Cosmetic eyelid surgery, also called blepharoplasty or eyelid rejuvenation, is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both.
In the right patient it gives a rejuvenated appearance and makes you look more rested and alert. If you are bothered by the following signs of aging, a blepharoplasty may be right for you:
- Excess skin that creates folds or disturbs the natural contour of the upper eyelid. In some circumstances this can be severe enough to impair vision.
- Herniation of fat that appear as puffiness in the upper eyelids
- Bags under the eyes
- Droopiness of the lower eyelids
- Excess skin and wrinkles around the lower eyelid and to the side of the eye
The technical aspects of an upper blepharoplasty are rather simple, that is, a strip of excess skin and muscle is excised from the upper eyelids. Occasionally, a small amount of excess fat is also excised just from the inside edge of the upper eyelid. The challenge in upper blepharoplasty surgery comes from the pre-operative evaluation and planning. The upper eyelid is strongly influenced by the position and shape of the eyebrows. In some patients it is the brow which is the primary problem with the eyelid being a secondary consequence of a malpositioned eyebrow. If this is the case, then a browlift may be the more appropriate procedure for you. It is the balance between these 2 adjacent cosmetic subunits that leads to fresh and rejuvenated appearance.
Just as the upper eyelid appearance is strongly influenced by the brow position, so too is the relationship of the lower eyelid influenced by the cheek subunit. This intimate relationship makes lower blepharoplasty a technically more demanding procedure.
An incision is made either directly below the eyelashes or within the inner aspect of the eyelid (transconjuctival). I use the latter approach only in younger patients who have lower eyelid fat bulging and minimal excess skin. Both approaches give excellent exposure to the muscles and septum of the lower eyelid. Depending on the anatomy, the fatty bulges are either redistributed, removed or in the majority of cases a combination of both to achieve a more youthful appearance to the lower eyelid and cheek junction. The septum, which plays a key role in supporting the lower eyelid, is also tightened to mimic a more youthful lower eyelid.
Upper and lower blepharoplasty are usually combined with other cosmetic facial procedures, such as facelift, brow lift or non-surgical interventions to rejuvenate the entire face.
The incisions are well concealed in the skin creases of the upper and lower eyelids, with the sutures being removed at the one week mark.
Due to the extremely thin eyelid skin you can expect bruising and swelling for up to 3 weeks. With a return to work possible after 7-10 days.
What are the potential risks and complications?
All modern surgeries are generally safe, but with any surgery, including eyelid reduction surgery, there is a potential risk of complications.
I will discuss with you, in detail the complications and risks that are associated with your surgery including both general and specific complications associated with eyelid reduction surgery, such as:
- Discomfort and pain
- Swelling and bruising that will occur in and around the eyes
- Noticeable scars of the incisions
- Watering, itchiness and dryness of the eyes
- Eyelids may have asymmetric results that may warrant additional surgery
- You may notice a temporary change in vision.
- The possibility of exposing the cornea to injury due to the excess removal of skin
- Lower eyelids may droop. This is typically a temporary situation, but on rare occasions additional surgery may be required.
- Although it is extremely rare, any operation in and around the eye may cause blindness. Following the operation the nursing staff and myself will examine your eye and vision and make sure you are not at risk of this. Should there be any concerns you will be given special medications and immediately taken back to the operating theatre.
Costs associated with an eyelid rejuventation surgery varies between: $6000-$12000 depending on a number of factors:
- Anaesthetist’s fee
- Whether you need both upper and lower eyelids operated on at the same time
- Private hospital or day surgical facility fees
- Surgical assistant’s fee
- Need for other facial plastic surgical procedures, such as brow lift, facelift, neck lift or rhinoplasty.
After our consultation my staff will give you an itemised account of the total cost.
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