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VNA of Care New England

Blepharoplasty

(Eyelid Surgery; Repair of Droopy Eyelids)

Definition

Blepharoplasty is a procedure to remove excess skin and fat tissue from the eye area.
Eye
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Reasons for Procedure

Blepharoplasty can correct:
  • Drooping upper eyelids
  • Excess skin of the lower eyelids
  • Puffiness of the upper or lower eyelids
This procedure can also create upper eyelid folds.

Possible Complications

Complications are rare, but no procedure is completely free of risk. If you are planning to have blepharoplasty, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:
  • Temporary blurred vision
  • Temporary swelling and bruising of the eyelids
  • Asymmetry in healing
  • Scarring
  • Difficulty closing eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Red eye
  • Decrease or loss of vision
  • Reaction to anesthesia
  • Infection
  • Bleeding
  • Distortion of upper or lower eyelid position
Factors that may increase the risk of complications include:

What to Expect

Prior to Procedure

Your doctor will likely do the following:
  • Physical exam
  • Vision tests
  • Exam of the eyelid and supporting structures
Leading up to your procedure, your doctor may advise that you:
  • Follow a special diet.
  • Take certain medications.
  • Arrange to have someone drive you home.
  • Arrange for someone to help you at home.
Talk to your doctor about your medications. You may be asked to stop taking some medications up to one week before the procedure.

Anesthesia

You will be given a local anesthetic to numb the area around your eyes. Sedatives will be given to help you relax. In some cases, general anesthesia will be used. In this case, you will be asleep.

Description of the Procedure

Incisions will be made in your eyelids. In the upper eyelid, the incision is usually made in the crease. In the lower eyelid, the incision is usually made just below the lashes or on the inside of the eyelid. The excess fat will be removed. The excess skin and muscle will be trimmed. The incision will be closed with sutures.

How Long Will It Take?

60 minutes or more depending on the amount of skin and fat to be removed

Will It Hurt?

Anesthesia will minimize pain during the procedure. You may feel some tightness and soreness after the procedure.

Post-procedure Care

At the Care Center
Ointment will be applied. A bandage may be placed over your eyes.
At Home
After about six months, your scars will likely fade to a nearly invisible white line. The results of a blepharoplasty are permanent. Extra surgery may be done as needed or desired. Sometimes, blepharoplasty is combined with another procedure called canthopexy. This is used to improve the shape and positioning of the lower eyelid. Blepharoplasty may also be done with ptosis repair. This is the repair of the upper eyelid muscle to correct drooping of the upper eyelid.

Call Your Doctor

After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:
  • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
  • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, bleeding, or discharge from the incision site
  • Opening of any part of the incision
  • Excessive pain or redness of the eye
  • Any decrease or change in your vision
In case of an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.

RESOURCES

The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery http://www.surgery.org

US Food and Drug Administration http://www.fda.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES

The Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons https://www.plasticsurgery.ca

Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

References

What is eyelid surgery? American Society of Plastic Surgeons website. Available at: http://www.plasticsurgery.org/cosmetic-procedures/eyelid-surgery.html . Accessed September 3, 2014.

6/3/2011 DynaMed's Systematic Literature Surveillance http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed: Mills E, Eyawo O, Lockhart I, Kelly S, Wu P, Ebbert JO. Smoking cessation reduces postoperative complications: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Am J Med. 2011;124(2):144-154.e8.

Revision Information

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