Our eyes betray our age. Once people are past 30, the upper lid begins to sag und the lower lids form baggy tear sacs. The appearance is one of a tired and constantly sleep-deprived person. At the same time our crow’s feet stay put, and the tear trough cuts a line into the face. In extreme cases, the upper lids need some extra lifting force which in turn deepens the forehead wrinkles.
A blepharoplasty is the most frequently performed face rejuvenation surgery in both men and women. Professionally performed, the positive change is immediately visible.
Frequently asked questions about blepharoplasty:
What is a blepharoplasty?
The term is a bit misleading because this procedure refers to a rejuvenation process of the entire eye area, not just the lids. There is just no better word for it. The facial area concerned comprises the eyelids, the brows, the forehead and the cheeks. The upper part is lifted and smoothed, while in the lower part, the transition area between lower lid and cheek is corrected. Excess fat deposits are removed, and volume is replenished with fat injections in other parts (liposhaping – link). Chemical peeling and laser peeling are used to smooth shallow wrinkles, Botox is injected to treat crow’s feet, and pigmentation spots are lightened with laser light. The various methods can be used individually or in conjunction.
Who is a good candidate for a blepharoplasty?
Patients are usually in their mid-thirties. Hereditary deformations in the eye region may be treated at a younger age.
The procedure is for people with realistic expectations and with no health or mental condition that might exclude them. Upper lid lifts are requested in particular by men who are concerned about the impact of the tired and sleepy appearance caused by hanging eyelids. It can have negative consequences in their professional life. If patients are diagnosed with eye diseases or thyroid disorder, these conditions must first be treated.
How is the blepharoplasty performed?
With a 1 cm incision above the upper eyelash, excess skin is excised. If a patient has thick lids, muscle and fat tissue may also be removed. Hanging lids are corrected by shortening the lifting muscle. Volume loss in the fat padding around the eyes is replenished. In the lower lid, the incision is placed under the eyelash or on the inside of the lid. Tear sacs are removed, the tear trough and other areas that have lost their padding are refilled with fat injections, and the lid-cheek transition is corrected. Usually the procedure is combined with a midface lift.
What to do and what not to do before treatment?
Three weeks before an invasive / surgical treatment patient must stop smoking and taking aspirin. In the last week, patients must stop taking any anticoagulant (“blood-thinning”) medicine.
The following substances are also prohibited:
- pain killers such as Apranax, Voltaren and Vermidon (alternative brand names are Minoset and Novalgin)
- multivitamin tablets containing ginseng, ginkgo biloba and coenzyme Q,
- green tea, herbal products containing linseed, sour cherry stalks, tomato seeds
- all diet products.
Does the procedure require anaesthesia?
Blepharoplasty is performed in a clinic under general anaesthesia or under strong sedation.
How long does the procedure take?
The upper lid correction takes about 45 minutes. If it is the only procedure, a local anaesthetic is sufficient. A lower lid lift takes about 1.5 hours. Both lids including fat injections require up to 3 hours.
Is the procedure painful?
Eyelid surgery is not painful. Patients are more concerned about swelling and bruising.
What happens after the operation?
Patients are usually discharged the same day. Swelling and bruising occur in the first 2 days; to prevent or at least mitigate it, we use ice packs at an early stage. On the third day, patients are allowed to watch TV, read and leave the house, provided they protect their eyes with sunglasses. The sutures are removed on the 5th day; afterwards patients can return to work. Longer-lasting bruising can be covered with makeup. After 3 weeks, the side effects of the surgery have disappeared to a large extent. Like with all other face operations, patients are strongly advised to avoid direct exposure to sunlight for the next 3 months.
What problems can occur after the operation?
Non-professional surgery may result in various complications, such as: problems to close the eyes, drag in the lower lid, deformation of the eye shape, the eye may dry out, and even blindness can occur. Do not take eyelid surgery too lightly. However, expertly done, the rejuvenating effect is clearly visible.
Are the results of the procedure permanent?
The operation does not prevent the ageing process; the result is, however, long-lasting. Over time, the upper eyelids may sag again and may require a repeat intervention. For the lower lids, this is usually not necessary. The fat injections used for midface contouring may have to be replenished after some time.