Elective or cosmetic eyelid surgery is concerned with improving or enhancing the appearance of the eyelids and the under-eye areas by removing excess skin from the upper eyelids and bagginess from the lower eyelids. This eyelid correction surgery is also known as a blepharoplasty. A blepharoplasty is a specialised eyelid correction surgery that is performed by a trained facial plastic surgeon or an oculoplastic surgeon. A blepharoplasty is a means of achieving an improvement in facial appearance, especially rejuvenation of the eyelids and removal of eye bags; but in the case of older, geriatric patients, blepharoplasty may also improve vision by removing the excessive eyelid skin that may impede vision.
How does the eyelid age?
As the skin ages, substances like collagen which give the skin suppleness degrade and the skin starts to sag. In the case of the lower eyelids, this sagging skin collects under the eyes to form eye bags. These eye bags then need to undergo removal for the eyes to look youthful. In the case of the upper eyelids, the sagging skin may fall over the eyelid and impede vision. An eyelid correction surgery can bring about rejuvenation of the eyelids, removal of eye bags, and a blepharoplasty may reverse the effects of ageing in the eyelid skin.
Who is an ideal candidate for eyelid correction surgery or blepharoplasty?
- Best candidates for blepharoplasty or eyelid rejuvenation are patients older than 35 years of age, in good health.
- Patients who have realistic and reasonable expectations from the eyelid rejuvenation or blepharoplasty are the most ideal candidates.
- Patients who do not smoke or abuse alcohol make the best candidates for eyelid rejuvenation, eye bag removal or blepharoplasty since smoking and alcohol abuse impede wound healing rates in the body.
Blepharoplasty, eye bag removal and eyelid rejuvenation surgery effects may last as long as 5-7 years. However, with advancing age, it is likely that you may face the problem of sagging eyelid skin, and eye bags again.
How should one prepare for a blepharoplasty, eye bag removal and eyelid rejuvenation procedure?
- Make sure you have enough time off from work/ activities for a week or two after eyelid rejuvenation, blepharoplasty or eye bag removal to allow enough time for your eyelids to heal.
- At home, make sure you have the following materials ready in case you have swelling or irritation from your eyelid rejuvenation, blepharoplasty or eye bag removal surgery :
- Ice cubes or ice-backs
- Clean cotton or gauze pads
- Clean clothes or towels
- Over the counter painkillers
How is the eyelid rejuvenation, blepharoplasty or eye bag removal carried out?
The blepharoplasty procedure is carried out usually under local anaesthesia. Blepharoplasty or eye bag removal may take approximately two hours for the whole procedure, when both upper and lower eyelids are being operated upon. Incisions are made on the eyelids and the excessive skin, fat and tissue are excised away before being closed with very fine stitches. In some cases, laser resurfacing of the eyelid skin, and the under eye skin is also recommended after eye bag removal or blepharoplasty.
What are the risks and complications associated with eye bag removal or blepharoplasty?
- Bleeding of the eyelids post eye bag removal
- Infection of the skin following blepharoplasty surgery
- Dry eyes which may need tear supplements in the weeks following eye bag removal or blepharoplasty
- Incongruous colouring of the eye lids subsequent to eye bag removal or blepharoplasty
- After eye bag removal or blepharoplasty, there may be an inability to close the eyes
- In very rare cases, eye bag removal or blepharoplasty may result in loss of vision
Blepharoplasty or eye bag removal is an impactful surgery which can take years off your face if done effectively. It is a means of eyelid rejuvenation and blepharoplasty surgery carried out in conjunction with other skin resurfacing techniques such as CO2 laser treatment, or dermabrasion can restore a youthful, radiant look to your face and skin.
Blepharoplasty is a sub-specialty of facial cosmetic surgery and is often performed by an oculoplastic surgeon. A skilled oculoplastic surgeon can perform a blepharoplasty to remove excessive skin from the upper and lower eyelids, thereby improving their appearance and resulting in a more alert, wakeful and attractive face. Dr. Debraj Shome is a highly skilled and world renowned cosmetic and oculoplastic surgeon who has many awards and accolades to his name. He has been instrumental in setting up The Esthetic Clinics, a set of specialised medical centres for cosmetic surgery and skin care treatment.