Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that repairs droopy eyelids by removing excess skin, muscle and fat. As you age, your eyelids stretch, and the muscles supporting them weaken. As a result, excess fat may gather above and below your eyelids, causing sagging eyebrows, drooping upper lids and bags under your eyes. Severely sagging skin around your eyes can impair your peripheral or side vision. Blepharoplasty can reduce or eliminate such impaired vision.
You might consider blepharoplasty if drooping or sagging eyelids keep your eyes from opening completely or pull your lower eyelids down. Removing excess tissue from your upper eyelids, lower eyelids or both can improve vision and make your eyes appear younger and more alert. Blepharoplasty may be an option if you have:
•Baggy or puffy upper eyelids
•Excess skin of the upper eyelid that interferes with your vision
•Droopy lower eyelids, which may cause white to show below the iris (colored part of the eye)
•Excess skin on lower eyelids
•Bags under your eyes
Blepharoplasty is usually done on an outpatient basis at a ambulatory surgical center or hospital operating room. To help decide if blepharoplasty is right for you, find out what you can realistically expect, and take time to explore the benefits and risks of blepharoplasty by scheduling an evaluation.
Your surgeon injects numbing medication into your eyelids and may have intravenous (IV) medication administered to help you relax. This may make you groggy. The surgeon makes an incision along the natural fold of the upper eyelid. Then excess skin and some muscle and fat beneath the skin are removed. The incision is closed with tiny stitches that leave a nearly invisible scar. It usually takes less than 2 hours. Afterward you spend time in a recovery room, where you are monitored for complications. You can leave later that day to recuperate at home.
After blepharoplasty, you may also experience excessive watering, light sensitivity and blurry vision just after the surgery. Your incisions will be red and visible at first, and your eyelids may be puffy and feel numb for several days. Swelling and bruising, similar to having “black eyes,” can last a week or more. Ice packs or cold compresses applied to your eyes can help reduce swelling. Scars from the incisions may take six months or longer to fade. Take care to protect the delicate skin on your eyelids from too much sun exposure.