Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure that is designed to remove excess skin from the upper or lower eyelids. Eyelid reduction may also involve the removal of eyelid fat and tightening of the weakened eyelid muscles for a more refreshed and youthful appearance. Despite eyelid surgery being considered a relatively minor procedure, it is important to consider the risks and benefits of surgery before making an informed decision. Here, we cover all the important details about eyelid surgery.
What does eyelid surgery involve?
Blepharoplasty can involve surgery on the upper or lower eyelids or a combination of both.
- Upper eyelid blepharoplasty – this is ideal for patients who have excess skin in the upper eyelids that may result in hooded eyes.
- Lower eyelid blepharoplasty – this is ideal for patients who have eyelid puffiness or bags under the eyes, causing them to appear fatigued and tired looking.
Once you have had a clinical assessment, your Surgeon will be able to determine the most appropriate type of eyelid surgery. Upper blepharoplasty can also be combined with a lower Blepharoplasty in the same procedure.
Eyelid surgery is customised to the needs of the individual patient
It is important to bear in mind that everyone will have different degrees of excess skin affecting the eyelids. This will determine the amount of surgical correction required, and therefore no two upper eyelid procedures are identical. Every procedure is customised to match a patient’s expectations for treatment to achieve the best eyelid surgery results.
Eyelid surgery is ideally performed by expert consultant plastic surgeons who will have a detailed understanding of what youthful-looking eyes look like. Several factors will be taken into account when planning an eyelid surgery, including ethnic origin and gender. Any eyelid surgery must also respect the intricate functional anatomy of the eyelids to prevent dry eyes after blepharoplasty. This is why it is important to spend time carrying out detailed research to choose the best blepharoplasty surgeon in London.
How is eyelid surgery performed?
Eyelid surgery is customised to each patient, and the extent of surgery will be determined by the amount of surgical correction required. Most types of eyelid surgery can be easily undertaken with a local anaesthetic. For patients who prefer to be asleep, or for more complex cases, a general anaesthetic is recommended. Before upper eyelid surgery, the surgeon will first carefully mark the position of the eyelid crease and the amount of skin that needs to be removed. Once the eyelids have been injected with a local anaesthetic, the excess skin will be removed with a surgical scalpel, and any pinpoint bleeding will be controlled with fine cautery. It is important to remove the correct amount of skin to produce a natural-looking result, although removing too much skin could result in difficulties in closing the eyelids.
Lower eyelid surgery involves making incisions along the eyelash margin followed by the repositioning of fat to achieve a natural-looking eyelid contour. Sagging eyelid skin is surgically removed and is often combined with tightening of the muscles which form the lower eyelid. The eyes are checked for symmetry prior to closing incisions with dissolvable stitches.
What blepharoplasty results can I expect?
Final results will vary between patients, although the procedure is designed to achieve tighter skin with more alert and open eyes. The best types of eyelid surgery are designed to produce a subtle but defined appearance which takes years off you. Although you may notice results soon after the procedure, any bruising and swelling will persist for up to 2 weeks. Most patients return to work within 7 to 10 days, and it can take up to 4 weeks for swelling to settle down. Final results of eyelid surgery are usually observed at six weeks postoperatively.
Traditional scalpel blepharoplasty vs laser blepharoplasty
Here at Centre for Surgery, blepharoplasty surgery is most commonly undertaken using the scalpel method. Some surgeons may opt to use a CO2 laser to make incisions and remove loose skin. Results of eyelid surgery are more commonly determined by the skill of the surgeon rather than the type of instruments used. Although similar results are achievable with both procedures, we believe blepharoplasty scarring is minimised with the traditional scalpel technique of blepharoplasty.
What are the risks of eyelid surgery?
As with any type of surgery, there are risks involved, and blepharoplasty surgery is no different. When performed by a skilled plastic surgeon, eyelid surgery is considered to be a very safe and effective procedure.
Common side effects of eyelid surgery include:
- Temporary bruising and swelling around the eyes
- Temporary blurred or double vision
- Tiny lumps along the incision line
These side effects are commonly observed after any type of eyelid surgery and will settle down on their own after a few days.
Potential complications of eyelid surgery include:
- Asymmetrical results
- Dry eye syndrome
- Difficulty in closing the eyes fully
The risk of blepharoplasty complications can be minimised by choosing to have your eyelid surgery with a highly skilled and experienced plastic surgeon at Centre for Surgery in London.
How long does it take to recover after blepharoplasty?
Recovery after eyelid surgery is typically very smooth, provided you follow your surgeon’s post-operative instructions in full. It is normal to experience mild bruising and swelling, although it is unusual to experience significant pain and discomfort. Bruising and swelling can be minimised by applying cold packs intermittently and keeping your head elevated while sleeping. These simple measures will help to minimise swelling and speed up your recovery. Only light activities should be carried out for the first two weeks after surgery, and any heavy lifting should be avoided. Most patients can return to office-based work after three days.
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Is it normal to have blurred vision after eyelid surgery?
It is normal to have temporary blurred vision after eyelid surgery, and this is most commonly due to mild swelling of the cornea and the eye lubricant drops, which your surgeon will apply to the eyes before the procedure begins. Any blurred vision will resolve completely after two days, and there is no requirement to wear eyepatches during this period.
How to minimise scarring after blepharoplasty?
Any type of surgery involving incisions will result in scarring. Eyelid surgery involves short incisions which are positioned in the eyelid crease. This means any blepharoplasty scars are virtually invisible once you have fully healed. The incisions may initially appear red during the early recovery period, but these will fade to a faint white colour after a few weeks.
How long do eyelid surgery results take to appear?
Eyelid surgery results are considered to be long-lasting, with most patients reporting their results to last for at least five years. The natural ageing process is not prevented with eyelid surgery, however, and the elasticity of the skin and the tightness of the facial muscles will continue to diminish over time. We would recommend regular application of moisturiser and sunscreen to the area around the eyes to maintain the results of your eyelid surgery for longer.
Am I suitable for blepharoplasty?
Ideal candidates for a Blepharoplasty include men and women who have started to develop signs of ageing affecting the area around their eyes. Typical features which may be noticed include hooded eyelids, droopy eyelids or bags under the eyes. Some people are genetically predisposed to developing drooping eyelids and under-eye bags that may cause them to look much older than they actually are.
There is no age limit when it comes to determining suitability for the procedure. Patients should be in good overall health and ideally be non-smokers to reduce the risk of wound complications occurring. Eyelid surgery is considered to be worth it if you are wanting to look younger and more refreshed. Eyelid surgery results are designed to appear natural looking and enhance facial features. The vast majority of patients report their recovery after blepharoplasty to be very smooth, with very little in the way of pain or discomfort.
Why choose Centre for Surgery for eyelid surgery in London?
Centre for Surgery is the leading cosmetic surgery clinic in London, and our state-of-the-art Baker Street clinic in Marylebone is home to some of the best plastic surgeons in the UK. We carry out over 100 blepharoplasty and eyelid surgery procedures each year of all grades of complexity. Our patient satisfaction rates regularly exceed 97%, as shown by our hundreds of online five-star reviews.
What do you have decided to proceed further, please get in touch with us today on 020 7993 4849 or complete the contact form below. Our friendly and knowledgeable patient coordinators will act as your personal point of contact throughout your patient journey with us at Centre for Surgery.