What is cosmetic eyelid surgery?
Also known as “blepharoplasty” or “eye lift”, cosmetic eyelid surgery is a surgical procedure to remove the excess skin and / or fat from the eyelids. Upper and lower blepharoplasty may be performed at the same time or separately. Also, it may be combined with other cosmetic surgery such as brow lifts. The main goal of blepharoplasty surgery is to provide a “rejuvenated” appearance allowing one to look more rested and alert.
Who should have cosmetic eyelid surgery?
Good candidates for cosmetic eyelid surgery should be healthy individuals who do not have significant medical or ophthalmic problems. They should be non-smokers. One should have the surgery to address one’s own concerns and not others. Good candidates generally have a positive outlook on life and not trying to achieve an “ideal image”.
What should I expect during the evaluation?
Your cosmetic eyelid evaluation at the Florida Eye Specialists will involve an eye examination to measure your vision, eye pressure, ocular surface, and determine if your eyes are healthy enough for surgery. In addition, measurements and photographs of the eyelid position and function will be performed. You and Dr. Kostick will review your medical history and discuss the surgical options available. Together, you will then decide the best option to provide the results you desire. After you have discussed the surgical procedure with our Florida Eye Specialists cosmetic doctors, you will then meet with the surgical coordinator to review the dates available, the requirements of the preoperative medical evaluation, and the costs involved.
How do I prepare for eyelid surgery?
You will have to complete all the preoperative requirements such as lab testing and medical evaluations within 30 days of your procedure. You should follow the instructions of your primary care doctor to maximize your health including controlling your blood pressure and blood sugar. To help decrease the risk of bleeding, one should discuss with their doctor stopping blood thinners prior to surgery. The typical blood thinners such as aspirin are usually stopped 2 weeks before surgery. Coumadin®, Plavix® and other blood thinners may require different instructions and should only be stopped with the approval of your doctor.
You should make arrangements for missing work and for help at home. This includes help with driving to and from the surgery center and your postoperative visits since you will not be able to drive for several days after surgery.
The actual report time and fasting instructions will be provided by the surgery center the day before your surgery.
What should I expect after surgery?
You will have to have a responsible adult to take you home after surgery. The nurses at the surgery center will review the postoperative instructions with you and your designee. To have the best possible results and quickest recovery time, it is required to limit your activity for the first 72 hours after surgery. This will also help minimize the bruising, swelling and discomfort. Essentially, there should be no bending, lifting, straining or anything that would cause you to be “red in the face”. You should keep your head elevated at all times. You should apply ice or cool compresses to the surgical site a minimum of 20 minutes every hour while awake. Part of the postoperative care involves applying ophthalmic ointment directly to the eyes and wounds. This helps protect the ocular surface but will cause the vision to be very blurry, being one of the reasons you should not drive. With the blurred vision and limited activity you will need help for a minimum of 48 – 72 hours after the surgery.
If one follows the instructions, the surgery and healing process is typically more annoying than painful. Usually, over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen (Tylenol ®), ibuprofen (Motrin ®), and oral antihistamine (Benadryl®) are all that is needed to help with the discomfort. It is okay to shower and gently wash your face the day after surgery. Most people are off of work for 5 – 7 days. One should not use cover-up or cosmetics to the surgical site for approximately 2 weeks after surgery. The results of your surgery will appear within several weeks of your surgery. However, it may take several months to complete the final healing. Although, the surgery is expected to be “permanent”, one will continue to age naturally. Adopting a healthy life style and protection from the sun will help maintain the results.
What are the risks with this surgery?
It is normal to be excited and nervous about any surgery. You should discuss your specific concerns with us at the time of your evaluation. This should help decrease the stress and allow you to have the best results possible. In general, the risks associated with eyelid surgery include but are not limited to over-correction, under-correction, difficulty blinking or closing the eyelids, dry eyes, tearing, scarring, numbness or tingling, pain, asymmetry, poor or slow wound healing, infection, bleeding (hematoma), and risks associated with anesthesia or limiting your activity such as blood clots. Also, any surgery involving the eye or eye area can cause temporary or permanent decrease in vision, double vision, or loss of vision. The preoperative evaluation and postoperative care are designed to help minimize these risks but the results of any surgery (including eyelid surgery) cannot be guaranteed. The final result often depends on the reason for surgery and an individual’s response to surgery including wound healing. Sometimes, an adjustment or revision may be needed. This can occur early (within 10 days of surgery) or more typically later after final resolution of the healing process.