Our face is our biggest betrayer when it comes to signs of ageing, and in particular, the skin around and above our eyes. While we are young, our body produces plenty of collagen and elastin to make our skin soft, smooth, supple and fairly taut. However, as we get older the production of these components naturally slows right down, and our skin suffers as a result. Dryness and loss of elasticity occurs, and the effects of environmental and habitual damage such as sun exposure and smoking also begin to take their toll. Slowly but surely our skin begins to sag, causing lines and wrinkles, with our facial skin bearing the brunt of the effect.
Unfortunately, the thin and sensitive skin around our eyes doesn’t escape and sagging above and below them is unavoidable. While many lotions and potions claim to be able to reverse the effects of ageing and skin damage, most people find the results are limited and short-lived. However, when it comes to sagging around the eyes there is another option – eyelid surgery.
What is eyelid surgery?
Eyelid surgery, known officially as blepharoplasty, is an increasingly common cosmetic procedure that targets the skin around the eyes with the aim of making the patient look more youthful. Incisions are made inside the eyelid wherever possible to minimize scarring. Excess skin can then be cut away and the remaining skin pulled taut, creating tautness and eliminating folds and wrinkles. The wounds are then closed using either sutures or surgical strips.
The actual procedure is fairly quick and can be performed using only a local anesthetic. This means that you will not need an assessment for general anesthetic, and you will be able to go home shortly after your procedure. Some patients understandably feel very nervous about the prospect of surgery carried out so close to their eyes, and so request that they are mildly sedated during the procedure. This can also be beneficial for your surgeon since you need to remain completely still for the duration of the operation.
Am I a good candidate for eyelid surgery?
Every patient should be assessed for cosmetic surgery on a case by case basis. Your surgeon will request that you attend a consultation appointment for this assessment to take place where he/she will undertake a physical examination of your eyes, review your general health and wellbeing and speak to you about your expectations for the procedure.
Patients who are usually considered to be a good candidate for eyelid surgery tend to suffer from:
Sagging upper eyelids, often drooping so low that they obscure part or all of the patient’s vision.
Sagging lower eyelids that pull down enough to reveal the tissues underneath the eye ball.
Moderate or large bags under the eyes.
Visible excess skin around the eyes.
What to expect after eyelid surgery
If you are considering eyelid surgery, you almost certainly want to know what to expect after your procedure. Fortunately, blepharoplasty is a fairly minor form of cosmetic surgery compared to many others, and the recovery process is usually relatively fast and straightforward provided you follow the guidance given to you by your surgeon.
It is important to take enough time off to rest and recuperate after any form of cosmetic surgery, including eyelid surgery. Ideally you should take off from work for around a week. You will also find that you are unable to drive for between two and five days following your procedure and should avoid swimming and wearing contact lenses until your surgeon is satisfied that the skin around your eyes is suitably healed.
Your eyes may be bruised, red and swollen immediately after your surgery, and this can take several weeks to fade completely. However, you must avoid using cosmetics during this time as they could irritate the wounds and put you at increased risk of developing an infection. Some surgeons will automatically prescribe antibiotic cream as a preventative measure.
You may also be in some mild discomfort. This can usually be alleviated using over the counter medications. Should you be in significant pain or the wounds seem not to be healing properly, you should speak to your surgeon’s office as soon as possible.
For further advice on what to expect after eyelid surgery, please do not hesitate to contact our helpful and knowledgeable team in San Antonio, Texas.