What Happens During Eyelid Surgery?

As you age, it’s normal for the skin to lose its elasticity. The eyelid stretches, muscles weaken, and fat tends to gather. Although many of us would love to outrun the ageing process, unfortunately, it’s something that happens to everyone. Droopy eyelids can make you look older than you are, and severe sagging can even impair your vision. If you’re considering eyelid surgery, here’s what to expect during surgery. 

What is Eyelid Surgery?

Eyelid surgery is also known as blepharoplasty. It’s a type of surgery to repair droopy eyelids. If you have excess skin, bags under your eyes, or droopy eyelids, you may already be considering eyelid surgery. The primary aim of the procedure is to improve droopy eyelids or eye bags. 

According to BAAPS, eyelid surgery was one of the top procedures in 2021 for both men and women. In the UK, plastic surgeons performed 1.5 thousand eyelid surgeries in 2021. 

There are different types of eyelid surgery including: 

  • Upper eyelid – targets the upper eyelid to improve the eye’s appearance. 
  • Lower eyelid – focuses on removing wrinkles and improving bags under the eyes.
  • Double eyelid surgery – a combination of an upper and lower eyelid surgery to target both areas. 

Eyelid Surgery Hooded Eyes 

Hooded eyelids occur when you have excess skin that droops down over the crease of the eyes. While hooded eyelids are completely normal, blepharoplasty can remove the excess skin and tighten the muscles around the eyelid. If hooded eyes are something you’re self-conscious about, speak to an expert plastic surgeon about your options.  

How Does Eyelid Surgery Work?

Before your eyelid surgery, you will come in for a consultation to discuss everything and help you prepare for your surgery.

Eyelid surgery is typically performed in an outpatient setting. So, you can expect to go home the same day as your procedure. Typically, your doctor will use a local anesthetic on the area so that you are completely numb. In some cases, you may have eyelid surgery under general anesthetic. For instance, if you’re combining eyelid surgery with a facelift

The surgery itself lasts about 1.5 hours and you will be under local anaesthetic. Depending on your surgery, there are a few different approaches. With an upper eyelid lift, your surgeon will make an incision along the natural crease of your eyelid. They will then remove excess skin, fat, or muscle. The incision is then closed. As the incision is made in the natural crease of the eye, you won’t be able to see it. 

In comparison, with a lower eyelid lift, your surgeon will make the incision either inside your lower eyelid or below your eyelashes. They will then remove or reposition fat and also have the ability to add support to the tendons and muscles if necessary. The incision is then closed. 

You can have either a lower eyelid or upper eyelid lift or combine the two in one procedure. You also have the option to have additional facial surgeries, such as a facelift or brow lift. Often, when patients get one treatment, they sometimes have multiple procedures, so they only need to recover once. 

Eyelid Surgery Recovery 

After your surgery, you will wait a little while before leaving to monitor for any complications. You can expect to go home the same day as your surgery. Eyelid surgery recovery takes about 2-3 weeks. Most people feel like they can go out in public and head back to work between 10-14 days. 

In the first couple of weeks, you will likely feel swollen and bruised. Over time, this will gradually go down and you will feel more like your normal self again. After a few weeks, you should start to enjoy your new results and be over the majority of the recovery. 

Eyelid Surgery Before and After 

Prepare for eyelid surgery: Eyelid surgery reduction and lift, upper blepharoplasty before and after

What are the Benefits of Eyelid Surgery?

There are several benefits of eyelid surgery. Droopy eyelids can be a significant contributor to looking older. Eyelid surgery can really take the years off. 

Benefits of eyelid surgery include: 

  • Reduce or eliminate vision problems caused by sagging skin. 
  • Make you look younger and more alert.
  • Improve your self-image and boost confidence.
  • Minimal scarring that’s hidden in the creases of the eyes.  

What Happens During Your Eyelid Surgery Consultation?

During your consultation, you find out all your options, risks, benefits, and surgery techniques. The aim is that you feel confident in your surgeon and have all the knowledge to make the decision to go ahead with the procedure. 

Before any cosmetic surgery, you will have a consultation with your plastic surgeon. This is a time where you have an open discussion about your goals and expectations. At the same time, your doctor will evaluate your medical history and talk about any current medications. 

Your plastic surgeon will evaluate your health and your eyes to determine if you are a suitable candidate for eyelid surgery. During your cosmetic surgery consultation, make sure to ask plenty of questions like: 

  • How much does eyelid surgery cost?
  • What is your experience like with eyelid surgery?
  • Can I see your before and after photos?

Your consultation is a crucial part of your journey. You should leave feeling 100% confident in your plastic surgeon. For more information, read our quick guide on how to prepare for your cosmetic treatment

What are the Potential Risks and Complications of Eyelid Surgery?

There are some potential risks and complications of eyelid surgery. It’s important to be fully aware of any potential issues before you decide to get any surgery. As you will be going under local anaesthetic, there is always a general risk associated with any surgery. Other potential complications and risks include:

  • Infection
  • Bleeding 
  • Eye irritation
  • Difficulty closing eyes 
  • Skin discolouration 
  • Injury to eye muscle
  • Eyesight issues

Now you know what to expect from eyelid surgery, you can do your own research, speak to a plastic surgeon, and find out if the procedure is right for you. 

Book a consultation today at The Harley Clinic. 

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