Eyelid Rejuvenation (Blepharoplasty)

Blepharoplasty is the surgical procedure performed to remove or reposition excess skin, fat and muscle from the upper and/or lower eyelids.

Who is suitable for blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty can correct drooping upper eyelids or puffy bags below the eyes – features which can make you look older and more tired than you feel, or which can interfere with your vision. Blepharoplasty will not remove crow’s feet or other facial wrinkles around the eyes, or lift sagging eyebrows. These may best be treated with a facelift, brow lift or botox injection.
Most patients are older than 35, but surgery may be suitable earlier if you have a family history of baggy eyelids.

What to expect at the initial consultation?

At the initial consultation I will discuss your thoughts and needs with you and elicit a past medical history. At this stage, I will assess whether blepharoplasty is suitable for you and whether the operation will meet your specific needs. I will then carefully examine your eyes and lids to assess the quantity of excess skin and fat, the quality of the muscle and the bony relations to the eyeball.

Because the function of the eyelid is primarily to protect the eyeball, I will want to establish that you have normal visual function. I will need to know if you wear lenses (contacts or glasses) and whether you have had any eye surgery, such as corrective laser surgery, or other eye conditions which may affect your surgery. You should also mention if you suffer from any eye-related problems, such as dry eyes, excess tearing or glaucoma.

Where does the treatment take place?

Your operation can take place at either Parkside Hospital Wimbledon, St Anthony’s Hospital, Cheam, or The New Victoria Hospital, Kingston upon Thames. Normally, the surgery is performed in the morning, allowing you to return home later the same day. The operation may be performed under local or general anaesthesia.

What can go wrong?

In general, when performed by a qualified plastic surgeon, blepharoplasty is safe and results are entirely predictable, with an associated high degree of patient satisfaction. Nevertheless, no surgery is without risk and I will explain the risks and possible side effects of treatment with you at your consultation. Possible risks and complications include:

  • Bleeding and haematoma
  • Infection
  • Wound healing problems
  • Poor scars – scars are usually well-hidden in your creases
  • Asymmetry and lid malpositions
  • Ectropion (over-opening of the lower lid) and Entropion (in-turning of a lid)
  • Milia (small whiteheads in the operated skin)
  • Blindness – I mention this, but the chances of this are very, very rare

How long will it take to recover?

Your vision will be a little blurred for the first few days. Your eyes may also be either dry or teary and drops will be prescribed. You should be able to read and/or watch television comfortably within 2-3 days of your operation. Bruising is not usually marked and should fade by 7-10 days after your operation. It will not be possible to wear contact lenses for up to three weeks after the operation, and even then you may suffer some discomfort for a while.

Most people return to work after 7-10 days, with strenuous activity kept to a minimum for the first weeks following the operation. You may be sensitive to sunlight, wind and other eye irritants for several weeks, but sunglasses will provide some protection.

How satisfied can you expect to be with the procedure?

Blepharoplasty leaves patients looking more youthful and alert in almost every case, and they frequently experience improved self-confidence from their improved appearance.

The healing process is gradual and scars may appear pink for six months or more after surgery, eventually fading to a thin, nearly invisible white line.

I can discuss the exact nature of your treatment, including procedure details, recovery times and any possible side effects, at a consultation. This will reflect your exact circumstances and needs. The information included here is provided for general guidance only.

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