One of the first features we notice about others is their eyes. Yet individuals who struggle with drooping eyelids or puffiness under the eyes may not be putting their best face forward. To combat tired looking eyes, Dr. Elisa Burgess offers eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, at her Portland area surgery practice. There are multiple reasons people undergo eyelid surgery, including:
- To remove excess skin around the eye
- To reduce puffy, fatty bags around the eyes
- To correct drooping upper eyelids (which may improve peripheral vision)
Ideal patients for this type of procedure often struggle with excess skin around the eyes, which can cause the appearance of a drooping upper lid. Other patients may have bags under the eyes, making them appear tired or worn out. Issues with baggy or drooping eyes can be hereditary, causing patients to turn to eyelid surgery. While it can correct excess skin, eyelid surgery in Portland is not able to treat crow’s feet, dark circles, or sagging brows. However, ThermiSmooth® for the eyes, SmartSkin+™ CO2 laser, or Ultherapy® may help in these regions. Blepharoplasty will also not correct chronic eyelid swelling or issues related to allergies.
Individuals who suffer from some of the following conditions may not be ideal recipients of eyelid surgery: some thyroid problems, dry eyes, circulatory disorders, untreated hypertension, diabetes, detached retina, or glaucoma. A medical evaluation and vision test may be required prior to your surgery. It is recommended that you stop smoking before and after surgery.
The eyelid surgery in Portland takes between one and three hours to complete and is done on an outpatient basis, usually under a local anesthetic. Sometimes it is done with a general anesthetic, especially when surgery is more involved or when done with other facial surgeries, including brow lift, face, and neck lift.
Dr. Burgess will make incisions following the natural lines of your eyes, in the creases of the upper eyelids, and below the lashes of your lower eyelids. The skin will then be separated from the fatty tissue and underlying muscle, and excess tissues are trimmed and repositioned. Using very fine sutures, Dr. Burgess will close the incisions. After allowing time for healing, the incisions are well hidden within the natural anatomy of the eyelid.
An alternate procedure using the transconjunctival technique involves making an incision in the lower lid and removing only a small amount of fat and no skin.
After the surgery, the surgeon may lubricate the eyes with an ointment. The patient’s eyes may feel tight and sore from the anesthesia, and any remaining discomfort may be managed with prescription medication. For several days, the patient must keep their head elevated and use cold compresses to reduce swelling and bruising. The patient cannot wear contact lenses for about two weeks and may not be able to work on a computer or read due to some swelling. Dr. Burgess will encourage you to walk around after surgery. It is imperative to avoid any strenuous activity or heavy lifting for at least four weeks. Traveling long distances is not recommended in the first month following surgery. Ensure that you attend all scheduled exams following surgery. Scars from the procedure will be noticeable at first but will improve over the next year. Results of the procedure are not permanent as gravity and aging continue to play a role. Understand that results are not guaranteed to last a lifetime and may require future revision surgery.
Some possible complications or side effects associated with eyelid surgery include infection, dry eyes, slight asymmetry, difficulty closing eyes, and other unforeseen risks.
Contact the office of Portland area plastic surgeon, Dr. Elisa Burgess, to learn more about refreshing your eyes with an eyelid surgery procedure.
There are a few things you can do to prepare for your blepharoplasty to minimize complications and ensure a smooth recovery process. Before your surgery, make sure you:
Setup a recovery area in your home. Since there will be a few days of downtime after your surgery, you will need a comfortable place to rest while you heal. Try to keep anything you may need within reach, such as extra pillows, blankets, water, snacks, medications, or entertainment.
Ask someone to drive you home from the surgery. A blepharoplasty is performed as an outpatient procedure and requires anesthesia. This means you can go home the same day after your surgery, but you will be too groggy to drive. Ask a friend, spouse, or family member to take you home.
Stop smoking if applicable. To receive eyelid surgery, you must stop smoking several weeks before your procedure and refrain from smoking during the recovery period. Nicotine can interfere with healing and lead to several complications.
Stock up on fresh fruit and vegetables. Eating a healthy diet full of vitamins and minerals is a great way to aid in recovery and boost your body’s healing ability.
If you have any questions about preparing for your blepharoplasty, Dr. Burgess can provide you with detailed pre-operative instructions.
A combined upper and lower blepharoplasty typically takes about 2 hours to complete. If you are only having surgery on either the upper or lower eyelids, the procedure may be shorter. Ultimately, it depends on the amount of tissue being removed and the desired results.
Generally, most patients see the results of their eyelid surgery 6-8 weeks after the procedure. At this point, there will still be some residual swelling, but your eyes will appear rejuvenated and refreshed. Over the course of the next 6-12 months, your incision lines will fade to a thin, white line that is practically invisible. At this point, you will be able to enjoy your final results.
Yes! In fact, more patients are choosing to combine multiple facial procedures to achieve a dramatic look. A blepharoplasty can be combined with several surgeries, including a facelift, neck lift, rhinoplasty, otoplasty, and brow lift. This is a great option for those who have advanced signs of aging and want to have a much more youthful appearance.
In most cases, patients will be able to return to a normal routine after two weeks. The first two weeks of recovery, you won’t be able to drive, wear makeup, use contact lenses, or exercise because of the swelling around your eyes. After this initial period in the healing process, you will be able to return to these activities and resume work if you have a sedentary job. If your work requires strenuous physical activity, you may have to wait an extra week or so before returning to your job.