Blepharoplasty is the medical term for an eyelift. This surgical procedure involves the removal of excess skin and fat from the eyelid and surrounding areas. An Upper Blepharoplasty corrects ‘hooding’ of the upper eye lid, a Lower Blepharoplasty (External Incision) corrects an excess of skin, wrinkles or bags, and a Lower Blepharoplasty (Internal Incision), where a small incision is made on the inside of the lower eyelid, and therefore leaves no visible scar is also used to address bags and excess fat that may be found under the eyes.
What is Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is an eyelid reshaping surgery that removes excess skin and fat from around the eyelid. There are three types of eyelid reshaping surgical procedures:
Upper Blepharoplasty To correct “hooding” of the upper eyelid, upper blepharoplasty involves an incision within the crease of the upper eyelid where excess skin and fat is removed.
Lower Blepharoplasty (External Incision) Used to correct skin excess, wrinkles and puffy bags, lower blepharoplasty is done with an incision made close to the lower lash line.
Lower Blepharoplasty (Internal Incision) Lower blepharoplasty with an internal incision corrects puffy bags and excess fat under the eyes. An incision is made on the inside of the lower lid, leaving no visible scar. No skin is removed using this type of blepharoplasty.
Who is a good candidate for Eyelid Reshaping?
Eyelid reshaping is suitable for people with:
Impaired peripheral vision
Dropping or hooded upper eyelids
Wrinkles under the eyes
Eyes feeling & looking tired/heavy
A single eyelid that would like to create a double eyelid appearance
Bags or puffiness beneath the eyes
Who is not a good candidate for Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is unsuitable for people that:
Are worried about crows feet (wrinkle relaxers would be the best treatment here)
Have dark circles & dry eyes
Have unrealistic expectations
Dr Oates performs eyelid reshaping at the Academy Day Hospital in Perth under a combination of local anaesthetic and twilight sedation. The procedure will take between 60-90 minutes and can be performed under general anaesthetic if requested.
How long will I need off work?
Most patients that have undergone eyelid reshaping surgery will need 7-14 days off work depending on the level of physical activity in their industry.
You will remain in the recovery room for one to two hours and you will need to arrange for someone to drive you home after the surgery. A post-operative review is carried out at Academy Day Hospital by our team of registered nurses.
If you have had stitches in the surgery, these will be removed 5-6 days after surgery. Any swelling or bruising can be covered by make up after 10 days.
Is there discomfort?
The feeling that most patients report is mild to moderate discomfort due largely to the swelling. Discomfort can be eased with medication that is available over-the-counter. Rarely, strong pain may be experienced by patients which can be managed with stronger, prescribed medications.
Pre and Post-Operative Care
Pre and post operative care will be carried out by our nurses, including pre-operative assessment and post-operative wound management.
A skin care program is created for you by our highly qualified dermal therapists. Included in the cost of your surgery, proper skin care routines will help prepare and treat your skin for surgery. A maintenance program will be recommended to you by your dermal therapist as part of your post-operative care.
Risks and complications:
Bruising & swelling Swelling and bruising will vary for each person. Current surgical techniques minimise this but occasionally some patients do have a higher level of bruising or swelling which in no way affects the final result.
Ice packs applied for 30-60 minutes will reduce the swelling and after 1-2 weeks you shouldn’t expect any swelling or bruising. If the bruise spreads to the white of the eye and turns bright red, don’t panic. The bruise will settle in around 2 weeks.
Milia Sometimes milia (small whiteheads) can form in reaction to sutures. Eyelid skin is more prone to milia than other areas, especially in people with oily skin. They are not a problem and are easily treatable.
Watery or dry eyes Watery or dry eyes may occur after the surgery and can last for a few weeks. It is rare for this to continue beyond three months.
Chemois (jelly eye) can occasionally develop in blepharoplasty patients which causes some swelling in the clear portion of the eye. Eyedrops can help chemois to settle quicker, although this will settle on its own.
Eye Shape Going into eyelid reshaping surgery most people start with eyes that are slightly different shapes. our surgeons make every attempt to make the eyes as asymmetrical as possible but occasionally there are minor differences between the eyes. This poses no medical issue and the difference is too small for other people to notice.
Scarring Blepharoplasty has been specifically designed to improve the skin and soft tissues around the eye. Occasionally the soft tissues heal in a way that gives a slightly unnatural appearance to the eyelid. Rarely, this can require revision to improve the shape.
The majority of the time scars from eyelid surgery heal extremely well. Patients with a history of keloid or hypertrophic scarring may have scars that remain more noticeable. You should let your surgeon know prior to surgery if you have previously had problems with scar healing.
Under correction Sometimes not quite enough skin is removed in order to prevent the serious complication of excessive skin removal that can limit full closure of the eye. Undercorrection can be simply resolved with trimming of any extra skin under local anaesthetic as required.
Double vision In the immediate post-operative period double vision can occur and settles quickly. Rarely the double vision will persist and further treatment is required.
Visual loss There have been very rare cases where people have lost their eyesight following eyelid surgery and is usually due to bleeding behind the eye.
Significant pain is not to be expected after surgery. If you experience any serious pain after surgery it is crucial that you inform your surgeon.
What’s the next step?
Your first step is an initial consultation Dr Oates. If you have a referral you will be able to claim some of the cost of the consultation from Medicare.
If it is decided by Dr Oats that you are a suitable candidate for eyelid reshaping surgery and you want to go ahead, the surgery and pre-operative care is scheduled. The waiting period is around 3-4 weeks.
Our Nurse Consultant can provide an initial complimentary consultation to go over your cosmetic concerns, and the surgical and non-surgical options that are available to you.