As you get older, your eyelids can start to get heavier as the skin gets looser, creating a droopy, tired appearance. Some people naturally have droopy or heavy lids, which can interfere with their vision and make it difficult to see. Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, removes the extra skin from the eyelid area, improving vision and making a person look more alert and youthful. Whether the excess skin around your eyes is caused by aging or was something you’ve had since birth, this surgery can help. How you prepare for the surgery can play a big part in determining the outcome of the procedure. There are several things to do when you are considering an eyelid lift.
Schedule a Consultation
The first thing to do when you are considering blepharoplasty is to schedule a consultation with a board certified facial plastic surgeon. The consultation gives you an opportunity to learn more about the surgery, what it can or can’t do, and to learn more about the surgeon. The consultation gives the surgeon the chance to evaluate you and your medical history and help you decide if the procedure is the best option for you. Some people might not be good candidates for eyelid surgery because of their current habits, a current health issue, or a number of other reasons.
There are a few questions you’ll want to ask a surgeon during the consultation. First, get a feel for his background. Is he board certified? Does he perform eyelid lifts often, and how long has he been performing them? Can you see pictures of previous patients or speak to former patients? You’ll want to ask about what you can expect from the surgery itself. How long will it take to see results, how long will you have to take off from your job, and how are complications handled?
Adjust Some Habits
If things go well at the consultation and you and the surgeon decide that moving forward with the blepharoplasty is a good option, there might be some things your surgeon asks you to avoid or adjust in the weeks leading up to the procedure. Smoking is one habit that your surgeon will recommend you avoid for at least two weeks before and after. Smoking doesn’t just increase your risk for lung cancer and a number of other health concerns, it can also have a direct, negative impact on your healing after an eyelid lift.
Your surgeon might also recommend that you try to eat a more balanced diet and that you try to add more vegetables, fruits and other whole foods to your diet in the weeks before the procedure. If you drink a lot of alcohol, he’ll most likely recommend you try to limit your drinking, as well.
Change Certain Medications
You might need to change or avoid some medications in the weeks leading up to surgery. Even seemingly tame, over-the-counter medicines, such as aspirin, can increase your risk for bleeding during surgery and should be avoided starting a few weeks before surgery. Give your surgeon a list of every medicine you take, including herbal supplements and vitamin pills. He’ll let you know which are OK to continue to take and which ones should be avoided as you get ready for an eyelid lift.
Find a Post-Surgery Helper
During the first few days (or weeks) after your procedure, some everyday activities will be more difficult to do on your own. Driving is definitely off-limits the day of your surgery and for as long as you are taking certain pain relievers. For that reason, it’s usually recommended that you find a person to help you out for at least the first day after your surgery. This person should drive you home or accompany you home from the surgical center, and help you out at home, as needed.
Your spouse or partner can be an ideal candidate. If you don’t have a partner or if yours isn’t very supportive, you might need to ask a close friend or other relative to be your helper. If no one can spare the time to help you, you might consider hiring a companion for at least the first two days after surgery.
Request Time Off
Recovery after an eyelid surgery can take as long as two weeks. Depending on the type of job you have, you might have to request that time off well in advance. Get your request in sooner, rather than later, to increase the likelihood of it being granted. Even if you don’t anticipate needing a full two weeks off, it can be useful to request that much time off, just in case. You can also return to work early if you want, but you might have trouble getting more time off if needed.
Tackle the Little Things Beforehand
Take care of all of the little details in your life before your surgery, so that you don’t have to worry about them as you recover. Wash the dishes or unload the dishwasher, stock the fridge, and pay any upcoming bills. The last thing you want to have to think about when you’re recovering from surgery is whether or not you have enough clean socks or whether or not the cable bill has been paid.
Double board certified facial plastic surgeon Dr. Michael Schwartz performs eyelid surgery in the West Palm Beach area of Florida. He can help you prepare for the procedure and give you advice to help it go as smoothly as possible. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Schwartz, call 561-228-5888 today.