Your eyes account for a large part of the expression of the human face. They project an array of emotions including happiness, sorrow and fear.
Yet the eyes themselves are virtually expressionless structures. It is the contour of the skin, the tissue, muscle, fat, hair and lashes around the eyes, that conveys expression. Wrinkles and deep lines, as well as puffiness of the lids begin to develop with the passage of time.
Exposure to the sun and genetic predisposition can also be contributing factors. The result can be marked changes in expression causing a tired and/or older appearance. These physical changes can produce anxiety and actual visual impairment. Today a remarkable surgical technique called blepharoplasty has been developed to eliminate many of these problems.
Blepharoplasty can correct sagging eyelids, pouches beneath the eyes and excess folds around the eyes. This surgical procedure involves the removal of excess skin and fat on upper and lower eyelids and is often done in conjunction with other surgical procedures including facelift, eyebrow and forehead lift.
Before Eyelid Surgery
Prior to surgery, a complete medical history is taken in order to evaluate your general health. A thorough examination of the eyes and face is made to determine the most effective surgical approach. The amount, distribution and type of excess skin to be removed is carefully noted. Dr. Edds discusses with you the anesthesia to be used, the procedure, what results may realistically be expected, and possible risks and complications. An examination by an opthamologist may be recommended. Preoperative directions may include the elimination of certain drugs that contain aspirin in order to minimize the possibility of increased bleeding. Antibiotics will be prescribed for a few days prior to surgery to prevent infection. The areas to be excised are marked and photographs are usually taken before and after surgery in order to evaluate the final results.
Blepharoplasty is performed in our facility under either oral sedation or IV sedation. It can be done under general anesthesia or local IV sedation. Premedication is administered to relax you. Dr. Edds, following natural lines and creases, makes very fine incisions from the inner to the outer edge of the eyelid. In selected cases, incisions can be made inside the eyelid. The upper eyelid is worked on first with the incision made in the fold of the lid. On the lower eyelid, the incision is made directly below the eyelash. Excess fat and skin are then removed from the underlying compartments. The amount of fat excised is determined by the degree of protrusion of fat when pressure is gently applied to the area. Small sutures are used to close the incision and special ointments and dressings may be applied. The procedure can take from one to two hours, depending upon the extent of the surgery.
Another procedure, transconjunctival blepharoplasty, may be performed for patients that have fat deposits below their lower eyelid but do not need skin removal. An incision is made inside the lower eyelid and the fat is then removed. Small sutures are used to lose the incision and no visible scar is left. This procedure is usually performed on patients with more elastic skin.
Following Surgery: What to Expect
Antibiotics will be continued for several days following these eye surgeries. Sutures are removed in about a week. Some swelling and bruising occur but subside in a few days. Dr. Edds will prescribe cold compresses to reduce swelling. You may be allowed to use eye makeup ten days to two weeks after surgery, but are cautioned to clean the area thoroughly after use. Dr. Edds will determine when normal activities can be resumed; however, strenuous exercise must be avoided for several weeks following surgery. After blepharoplasty, excessive drying of the eyes may occur, but this can be alleviated with Lacrilube eye ointment. There may be sensitivity to bright light and wind, in which case the use of dark glasses is indicated. You can minimize complications by carefully following directions given by Dr. Edds.
If you are interested in learning more about this procedure, please call our office at (270) 926-9033 and we will be happy to answer questions about the procedure itself or about procedure cost and financing.