Eyelid surgery is one of the top 3 cosmetic treatments in the UK. As you get older, it’s entirely normal for the skin around the eyes to lose its elasticity. The muscle starts to relax, and the upper and lower eyelids can begin to droop. It’s not uncommon for eye bags to develop. The effects of ageing can show around the eyes. The procedure reshapes the eyelids and can make you look younger and rejuvenated.
What is Blepharoplasty, aka Eyelid Surgery?
Blepharoplasty, pronounced blef-uh-roe-plas-tee, is a type of surgery that repairs droopy eyelids. It’s also known as eyelid reduction or eye bag removal. It’s a common procedure for men and women who want to rejuvenate their facial appearance and combat those pesky signs of ageing.
As your skin loses elasticity, muscles begin to relax. This can result in folds of skin collecting in the upper lids and creases forming in the lower lids. Although ageing can play a role, some people may inherit the tendency for bags to form under the eyes earlier in life.
The surgery takes up to two hours to perform. During the procedure, your plastic surgeon will remove excess skin, fat, and tissue from the upper and lower eyelids.
With the upper eyelid, incisions are made along the creases of the skin. Excess skin and fatty tissue are removed, and the incision is closed. You won’t be able to see the scar as it’s in the crease of the eyelid. For the lower eyelid, generally, the incision is made just below the eyelashes. Excess fat is then removed.
What Can You Expect From Blepharoplasty?
When eyelid surgery combines both upper and lower blepharoplasty, the procedure can take between 1 to 2 hours. The exact recovery time will depend on whether the fat requires repositioning or if you require more work, like cheek lifting.
When closing the incisions, the lower eyelids won’t require sutures if the surgeon makes the incision on the inside of the eyelid. It is normal to experience bruising and swelling on both eyelids following the procedure. However, that should improve within 1 to 2 weeks.
When it comes to the results, the incision on the upper eyelids will be more pronounced, and that lid will therefore take longer for the results to show. You will need to stay home for a few days and limit your activities to enhance recovery. Some people report experiencing dry eyes following the surgery, but this improves after about 2 weeks. If you continue experiencing dry eyes after 2 weeks, tell your doctor.
How Long Do Blepharoplasty Results Last?
While cosmetic surgery sheds years off your age, the ageing process will still affect your results. It is the same with eyelid surgery. The procedure doesn’t prevent your eyes from ageing.
However, expect the results to last a long time. Upper blepharoplasty results can last 5 to 7 years to an entire lifetime, depending on how much tissue was removed. As for the lower eyelid, you rarely need to do it more than once.
How Long to Recover From Eyelid Surgery?
The procedure is highly effective with relatively minimal downtime and immediate results. In the first few days after your surgery, you will feel bruising, and your vision will be a little blurry. After about four days, you will be able to watch TV and read.
The total recovery time depends on the type of surgery. But as a rough guide, you should be able to return to work in 2 weeks and do regular activities and exercise in 1 month. Your plastic surgeon will give you some post-operative instructions to adhere to during recovery.
- Sleep with your head propped on a pillow for a few days following the surgery to reduce swelling
- Clean your eyelids gently using the prescribed eyedrops of ointment
- Apply cold packs to your eyelids for a few days to minimise swelling
- When you go out, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the wind and sun
- Avoid strenuous activities and swimming in open water for a few days
- Avoid smoking since the chemicals found in cigarettes can increase your risk of complication
- Don’t wear contact lenses or rub your eyes following eyelid surgery
As every person is unique, the recovery time can vary slightly. This is why it’s essential to find a plastic surgeon you trust who creates a recovery plan based on you. At the Harley Clinic, you will have a consultation with your plastic surgeon, including a thorough health assessment and complete analysis.
Some patients use non-surgical treatments like anti-wrinkle injections after eyelid surgery to smooth out their facial appearance. This is something we can discuss at your consultation.
The eyes are such an important feature of the face. Because of this, eyelid surgery has become increasingly popular in the past few years. Things like smoking and sun exposure tend to magnify sagging eyelids. Eyelid surgery is an effective procedure that can make the skin around the eyes look firmer and more youthful.
Blepharoplasty Before And After at The Harley Clinic
What are the Possible Complications?
All cosmetic procedures, including eyelid surgery, carry a degree of risk. Eyelid surgery can occasionally lead to:
- Temporary double or blurred vision
- Your eyes may also end up looking slightly uneven
- Collection of blood under the skin, but this disappears after a few weeks
- Noticeable scarring
In rare cases, the surgery can lead to more severe complications like:
- Injury to the eye muscles
- The lower eyelid may droop away from your eye and turn outwards, a condition known as ectropion
- Eyelid retraction where the lower eyelid is pulled down such that the white of the eye shows below the iris
- Visual impairment, though rare, for most people, vision improves over time
- Excessive bleeding during the surgery
- A blood clot may also develop in the large blood vessels
- Allergic reaction to the anaesthesia
Your surgeon will explain all these risks during your consultation and how they will handle complications in case they occur, especially during the procedure and after. Occasionally, you may need another procedure since there is a risk of the results not turning out as you had hoped.
If you are considering eyelid surgery, book a consultation today and speak to an expert plastic surgeon about your options and what to expect.