Expert eye specialist, Sarah Osborne – discusses upper eyelid blepharoplasty
What is an upper eyelid blepharoplasty?
An upper lid blepharoplasty removes the loose folds of skin from the upper lid, sometimes fat is also removed. There will be some skin folds remaining to ensure that you can close your eyelids. If your skin has a crepe appearance this cannot be resolved with a blepharoplasty.
It can also be associated with an eyebrow ptosis, where the brow droops, or an upper lid ptosis where the upper lids are droopy. These problems can sometimes be addressed at the same time as an upper lid blepharoplasty or on a separate occasion.
Why do I need an upper lid blepharoplasty?
Excess upper lid skin can cause visual problems by blocking the vision it may also press on the lashes and cause a heavy sensation or fatigue. Some people feel that their excess upper lid skin looks cosmetically unacceptable.
How is an upper lid blepharoplasty carried out?
In most cases upper lid blepharoplasty surgery can be carried out under local anaesthesia as a day case. This involves an injection of local anaesthetic to the upper lid to numb the area and you may go home the same day. It may also be carried out under local anaesthetic with sedation or a general anaesthetic an anaesthetic consultant will need to be present for this option.
Prior to surgery the excess skin is marked with a pen, ensuring that there is enough skin left to close the eyes. The local anaesthetic is then given. The excess skin is then removed, if you also have bulges of fat this may also be removed. The skin is the sutured (stitched). These usually need to be removed later.
What happens after an upper lid blepharoplasty?
Chloramphenicol ointment will be applied to your wounds; your surgeon will decide whether you need a pad on your eyes after the operation.
After surgery you should avoid makeup and contact lenses for 1-2 weeks. You should keep the incision clean using clean cotton wool and sterile saline or boiled cooled water. You will be given Chloramphenical ointment to apply to your wounds twice a day for 2 weeks. You will also need to use artificial tears 4-6 times a day for at least 2 weeks to keep the eyes lubricated.
Resolution of post-operative swelling and bruising can vary between patients. Bruising will usually resolve over 2-3 weeks. Swelling takes longer most will resolve over 3-4 weeks. Please take this into account if you are planning a holiday or social event.
Try to avoid strenuous activity for 2 weeks after surgery to help your wounds heal.
The lid scars fade to white lines over a number of months. Most of the scar will be hidden in your upper lid crease although the scar does extend to just below your outer eyebrow. Sunlight can impair the healing of your scar it is therefore useful to wear sunglasses whilst you are healing in sunny conditions.
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