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Eyelid Surgery or Blepharoplasty
The eyes are often first to show the signs of aging. Surgically creating youthful eyelids is termed a blepharoplasty. Although eyelid surgery at our Eugene, Oregon, facility targets a rather small area of the face, it can have dramatic impact on facial appearance. As we age, eyelid skin looses its elasticity, resulting in excess drooping skin and the actual eyelid may descend and rest on the lashes. There are many factors that contribute to the aged appearance of the eyes such as squinting, sun damage, smoking and genetic traits such as sleepy eyes or under eye bags. Blepharoplasty, a safe procedure performed for over seventy-five years, corrects the sagging skin, removes or repositions the fat deposits and may involve muscle tightening. Through blepharoplasty, we are able to improve many of those signs of aging, including the fat bags of both upper and lower eyelids to produce a dramatically pleasing result.
How does Dr. Jewell achieve the results?
Your eyes will be evaluated at your consultation and pre-operative visit to determine where the changes need to be made. The upper eyelid excess skin can be removed from the central portion where the natural arch and crease of your eye will be, the lower eyelid’s skin removal is located just a sliver below the lower lashes. The skin is carefully measured and removed; the pads of fat that have developed over the years are repositioned or removed. The very young patient with the appearance of lower eyelid bags can get a very pleasing result with conservative removal of lower eyelid fat through the internal (transconjunctival) incision.
What happens next?
Eyelid surgery is most often performed as an outpatient procedure with local anesthesia and sedation or in some cases with general anesthesia. After your surgery is completed, ice packs are applied to minimize swelling and bruising. You will be discharged from our surgery center shortly after surgery. Of course you must have a ride home and someone to stay with you to assist with your needs for the next 24 hours. Special drops and ointments will keep you comfortable. Your vision may be slightly blurred temporarily due to medications and swelling for the first couple of days after surgery.
Will I be black and blue?
Though the extent to which people show bruising varies, everyone shows discoloration to some degree. Bruising and swelling will reach a peak approximately 12 to 24 hours after surgery. The discoloration generally lasts about 3 to 12 days. Cold packs should be used on and off for 48 hours after surgery to control swelling and bruising. Expect to sleep with your head elevated on several pillows to minimize the swelling.
What can I do after surgery? and When?
We would like you to have bed rest for the first 24 hours after surgery. Then you must continue to take it easy at home for the next few days. It is a good idea to slow down for a week after surgery as excessive activity will cause swelling. Stitches will be removed 3 to 4 days following surgery and a little concealer may carefully be used 48 hours after stitches are removed.
How long do the results last?
Eyelid surgery is quite long lasting. You never lose the improvement you’ve gained, but the process of aging continues. Some individuals may require additional tightening of their eyelids in the years to come.
What about cosmetics and eyelid surgery?
Many women decide to have blepharoplasty when they realize that their eyelids have drooped so much that it is difficult to apply make-up to the upper eyelids. The make-up tends to get lost in folds of skin. The blepharoplasty will redefine and improve the natural folds of your upper eyelids. You may resume wearing make-up once the incisions have healed.
I wear contact lenses. Can I have a blepharoplasty?
For a few days after surgery, it is a good idea to wear glasses instead of your contact lenses. Afterwards, you can resume their normal daily use. Some types of contact lenses may require a slightly longer time to resume normal wear.
Will my health insurance pay for eyelid surgery?
If the droop of your upper eyelids reduces your side vision, generally, insurance companies will pay for the upper eyelid surgery. An examination by an ophthalmologist is required to document visual field impairment caused by upper eyelid laxness. Your health insurance usually does not pay for the lower eyelid surgery.
Keep in mind that each patient is unique and your results may vary.
Are there any risks to blepharoplasty?
As with any surgical procedure, there are risks. Bleeding, infection and scarring may occur. It is important that your caregiver stay with you the first 24 hours after surgery in the Eugene area. It is not uncommon to have a sense of irritation for a few weeks after the surgery. Loss of vision, though extremely rare, has been known to occur. This information is given not to frighten you but to help you make an informed decision. Though eyelid surgery is generally a very safe procedure, it should not be taken lightly.
Is blepharoplasty right for me?
This is a question only you can answer. At your personal consultation, speak frankly, ask questions and explain your expectations. We’ll work together to help you make the decision that’s right for you.