Blepharoplasty / Eye Bag Removal
AT A GLANCE
Younger looking eyes
Length of surgery:
60 – 90 minutes
General or local anaesthetic
2 -6 weeks
What is blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure to remove excess skin and / or fat from around the eyes and can be used to address the upper eyelids, the lower eyelids, or both. The aim of blepharoplasty is to rejuvenate the eye area and create a younger, fresher look to the face. As the face ages, the delicate skin around the eyes can start to hang down. In some cases, this not only causes cosmetic issues but can actually interfere with your vision. The aim of surgery is to correct the skin excess and address any unsightly bulges or bags, which can be a result of bulging fat.
The aim of surgery is to achieve a natural, fresh and youthful appearance to the upper face. Common complaints of people requesting blepharoplasty surgery includes:
- Droopy upper eyelids
- Bags under the lower eyelids
- Difficulty with vision if the excess eyelid skin hangs down.
During a thorough consultation you will be asked about your reasons for requesting blepharoplasty surgery and this will also include taking a detailed medical history from you. Other medical conditions or allergies can affect the eyes and recovery from surgery so I will need to find this out from you. Your face and eyes will be examined and your concerns will be assessed, before discussing your aims and expectations.
After this initial part of the consultation I will give you my opinion on how I might be able to help achieve your desired outcome. I will be able to show you a portfolio of previous patients that have had blepharoplasty surgery and the range of outcomes that can be achieved.
Together, we can decide if the operation needs to address either the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or a combination of both and I will explain how the intended procedure is carried out. There will be a lot of information to take in and consider, so I often recommend taking some time to reflect on the consultation and ensure that you understand what’s involved and that you are sure this is the right decision for you.
For some patients, upper eyelid surgery only requires the use of a local anaesthetic, with or without a mild sedative, meaning the recovery time should be quicker than if a general anaesthetic is used. During upper eyelid blepharoplasty, skin and a small strip of muscle is usually removed, along with a variable amount of fat. The tissues are then carefully tightened before the wound is finally closed with stitches. A discreet dressing is placed on the incision before you are then able to go home.
Lower eyelid surgery, or a combination of upper and lower eyelid surgery is nearly always performed under a general anaesthetic, meaning you are fully asleep. For the lower eyelids, an incision is usually made along the lower lash line before carefully removing any excess skin and / or fat. Lower lid surgery can also be carried out with no external scar, but this will depend on whether any skin needs to be removed in order to rejuvenate the eyelids.
AFTERCARE & RESULTS
Before you leave the hospital a follow-up appointment will be arranged with you and further appointments will enable the recovery process to be closely monitored. It can take many weeks for the final results to be achieved, which will hopefully produce a refreshed and rejuvenated look to the upper face.
The skin and tissues around the eyes are delicate and it is common for there to be swelling and bruising which will improve in the days and weeks after surgery. It is usually the case that the eyes themselves may feel dry and ‘gritty’ after surgery, but this will usually quickly improve. You may need to wear dark glasses to protect your eyes from the glare of daylight and also to shield them from the effects of wind. Cool packs may help to soothe the eyes and you will need to stay upright, sleeping propped up on pillows, which will help reduce the build-up of fluid that results in swelling. The eyes will need to be kept dry for the first 3 – 4 days, after which washing the face and eyes will need to be done very carefully.
Am I suitable for blepharoplasty?
This procedure can effectively reduce the look of tired and aged eyes that have developed ‘eye bags’, droopy or hooded eyelids. As the excess skin and fatty tissue is removed and the skin and muscles are tightened a more youthful and smooth look to the eyes can be achieved. The impact of rejuvenated eyelids can have a lifting effect on the rest of the face too. During a comprehensive pre-treatment consultation, I will answer your questions, address any concerns and consider your anticipated outcome. It’s very important to have a clear understanding of expectations prior to any surgery taking place and this will be comprehensively discussed during the consultation phase.
Is blepharoplasty safe?
There is an element of risk with any surgical procedure but your safety and well being is paramount. I am a highly experienced plastic surgeon and a leading consultant with the NHS who has many glowing reviews from patients who would recommend my work to others. The procedure is carried out using the most informed techniques and methods and is only undertaken in the most reputable of facilities. Patient safety and well-being is the central focus of the patient journey and every effort is made to ensure my patients are well cared for before, during and after the procedure.
Will it hurt?
Undergoing surgery does carry a degree of pain and discomfort. To ensure the actual procedure is pain free, a local anaesthetic (with or without sedation) or a general anaesthetic will be used. The eyes may be a little sore and tender following the operation and you may need to use simple painkillers in the days that follow the surgery. Cool packs can be used to soothe eyes, as can dark glasses to protect from sensitivity to the sun and wind.
Are there any side effects or risks?
Following surgery the eyes will be swollen, with some bruising. This should start to ease within a few days, taking a few weeks for all of the bruising to subside. The local anaesthetic drops used during the operation will cause blurred vision, which is only a temporary side effect and should disappear in a day or two. Less common side effects and potential complications will be explained to you during the consultation and may include: infection, injury to the eye muscles, bleeding and eyelid retraction.
How much downtime can I expect?
You may need to take between one or two off work while the eyes settle down and any discomfort starts to ease. You will be given more detailed instructions about avoiding strenuous exercise and driving and I will advise you when it is suitable for you to increase your activity levels. Recovery times will vary from person to person but most people will be back to all normal activities by 2 to 4 weeks.