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Eyelid Surgery

Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)

Blepharoplasty is the procedure that rejuvenates the upper and lower eyelids restoring a younger, refreshed look. There a number of blepharoplasty procedures; Dr. Stanwix will carefully select the correct one for your special needs.

Blepharoplasty can remove fat along with extra skin from the upper and lower eyelids. Blepharoplasty can also correct drooping upper lids and puffy bags below your eyes; features that make you look older and more tired than you feel. They may even interfere with your vision. Dr. Stanwix use cutting edge techniques during blepharoplasty. He always put the incisions in areas that will be hidden: the crease of the upper eyelid or along the eyelash margin in the lower eyelid. Importantly, he sometimes uses a “scarless” technique where he performs the lower blepharoplasty through the inside of the eyelid. That means that Dr. Stanwix can rejuvenate your lower eyelid WITHOUT any external scar! Also, he may use a state-of-the art method of repositioning the fat in your eyelid to eliminate those unwanted “tear troughs”.

Blepharoplasty can be done alone or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures, such as a facelift, neck lift, or brow lift. Dr. Stanwix may recommend additional procedures to give you an overall balanced rejuvenation. For example, Dr. Stanwix sometimes combines lower blepharoplasty with a facelift. This combination can restore the lower lid and cheek together as one unit, providing you with a smooth transition between the eyelid and cheek to recreate the youthful face you desire.

Blepharoplasty will not eliminate dark circles under your eyes or lift sagging eyebrows. If you have these concerns, please discuss them with Dr. Stanwix during your initial consult. Dr. Stanwix will review the entire procedure in detail during your consultation.

Am I a candidate for Blepharoplasty?

Blepharoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, and possibly improve your visual field. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with Dr. Stanwix.

The best candidates for Blepharoplasty are men and women who are physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in their expectations. Most are 35 or older, but if droopy, baggy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have Blepharoplasty at a younger age.

A few medical conditions make blepharoplasty more risky. They include thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism and Graves' disease, dry eye or lack of sufficient tears, high blood pressure or other circulatory disorders, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. A detached retina or glaucoma is also reason for caution. You will need a complete ophthalmological exam before surgery.

Dr. Stanwix will examine your entire face durging your complimentary consultation, focusing on the area around the eyes. Dr. Stanwix will:

· The position of your eyebrows

· The function, movement, and resting position of your eyelids

· The skin tone of the upper and lower eyelids

· The amount of excess skin of the eyelids

· The amount of excess fat around the eyelids

· The position of the cheek

· The tilt of the eyelids

Drs. Stanwix will discuss his findings in detail and the surgical indications and comprehensive treatment plan.

Does Insurance cover blepharoplasty?

Most insurance policies do not cover blepharoplasty, unless you can prove that drooping upper lids interfere with your vision. Do not hesitate to ask Dr. Stanwix any questions you may have, especially those regarding your expectations and concerns about the results.

The Surgery

Blepharoplasty usually takes one to two hours, depending on the extent of the surgery. If you are having a brow lift with upper and lower lids performed, Dr. Stanwix at Stanwix Plastic Surgery will perform the brow lift first, then the upper lid procedure, followed by the lower lid procedure. The brow lift often changes the amount of skin removal of the upper lids and therefore must be performed first.

In a typical procedure, Dr. Stanwix makes incisions following the natural lines of your eyelids which will always be hidden; in the creases of your upper lids, and just below the eyelash margin in the lower lids. The incisions may extend into the crow's feet or laugh lines at the outer corners of your eyes. Working through these incisions, Dr. Stanwix separates the skin from underlying fatty tissue and muscle, remove excess fat, and often trim sagging skin. The incisions are then closed with very fine sutures.

If you have a pocket of fat beneath your lower eyelids but don't need to have any skin removed, Dr. Stanwix may perform the cutting edge transconjunctival blepharoplasty. In this procedure the incision is made inside your lower eyelid, leaving NO visible scar. It is usually performed on younger patients with thicker, more elastic skin and only baggy eyes.

Post-Operative Course

After surgery, Dr. Stanwix will lubricate your eyes with ointment and apply a cold silicone eye care product. Your eyelids may feel tight and sore as the anesthesia wears off, but you will have excellent pain medicine to control the discomfort. Dr. Stanwix will give you a prescription before surgery so you may get it filled and have it ready. If you feel any severe pain, call Dr. Stanwix or Dr. Zemmel immediately.

Dr. Stanwix will instruct you to keep your head elevated for several days, and to use cold compresses to reduce swelling and bruising. Bruising and swelling varies from person to person: it reaches its peak during the first week, and generally lasts 2 weeks. You'll be shown how to clean your eyes, which may be gummy for a few days. Dr. Stanwix will recommend antibiotic eye drops, since your eyelids may feel dry at first and your eyes may burn or itch. For the first few weeks you may also experience excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, and temporary changes in your eyesight, such as blurring or double vision.

Dr. Stanwix will follow your progress very closely for the 2 weeks. The stitches will be removed 5 days after surgery. Once they are out, the swelling and discoloration around your eyes will gradually subside, and you will start to look and feel much better.

Feeling Normal Again

You should be able to get back to your normal daily activities in 2 or 3 days, but you may not be socially presentable for 7 to 10 days. Many patients will wear sunglasses outside of the house to cover the bruising.

You will not be able to wear contact lenses for two weeks, and even then they may feel uncomfortable for a while until your tear production returns to normal. At that time, depending on your rate of healing and Dr. Stanwix instructions, you will probably be able to wear makeup to hide the bruising that remains. You may be sensitive to sunlight, wind, and other irritants for several weeks, so you should wear sunglasses and a special sunblock made for eyelids when you go out.

Dr. Stanwix will tell you to keep your activities to a minimum for three to five days, and to avoid more strenuous activities for about two weeks. It's especially important to avoid activities that raise your blood pressure, including bending, lifting, and rigorous sports.

Your New Appearance

Healing is a gradual process, and your scars may remain slightly pink for a few months after surgery. Blepharoplasty scars heal extremely well, and eventually they will fade to a thin, nearly invisible white line.

The positive results of your Blepharoplasty- the more alert, refreshed, and youthful look- will last for many years!