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Eyelid Surgery

What is Eyelid Surgery?

Eyelid Surgery or Blepharoplasty is one of the most commonly performed procedures for both men and women in the UK.  This operation is to remove the excess tissue from hooded upper and puffy lower eyelids.

Are you a candidate for eyelid surgery?

The oculoplastic surgeon will examine the whole of the face, forehead, eyebrows and eyelids, to determine the most appropriate surgery. They look especially at the relationship between the eyelids and the brows and the surface of the eyes to exclude dry eye. The vision is measured, eyelid and brow measurements made, and photographic documentation taken.

What happens at surgery?

Upper eyelids

Upper eyelid surgery alone is usually done under local anaesthesia, as a day case. Local anaesthetic drops are placed on the eye and a small amount of local anaesthetic is given into the upper eyelid to numb the area. The amount of excess tissue to be removed is carefully outlined, a short skin incision is made in the natural skin crease and around the area of tissue to be excised. Delicate layers of muscle and fat are shaped out. The aim is to remove the excess tissue without damaging eyelid function and eye comfort.

Lower eyelids

Lower eyelid surgery may be done under local or general anaesthesia. Only very small amounts of skin muscle and/or fat are removed from the lower eyelids. There can be the addition of a chemical peel or laser to the skin.

Protruding fat and excess skin are removed usually through a small incision made just below the lower eyelashes. The scars that result from these incisions are usually inconspicuous once healed. In cases of no excess lower lid skin with bulging fat, it is common for the surgeon to remove fat bulges from inside the eyelid with no skin incision/scar. Subtle lower eyelid skin wrinkling can be treated at a later date with photorejuvenation, skin peels, or laser.

What to expect after surgery?

Eyelid surgery is not a very painful operation and paracetamol maybe taken if needed. The eyes may be padded for the first one to two hours following surgery to reduce bruising and swelling. Eyelids will usually appear swollen for a few days after surgery, ice packs, sitting upright and sleeping with four pillows will help reduce excess swelling. Most forms of light exercise and a normal work pattern may be resumed within a few days of surgery and eyelid make-up worn from about two weeks after surgery. Lubricant drops and/or ointment will be prescribed to reduce the sensation of grittiness and dryness.

What are the risks and side-effects of surgery?

Complications in the hands of an experienced surgeon are few and precautions are taken to minimise the risks. Possible complications after eyelid surgery include:

  • Bruising is common and often unpredictable
  • Swelling on the surface of the eye for 1 to 2 weeks after lower eyelid surgery
  • Slight blurring of vision immediately after surgery
  • Dry, gritty eyes for two to three weeks which is eased by lubricant eye drops
  • Bleeding around the eyelids or behind the eye, which may cause loss of vision if not managed rapidly or appropriately
  • Lower eyelid malposition or eyelid sag with an inability to completely close the eye, causing soreness, dryness and an unsightly appearance. This can be due to excessive skin removal from the lower eyelids
  • Poor blinking, inability to close the eyes completely and eye surface problems due to excessive skin and muscle removal which can aggravate a pre-existing dry eye problem
  • Hollowed look if excess fat is removed from the lower eyelid
  • Double vision, which is a very rare problem and usually resolves with time

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Reba Cosmetic Clinic

Spire Cheshire Hospital, Stretton, Warrington, Cheshire WA4 4LU

Appointments call: 01925 215068