What is Eyelid Reshaping?

Eyelid reshaping involves removing excess skin and fat from either the upper eyelid or lower eyelid, or both. There are three main types of eyelid reshaping procedures:

Upper Blepharoplasty

This procedure will correct “hooding” of the upper eyelid. It involves an incision within the crease of the upper eyelid where the excess skin (and fat if necessary), is removed.

Lower Blepharoplasty (External Incision)

The lower Blepharoplasty procedure will correct excess skin, wrinkles and puffy bags under the eyes. An incision is made close to the lower lash line.

Lower Blepharoplasty (Internal Incision)

This procedure will correct puffy bags or excess fat under the eyes (skin can not be removed through this incision). The incision is made on the inside of the lower lid so there is no visible scar present.

Who is a good candidate for Eyelid Reshaping?

Someone concerned with any of the following characteristics:

  • Drooping or hooded upper eyelids
  • Impaired peripheral vision
  • Eyes feeling and looking tired and heavy
  • Wrinkles under the eyes
  • Bags or puffiness under the eyes
  • Single eyelid (for Asian patients wanting to create a double eyelid)

Who is not a good candidate for Eyelid Reshaping?

Someone concerned with any of the following characteristics:

  • Crows feet (a wrinkle relaxer is usually the best option for crows feet)
  • Dark circles
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Dry eyes

The Procedure

Dr Oates  performs eye lid reshaping procedures at Academy Day Hospital, our government licenced day hospital under a combination of twilight sedation and local anaesthetic. The procedure takes approximately 60 – 90 minutes. General  anaesthetic (where you are fully asleep) is available if requested.

How long will I need off work?

Most blepharoplasty patients will take between 7 to 14 days off work, depending on the amount of physical  activity involved in their line of work.

The Recovery

After the procedure you will remain in the recovery room for one to two hours. You will need a family member or friend to drive you home after this. The next day you return to the hospital for your post-operative review with our fully qualified registered nurses.

On the fifth or sixth day after surgery, your stitches (if any) are removed. Swelling and bruising may still be present so camouflage makeup can be applied.

Is there discomfort?

Most patients will describe the feeling as mild to moderate discomfort (this is mainly due to the swelling). This discomfort can be eased with over-the-counter pain medication. Patients rarely report strong pain and in this case, pain can easily be managed with stronger medications.

Pre and Post Operative Care

Your pre and post operative care will be managed by our nurses. This will include pre operative assessment and post operative wound management.

Included in the cost for eyelid reshaping is a skin care program delivered by our fully qualified dermal therapists  to help prepare and treat your skin prior to surgery. Post-operatively, your dermal therapist will recommend a maintenance program for you skin.

Pre-operative Information

Bruising and swelling
The amount of swelling and bruising will vary from person to person. Although current techniques do help to minimise this, occasionally some patient’s will experience more. The swelling and bruising however does not affect the final result. Ice packs (for at least 30 minutes each hour) will help to reduce swelling and most people find it is no longer a significant concern after 1-2 weeks. Occasionally a bruise may spread into the white of the eye, turning it bright red, this will take around 2 weeks to settle.

Milia
Milia are small white heads that can form as a reaction to the sutures. The eyelid skin is slightly more prone to milia than any other areas, especially in oily skins. They are usually not a problem and can be treated if they occur.

Watery eye/dry eye
A slightly watery eye or dry eye can be experienced after blepharoplasty. This may last for a few weeks – it is very rare for this to continue for more than three months. Occasionally a patient may develop Chemois (Jelly eye).  With this there is some swelling of the clear part of the eye. Although it will settle by itself, eye drops will make it settle more quickly.

Eye Shape
The majority of people start out with slightly different shapes to their eyes and eyelids before the surgery. Every attempt is made by our surgeons to leave the eyes as asymmetrical as possible. However, occasionally there are minor differences between the two eyes, usually this is not a problem and the difference is too small for other people to notice.

Scaring
The surgery is specifically designed to improve the skin and soft tissues around the eye, however, occasionally the soft tissues heal and give a slightly unnatural appearance to the eyelid. On rare occasions this can require revision to improve the shape. Usually the scars of eyelid surgery heal exceptionally well, however on rare occasions they may be more noticeable. This is particularly with patients who have a history of hypertrophic or keloid scarring. If you have ever had problems with a scar or the way a scar has healed please let your surgeon know prior to surgery.

Under correction
Occasionally not quite enough skin is removed, this is done so that the more problematic complication of excessive skin removal, which can result in difficulty in full closure of the eye, is avoided. It is usually a simple procedure of trimming any extra skin under local anaesthetic if this is required.

Double vision
Double vision can result in the immediate post-operative period, however it usually settles very quickly. On rare occasions it is possible for it to persist and further treatment is required.

Visual loss
It has been reported that people can lose their sight following eyelid surgery, but this is extremely rare and is usually due to bleeding behind the eye. Pain is not expected to be significant after eyelid surgery, however if you do experience significant pain after surgery, it is very important that your surgeon is informed.

Post-operative Information

  • Sleep on you back or side with your head elevated.
  • Blepharoplasty usually causes little post-operative pain, if you notice any significant pain which persists notify the day hospital immediately.
  • Cold compresses (gel masks or frozen peas in a bag) should be used over the eyes for at least 30 minutes, 6 times a day.
  • Please do not take Aspirin or medication containing Aspirin. Panadol should be sufficient.
  • You may read and watch Television.
  • For upper eyelids, apply the ointment to the incision site sparingly 3 times a day.
  • For lower lids use your eye drops as directed (usually 1 drop 4 times a day).
  • Please don’t use mascara, eyeliner or eye shadow until instructed to (usually 10 to 14 days). Minimal make-up applied over any bruising to the lower lid is acceptable at any time, but do not pull on the lids or incisions.
  • Any apparent redness of the white of the eyeball is a form of bruising and will subside during the early healing process.
  • Do not engage in strenuous exercise or sport for at least 3 weeks after the procedure or until approved by your surgeon.
  • Stitches may be removed at different times after surgery. This depends on the extent of the surgery, the type of stitch and your skin type. We will advise you accordingly.
  • It is not abnormal to feel slight pinching and tightness in the eyelids during the early healing period.

If I am interested, what now?

Step 1

Your first step is an initial consultation with one of our surgeons. You do not necessarily need a GP’s referral for this consultation.

Step 2

If our surgeon and yourself have decided that you are suitable for eyelid reshaping and you want to go ahead with the surgery, a booking for the surgery and the pre-operative care is scheduled. The usual waiting period is approximately three to four weeks.

Complimentary Consultations

You may wish to speak with one of our  nurse consultant prior to seeing  Dr Oates. During this complimentary consultation, the nurse consultant  can discuss both surgical and non-surgical options to treat your cosmetic concern(s).

For more detailed information on Blepharoplasty, visit http://www.facialplastics.com.au/pd23-56/blepharoplasty-eyelid-reshaping/