Blepharoplasty (also known as an eyelid lift or eyelid surgery) restores eyelids to a more youthful position. Over time, gravity and the process of aging cause fat stores to shift, muscle tone to weaken, and skin to sag.
This can lead to eyes that look tired, under-eye bags, dark circles, and sagging eyelids. All of these issues are corrected by surgical alterations to the upper, lower, or both eyelids.
The location of the incisions depends on the patient’s needs. For the upper eyelids, incisions are made in the natural crease of the eyelid. Incisions on the lower eyelid are made inside the lower eyelid. It’s your responsibility to follow your surgeon’s instructions during the healing process. If you’re uncertain of anything he’s said, ask questions before you leave or as they come up at home.
Common Complaints Following Eyelid Surgery
Following your surgery, you may experience some discomfort. Your facial plastic surgeon will recommend pain medication you can use to help alleviate the soreness. Swelling and bruising are common following blepharoplasty. You’ll find the bruising and swelling decrease over time with bruises usually disappearing within four weeks.
Your eyes may feel dry and itchy while you are healing. This is commonly caused by swelling impacting the function of the tear glands that help keep the eyes lubricated. Again, your surgeon can recommend artificial tears to help make sure your eyes have the lubrication they need.
Finally, blurred vision and sensitivity to light occur in some patients. These side effects will clear up over time, but if they become concerning, talk to your facial plastic surgeon.
Eye Care during the Healing Process
Make sure you understand your surgeon’s instructions for eye care following your surgery. Usually this includes keeping the eye area clean and using eye drops as needed. You need to avoid itching or rubbing at your eyes. You should also check for signs of infection and alert your surgeon if anything seems amiss.
Plan to return to your facial plastic surgeon’s office after five to seven days to have stitches removed. At this time, the surgeon will also check to see how well you are healing. If you have any dissolving stitches, they will go away on their own over time. Your surgeon will likely have you schedule additional follow-ups to monitor your recovery and results.
Post- Surgery Restrictions
Following eyelid surgery, you will be asked to limit your activities for three to five days. After this time passes, if there have been no complications, you can return to work and light activities. Do not resume vigorous activities for two weeks.
Before your eyelid lift even took place, your facial plastic surgeon asked you to stop smoking, if necessary, and to avoid taking certain medications, vitamins, or herbal supplements. You should still avoid these items for a few weeks. You do not want to impede the healing process.
Dr. Michael Schwartz is a board certified facial plastic surgeon and ENT doctor. He performs eyelid surgery under either local anesthesia or an IV sedative in an outpatient surgery center or in his West Palm Beach facial plastic surgery clinic. View the blepharoplasty before and after images and then schedule an appointment. Reach his West Palm Beach, Florida, office at 561-655-5562.