medications or stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Arrange to have someone drive you home.
  • Arrange for someone to help you at home the first night after surgery. 

Anesthesia

You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area around your eyes, and sedatives will be given to help you relax. In some cases, if general anesthesia is used, you will be asleep.

 

  1. Description of the Procedure

Incisions are made in your eyelids. In the upper eyelid, the incision usually is made in the natural crease. In the lower eyelid, the incision usually is made just below the lashes or on the inside of the eyelid. The excess fat is removed and any excess skin and muscle are trimmed. The incision is then closed with sutures. 

How Long Does Blepharoplasty Take?

The entire procedure is about 60 minutes, but may be more, depending on the amount of skin and fat to be removed. Most blepharoplasty procedures are done in an outpatient facility, so you will be sent home after a time in recovery. 

Will It Hurt?

Anesthesia minimizes any pain or discomfort during the procedure. You may feel some tightness and soreness afterward. 

  1. Post-procedure Care

Immediately after the blepharoplasty procedure, ointment is applied and a bandage may be placed over your eyes. Your doctor also may advise you to2

  • Use ice packs on your eyes a few times a day to reduce swelling.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes.
  • Avoid excess sun exposure.
  • Avoid heavy lifting immediately after surgery.
  • Stop smoking, which can delay healing.
  • Sleep with your head raised.
  • Avoid wearing contacts for a couple weeks following surgery.
  • Avoid heavy exercise, like jogging or aerobics, for the first week or so after surgery. 

After about 6 months, scars will fade to a nearly invisible white line. The results of blepharoplasty are permanent, although extra surgery may be done as needed. Sometimes, blepharoplasty is combined with another procedure called canthopexy, which improves the shape and positioning of the lower eyelid. Blepharoplasty also may be done with ptosis, the repair of the upper eyelid muscle to correct drooping of the upper eyelid.

Result of Blepharoplasty

Following blepharoplasty, many patients find that: 

  • Their field of vision is increased.
  • They have a more youthful, rested appearance.
  • They are less fatigued and eye strain is greatly decreased. 

Potential Complications After Blepharoplasty

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you plan to have a blepharoplasty procedure, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include: 

  • Temporary blurred vision
  • Temporary swelling and bruising of the eyelids
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Asymmetry in healing
  • Scarring
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty closing eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Decrease or loss of vision
  • Reaction to anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Distortion of upper or lower eyelid position

 Factors that increase the risk of complications include: 

  • Smoking
  • Thyroid problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Poor circulation
  • Diabetes
  • Glaucoma
  • Dry eyes or red eyes
  • Anatomy of the eye and the surrounding bone 

It is important to monitor your recovery and alert your doctor to any problems. If any of the following occur, call your doctor right away:

 

  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
  • Chest pain
  • Opening of any part of the incision
  • Excessive pain or redness of the eye
  • Any decrease or change in your vision

If you are having an emergency, please call 911. If you are showing symptoms of drooping upper lids, then Dr. Donna Maxfield is available for same day and next day appointments. To schedule an appointment, call the office at (540) 265-1624 or click the button to schedule an appointment online.

Book An Appointment Online with Dr. Donna Maxfield