Some of the signs of aging are saggy baggy eyelids. Both upper and lower. Fortunately, there is something that can be done about this and it is called Blepharoplasty, an operation carried out by a trained Plastic Surgeon.
Now, do you need it? I want you to be honest – have you ever stood in front of the mirror and with a hand on each side of your face pulled gently to see what you used to look like? And then pondered on whether you should have plastic surgery?
Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure to remove fat, usually along with excess skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery gets rid of the features that make you look older.
Having this procedure done can enhance your appearance, and your self-confidence, but it won’t turn you into Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with your surgeon.
The best candidates for eyelid surgery are men and women who are physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in their expectations. Most are 35 or older, but if droopy, baggy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have eyelid surgery at a younger age.
A few medical conditions make blepharoplasty more risky. They include thyroid problems, dry eye or lack of sufficient tears, high blood pressure or other circulatory disorders, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. A detached retina or glaucoma is also reason for caution; check with your ophthalmologist before you have surgery.
When eyelid surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility of complications, including infection or a reaction to the anesthesia. You can reduce your risks by closely following your surgeon’s instructions both before and after surgery.
The minor complications that occasionally follow blepharoplasty include double or blurred vision for a few days; temporary swelling at the corner of the eyelids; and a slight asymmetry in healing or scarring. Tiny whiteheads may appear after your stitches are taken out; your surgeon can remove them easily with a very fine needle.
Following surgery, some patients may have difficulty closing their eyes when they sleep; in rare cases this condition may be permanent. Another very rare complication is a condition known as ectropion, a pulling down of the lower lids. In this case, further surgery may be required.
The initial consultation with your surgeon is very important. The surgeon will need your complete medical history, so check your own records ahead of time and be ready to provide this information. Be sure to inform your surgeon if you have any allergies; if you’re taking any vitamins, medications (prescription or over-the-counter), or other drugs; and if you smoke.
In this consultation, your surgeon or a nurse will test your vision and assess your tear production. You should also provide any relevant information from your ophthalmologist or the record of your most recent eye exam. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, be sure to bring them along.
You and your surgeon should carefully discuss your goals and expectations for this surgery. You’ll need to discuss whether to do all four eyelids or just the upper or lower ones, whether skin as well as fat will be removed, and whether any additional procedures are appropriate.
Your surgeon will explain the techniques and anesthesia he or she will use, the type of facility where the surgery will be performed, and the risks and costs involved. (Note: Most insurance policies do not cover eyelid surgery, unless you can prove that drooping upper lids interfere with your vision. Check with your insurer.)
Eyelid surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia – which numbs the area around your eyes—along with oral or intravenous sedatives. You will be awake during the surgery, but relaxed and insensitive to pain.
Blepharoplasty usually takes one to three hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. If you’re having all four eyelids done, the surgeon will probably work on the upper lids first, then the lower ones.
The positive results of your eyelid surgery are a more alert and youthful look.