Blepharoplasty | Eye Surgery for Upper and Lower Eyelids

As early as 1818 the word blepharoplasty was used to describe a technique to repair deformities in the eyelids by Karl Ferdinand von Grafe. The skills and techniques for this type of surgery were honed during the World War 1 and 2. This surgery is performed for medical reasons but increasingly it is carried out as part of elective cosmetic surgery for dropping, bagging and sagging eyelids. In fact droopy lower eyelids are best sorted sooner rather than later as the operation becomes more difficult if the skin has fallen too much.

It is advisable to have a consultation with an oculoplastic surgeon if you feel that you would like to undergo this type of eye surgery. Their speciality is that whole eye area including the cheeks and I've written about them over Oculoplastic Surgeons. It is also advisable to make a thorough check of the qualifications, registration and experience of your surgeon and may find useful information on that by clicking on Medical Qualifications or read about The Irish Association of Plastic Surgeons on the opening page by clicking Cosmetic Surgery. An experienced surgeon will have a good stock of before and after eye surgery photographs and some client testimonials for you to inspect.

The surgeon will be able to advise you on what would enhance your appearance and in some cases an eyebrow lift may be recommended. Eyelid surgery can happen at the same time as a full facelift but not before it. You can have the operation for double eyelid surgery. Soft wrinkles on the lower eyelid and outer edges of the eye cannot be removed but may be reduced. You may want to discuss Botox or laser resurfacing for these with your surgeon.

Points to ponder on before the operation

  • Have plenty of pillows ready at home to keep you propped up afterwards as you will need to keep your head raised for several days.
  • Have plenty of cold packs ready as applying these will help to reduce bruising and swelling.
  • Stock up on plenty of food and drink as you may not feel like venturing out in public for a while.
  • Arrange transport by friend or taxi to the surgery and pick up any pain killers or other medication on the way home. It can take up to an hour for pain killers to take effect so don't wait till you need them to think about buying them.
  • You will not be able to do much for four or five days so it is best to arrange cover in advance.
  • Light exercise will be fine after a few days.
  • Bending, lifting and sports are best avoided for three weeks.
  • Smoking may adversely effect the speed of recovery.
  • Your eyes may look bruised for two to four weeks. Rember the almost old adage 'No pain. No gain.'
  • The Eyelid Surgery Operation
    A hospital stay is not usually required unless you wish to have it done under general anesthetic. After you are prepared for surgery the surgeon will mark your face in line with the amount of skin that needs removing and then administer local anesthetic working from the outside of the eye inwards. When the necessary skin and or fat pads are removed the cuts will be stitched with disposable thread and adhesive strips placed over the stitches. The whole procedure will take between one and three hours to complete. Blepharoplasty is not a very painful operation but your eyelids may feel tight and sore as the anesthetic wears off. Expect to leave with your eyes padded and a prescription for ointment to reduce dryness and grittiness.

    © N.Kiernan August 2008

    Cosmetic Surgery Ireland

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