Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Lift)
Blepharoplasty, commonly referred to as an eyelid lift, is an outpatient surgery that can be done to correct "droopy eyelids" by removing fat deposits and loose skin around the eyes. This procedure can now be performed using the laser as opposed to the traditional scalpel. As we age, the skin around the eyes may become stretched and loose. In addition, the fat that surrounds the eye and cushions the eye may start to bulge forward and contibute to the appearance of "bags". In some cases, this may be significant enough that it affects vision and may be covered by insurance for medical reasons. It may cause heaviness of the eyes and/or obstruct the periphery of the vision. Special testing must be done to determine the eligibility for insurance coverage. If you are experiencing these problems, contact Carolina Ophthalmology at 800-624-6575 and request a blepharoplasty or eyelid lift evaluation with Dr. Choe.
What to expect the day of the procedure
Blepharoplasty is done in our offices in our outpatient surgical suite. It will typically take one to three hours depending on the types of surgery being performed. Upon your arrival to our offices, you will typically be given an oral sedative to help you remain calm and relaxed throughout the surgery. Most eyelid surgery is performed under a local anesthetic, so your eyes will be numb and you will be awake during the surgery. You may experience some tugging sensations and some occasional discomfort during the surgery, but the anesthetic typically makes the eye insensitive to pain during the procedure. Using an advanced laser, the surgeon will make incisions following the natural lines of your eyelids, in the crease of your upper lids, and just below the lashes in the lower lids. These incisions may extend into the crow's feet or laugh lines at the outer corners of the eyes. The surgeon then uses the laser to remove loose skin and fat pads, if present. Through use of the laser, the surgeon can clearly judge how much tissue to remove, and there is less swelling and bruising than with traditional eyelifts. Also, through use of the laser, visible postoperative signs of surgery diminish more quickly. The surgeon will close the laser incisions with fines stitches.
After surgery, you will need to keep your head elevated for several days and to use cold compresses to reduce swelling and bruising. You may be required to use ointment, eye drops, and pain medication during your recovery phase as directed by your surgeon. Eyelids may feel tight and sore initially and your eyes may feel dry, or they may burn or itch for the first few days. You may also experience excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, and temporary blurring or double vision as your eyes readjust. Stitches are typically removed in one to two weeks following your surgery. You can expect to resume normal activities in about 3 to 5 days. You should avoid strenuous activities that may raise blood pressure for at least three weeks, including things like lifting, bending, and rigorous sports.