Eyelid surgery is a surgical procedure in which extra skin and fat are added or removed (skin is never added; only fat is added sometimes). It is also known as eyelid lifting. But, it is a misleading term as the eyelid is never lifted during the operation. This procedure is called blepharoplasty in the medical terminologies. In this article, we will learn about all the necessary information you need to know about eyelid surgery recovery.
Upper blepharoplasty: It is also called upper eyelid surgery. In this procedure, an incision is made on the upper eyelid and only on the upper eyelid (lower one will not be touched if necessity does not arise) to remove skin and fat. A thin stitch is used later to bring the skin together to create an eyelid groove.
Lower blepharoplasty: This surgery is also known as lower eyelid surgery. In this procedure, the incision is made directly under the eyelash line or inside of the eyelid. This process is also called the transconjunctival approach. It allows an entrance to the eyelid without making any visible incisions. It is the most suitable surgery for the people who need fat added or removed from their lower eyelid. This surgery can also be combined with laser resurfacing of the eyelid skin to decrease lines and marks or wrinkles from it.
Blepharoplasty is generally performed on the people who have excess skin or fat on their eyelid. These excess skin or fat can be the cause of aged appearance, heavy looking eyelid, puffiness or swelling and in some case, block the upper area of vision.
There is another type of blepharoplasty performed by Asian people mostly. It is called double eyelid surgery or Asian eyelid surgery. A crease is created on the upper eyelid in this type of surgery. In the lower eyelid, the curve of the eyelid is increased or decreased (if necessary) by adding or removing fats. Asians perform this surgery on their eyelid to make themselves look like the Westerns.
Who should perform this surgery and why?
Anyone who is healthy can perform this surgery. Before you decide to sit under the surgical knives, consult to the doctor about your current health issues. You have to inform him or her whether you have any medical issues which could be harmful to you if you sit for this surgery. Both of you should have a thorough discussion about blepharoplasty surgery. The doctor will have detailed examinations on you before performing the operation on you. But you should still discuss the following key points with the consulting doctor –
- Potential risks
- Benefits you will have after the surgery
- What to do and what not to do
- Post-operative issues
I am thinking that I have already answered the question “Why you should perform this surgery?” To remove the excess amount of skins or fats present on your eyelids. They can make you look tired or old or cover your upper vision or they can also be the reason for puffy looking upper and lower eyelid, deep grooves just below the eyes, etc. To relieve yourself from the following problems, you might need to consider taking this surgery.
The doctor will decide about the operation after evaluating the underlying facial muscle structure, structure of the bones of your face, the symmetry of the eyebrows to decide how much of the skin muscle far to add or remove. To eradicate the swelling of the eyelids or bulges, fat might be redistributed in the lower lid if necessity appears. The surgeon can also make other adjustments to remove other problems which may arise during the surgical procedure.
In case of dry eyes, less tissue is removed from usual to prevent the eye from exposing in the air more. The surgery in which excess skin is removed is also called “skin pinch” surgery. It is necessary for the people who have extra which needs to be removed.
The recovery time of this surgery is very short. Some people can go out to work in two weeks. I am not recommending that you can start working in 14 days. I am just giving you an example of the time required to recover after surgery. Your doctor will tell you about exactly how much time you need to fully recover. After the surgery, there are many stages of recovery that you should be aware of. Here, I will only discuss the most common issues you will be facing after the surgery with the recovery time for healing them.
The first thing you will face after the surgery is bruising and swelling or puffiness. This will be at worse in the day of surgery and the day after the surgery. Sometimes it might even take more time. This can be reduced during the first 48 hours by applying cool compress around the eyes and face. However, you can do this if and only if your doctor recommends it at that time. The bruising and swelling will stop in 14 days. So, do not be afraid. It is completely normal and it is a part of the healing process. It will go away eventually.
The eyes will be bandaged during the first few days. It will be removed and put a fresh one again. And, your eye will have stitches in its skin. The stitches will remain in the skin for about a week. Or, it might be removed by the doctor after three or four days. In some cases, self-absorbing stitches are used. These stitches do not have to be removed later.
Risks about the surgery
Surgery will always have some kind of risks. The blepharoplasty surgery is not out of this limitation. It also has different types of risks like the probability of infection, bleeding, scarring, inability to close the eye, dry eye, abnormal position of the eyelid, double vision and at last the worse, loss of vision. So if you really do not need this surgery then you should not perform it.
Most probable results after the procedure
You can look younger and healthier after the surgery. There will not remain any vision problems because of hanging eyelids. Any scars present in that area will be out of sight after the surgery is performed.
Most probable problems which might appear
It takes some time after the surgery to show results. So do not get worried if you cannot see the results after the surgery. The incised area will take some to heal at first. After that, the result will pop up slowly. The other problems which might appear are the ones I have already mentioned above. These are – swelling, bruising, dry eyes, itchy eyes, etc. if you have any other problems which you are facing and that I have not mentioned, immediately go to the doctor. Because I am here discussing all the most common things which people face after the operation. Any exceptional issue can appear in your case that only an expert doctor can solve.
Quick eyelid surgery recovery tips
Your first job after the surgery will be to stay in rest for the first few days. Your consulting doctor will recommend you a standard time of your resting period. If someone asks me how long I would be in rest after blepharoplasty, I would say that I will stay in absolute rest for the first week.
The next tip and warning also for you will be (the most important one for some people) to stay away from spending time in front of screens e.g. mobile phone, computer screen, television, etc. And its time period will be for as many days as possible.
It is also better for you if you stay away from reading especially small letters for the first few days. Reading causes the eyes to take extra stress. That is why reading is prohibited.
You should also avoid doing physical exercise. Physical exercise increases blood flow all over the body. This includes your eyes too. So this might be the reason for bleeding which is not supposed to happen.
You should not wear any contact lenses unless the doctor tells you to do so. You can wear glasses. And this reminds me of another important thing. You have to use sunglass whenever you need to go out or you come in front of any bright or strong light.
Things you have to keep by your side
After undergoing the operation, you have to keep some things at home, by your side always during the recovery period.
- Ice cubes
- Ice packs
- Small gauze pads
- Eye drops
- Clean soft cloths or towels for washing
The use of all these things will be recommended by your doctor. And you must have to use them accordingly. I just have to inform you about the painkiller are that you should not take the type of painkillers which increase bleeding. For example aspirin. These types of medicines are anticoagulant. This means they can increase bleeding.
The most important tip for you about eyelid surgery is that you must do everything your doctor says. The doctor will provide you all these things that I have said in this article and also, many more. And you must not do anything excess on your own which your doctor did not tell you to do.