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What is Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery refers to a surgical procedure that is performed by removing some skin as well as fat from the eyelids. Not only is this procedure used to reduce bagginess of the lower eyelids, but also removes excess skin from the upper eyelids.
It is also referred to as eyelid lift, even though this is a misconception, as no eyelid is lifted during the process. When performed on the upper eyelid, incisions are made on the skin to remove fat and skin. The skin is then brought together with a thin stitch thereby allowing the creation of eyelid crease.
On the other hand, a transconjuctival approach is used when the procedure is performed on the lower eyelid. This involves making incisions inside the eyelid or under the lash line. With this approach, the incisions that are made are invisible making it a perfect approach. It can be done alongside laser resurfacing of the skin of the eyelid thus effectively reducing wrinkles and lines.
Blepharoplasty is often performed for cosmetic reasons but it is also effective in improving sight in the older demographic with sagging upper eyelids that are a hindrance to vision. Eye surgery is a solution to crow’s feet, dark circles under the eyes or facial wrinkles.
When is Functional Blepharoplasty Needed?
Blepharoplasty may be performed for functional reasons. That is, unlike cosmetic blepharoplasty that is purely done for cosmetic reasons, functional blepharoplasty is done for medical reasons.
Functional blepharoplasty may be recommended when there is need to get rid of loose skin from the upper eyelid, especially where it has dropped enough to impair vision when performing visual tasks like driving. Eyelid surgery may also be performed when lower or upper eyelids make it difficult to wear contact lenses or glasses.
Other conditions that may call for functional blepharoplasty include irritation from too much folding of the skin beneath the eyelid and discomfort in the forehead, due to overusing muscles that are constantly strained from lifting sagging skin. Functional eyelid surgery is performed by qualified oculoplastic surgeons and ophthalmologists.
Ptosis and Eyelid Surgery
When the upper eyelid becomes droopy, it is medically referred to as Ptosis. Droopy eyelids come about when the edge of the upper eyelid falls out of its normal place. This can obstruct the pupil thereby affecting vision. This condition can affect one or both eyes. If the condition is present from birth, it is referred to as congenital ptosis. In most cases, drooping occurs due to aging of normal structures. Ptosis may also occur because of other surgeries like blepharoplasty, owing to the manipulation of the eyelid that causes the muscles that hold the eye open to weaken.
Who are the Best Candidates for Eye Lid Surgery?
Blepharoplasty is recommended to anyone who is of good health, at least 35 years of age and has realistic expectations. Even then, the procedure may be performed sooner in people whose families have droopy or baggy eyelids. The surgery usually goes a long way in enhancing appearance and building confidence.
Preparing for Blepharoplasty
Before getting your eyelid surgery done, you will need to keep in mind several things. First, you need to know that you will have to stay at home after the surgery to allow your eyelids to heal. Secondly, you need to avail a number of items that will aid the recovery process. These include ice cubes, ice pack, small gauze pads, eye drops, clean wash towels and painkillers as recommended by the doctor.
The Blepharoplasty Procedure
You may be curious to know what the eyelid lift procedure entails. Generally, blepharoplasty lasts about two hours for both the lower and upper eyelids. Anesthesia is administered. This can be local anesthesia, oral sedation or IV sedation. In the event that you are having all four eyelids done, the surgeon may work on the upper lids first.
Usually, he will make a cut through the natural lines of the eyelids, to separate the skin from the tissue beneath and remove excessive skin, muscle or fat. The cuts will then be closed by stitching. The stitches last up to six days. Lower eyelids usually, will not need stitching based on the technique.
Blepharoplasty on the lower lids may include a number of techniques. In the first method, a cut is made in the lower eyelid to get rid of fat. This cut is not visible and fine lines in the skin may be softened with erbium laser or CO2. In the second method, a cut is made along the eyelash margin and loose muscle, skin and excessive fat is removed. The cut fades after a while.
Recovering from Blepharoplasty
The stitches from the eyelid surgery usually last up to one week. You may experience a swelling and in some instances, bruising. Ultimately, you should regain a normal look within one or two weeks.
Possible Complications of Eyelid Surgery
A number of unwanted effects that can occur after the surgery include dry eyes, infection, bleeding, abnormal discoloration of eyelids; abnormal folding of skin around eyelid, inability to fully close eyes, loss of vision and lowered lid lash line. If you experience any of these signs, consult your doctor immediately.
Note: All views expressed in this blog post are the personal opinions of the guest blogger. mySkin.com doesn’t favor any particular skincare brand or take advertising from any of them. Our scientific algorithm is entirely unbiased and based on your skin profile.
Aaron Barriga aspired to become an Eye Doctor when he was younger, but his fantastic knack for understanding people and his outgoing personality led him into the field of Marketing. Working at Insight Vision Centre as their Online Marketing Manager, he has the best of both worlds. He blogs with a mission of informing readers about the latest eye care technology and topics related to eye care and eye health. He loves collecting coasters from the different bars and restaurants he visits during his travels.