What is Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty or Eyelid lifting is the surgical method through which the excessive skin of the upper or lower eyelids is reduced with or without fat removal. This area of the face has the smallest amount of subcutaneous fat, extremely soft tissues, and the thinnest muscles of the human body. Since the eyes are the most expressive element in a person’s face, the sagging of the skin appearing in the upper eyelids as well as the “bags” that are formed around the eyelids, due to the local fat (especially in the lower eyelids), are two features that can make someone look older.
- What can Blepharoplasty correct?
Blepharoplasty ensures the correction of skin sagging and the removal or the transfer of protruding fat.
- Eliminates or improves the eye’s area wrinkles significantly.
- Restores the sight of the face to an earlier age.
- Eliminates the expression of sadness and tiredness.
- Improves dark circles under the eyes as well as the eyesight, which in some cases is impeded.
- What factors can lead to this problem?
Intense lifestyle, tiredness, lack of sleep, protracted use of computers, poor nutrition and stress are some of the factors that provoke this problem. In addition, heredity, advanced age and gravity play a catalytic role in forming the tissues in the eyelid area.
- Who is it for?
The operation is suitable for men and women aged 35-40 years and older. However, sometimes, depending on the family history, the surgery can be also carried out on younger people, especially when the skin sagging on the upper eyelid causes vision problems due to the heaviness of the excessive skin that prevents the eye from opening, as well as when the swelling on the lower eyelid is intense.
- When should Blepharoplasty be prevented?
When there are some pathological health issues that may complicate the outcome of the operation. Hypothyroidism and Graves’ disease, xeropthalmia, hypertension, circulatory and cardiovascular problems or diabetes are some of the contraindications to surgery.
- The first visit to the doctor’s office.
During the first visit, the Plastic Surgeon must be thoroughly informed about the patient’s medical history and discuss honestly about his / her motivations and expectations after the surgery. Afterwards, some necessary measurements will be made in the eyelid area and some photos will be taken. Before defining the procedure, it is very important the interested party to be informed about the results and the possible complications.
- Is Blepharoplasty painful?
Blepharoplasty is a painless procedure, the symptoms of which, such as swelling, bruising and mild pain, subside gradually with the help of special analgesics in just 5-7 days.
- What kind of complications might arise?
Although it is rare, a number of complications may occur such as hematomas, the over-projection of the eyelid with the exposure of the inner surface of the eyelid (ectropion), the inability to close the eyelids (Lagophthalmos), the deformity of the eyelids, etc
- What kind of medical tests will be needed before Blepharoplasty?
It is necessary to review the medical history of the interested party to avoid any complications and to check if there are other health issues related to vision and the eyes. In case of any vision disease, examination by an ophthalmologist is indicated. An electrocardiogram and general blood tests are also performed.
- How long does a Blepharoplasty last and what kind of anaesthesia is required?
Blepharoplasty lasts about an hour or two. The duration varies depending on the patient’s problem (upper, lower eyelids or a combination of both). The operation for the upper eyelids is usually performed under local anaesthesia, whereas for the lower eyelids is performed under mild sedation and local anaesthesia. General anaesthesia is very scarcely used, especially in special cases.
- During the surgery
The incisions are made in the natural aspect of the upper eyelid and below the lashes on the lower eyelid, extending to the outer corner of the eye in a pre-existing wrinkle. From these incisions, the excessive fat is removed or transferred so as to correct the sagging of the muscles and the skin. The skin closes with thin stitches. Subsequently, an evaluation of the anatomy of the patient’s face is performed, so that the eyelids are in harmony with the other anatomical facial features, minimizing in that way any possible complication.
- After the surgery
A few hours after the surgery, as long as the operation has been performed using local anaesthesia, the patient can return to his / her home. Initially, there may appear some bruising, swelling and redness in the eye area, which will subside within a week. The stitches will be removed in 5 days. The pre-existing “bags” on the upper and lower eyelids disappear and the eye area acquires a more youthful appearance.
- In how many days can one return to their daily routine?
After the surgery it is necessary for the patient to rest for at least 1 week. The patient should rest and reduce intense activities for about 10 days following the postoperative instructions. The return to the workplace is possible depending on the progress in the affected area and the medical recommendations.
The results of Blepharoplasty are visible in a few days after the operation and last for many years. In fact, the condition of the eyelids keeps improving more and more after 2-3 months. Of course, despite the efforts of plastic surgeons to offer a permanent result, the reappearance of excessive skin, the life habits and intense expressiveness, may deceive them. Therefore, after 10-15 years, the operation might need to be repeated.