With ageing, many individuals suffer from distended skin in their upper eyelids or from bags under the eyes. These changes occur slowly, over the years, and progressively give a tired or even sad expression to the individual. Sometimes, drooping of the upper eyelids can be severe enough to affect a person's eyesight, blocking part of the upper field of vision. Bags under the eyes are themselves caused an accumulation of fatty tissue under the eye, which protrudes more and more as time moves on, and occasionally also show up as dark circles under the eyes. These unsatisfactory conditions can be relatively easily corrected through a simple out-patient surgical intervention. Blepharoplasty provides excellent solutions in both cases, where the upper and/or lower eyelids require aesthetic adjustment.
Operation (blepharoplasty/eyelid surgery)
An eyelid operation is usually performed under local anesthesia with a complement of mild intravenous sedation. In the case of the lower eyelids, the operation consists of a small incision just under the eyelashes, through which excess fatty tissue is removed or redistributed. If the skin is distended and requires tightening up, excess skin will also be eliminated, before the wound is closed with very fine stitches that will heal and be practically invisible. Sometimes, bags under the eyes can be treated from the conjunctival, inner side of the eyelid, which allows for completely invisible scarring if the bags don't include excessive skin also to be removed. In the case of the upper eyelids where drooping may have developed, over the years, excess skin is surgically removed, returning to the eyes a more "awake" or expressive appearance. The wound is stitched along one of the natural folds in the eyelid, as to ensure it is completely invisible once healing is complete. Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) is a relatively frequent operation and, in the hands of an experienced, competent surgeon, is truly a routine operation.
After the operation
After a blepharoplasty, the patient is kept at the clinic for a few hours, during which the first of a series of cold compresses are applied. During the first 48 hours, these cold compresses help to minimize normal post-operative swelling. Clinic staff will provide you with appropriate analgesics (pain-killers), in case you should require them, but in the majority of cases, post-operative pain is minimal. Cold compresses will need to continue to be applied for the first 48 hours, at home too, and the clinic will make sure you return home with the required supplies. Three to five days after your eyelid operation(s), the stitches will no longer be needed and your next appointment will be to have them removed. Few parts of the body heal as quickly as a person's eyelids, so additional care is not usually required, and once healing has fully taken place, the scars will be practically invisible.
Additional images visible in our blepharoplasty gallery.
Is an eyelid operation covered by medical insurance?
In certain exceptional cases where a person's vision might be hampered by a drooping upper eyelid, causing a form of handicap, it is possible that medical insurance will cover the surgical procedure. Operations aiming to correct certain degenerative conditions, a wound, accident or a tumour, may also be covered by some insurance companies. Please check with your own specific insurance provider prior to the operation.
Can blepharoplasty correct so-called "crow's feet" (wrinkling) around the eyes?
As a blepharoplasty operation deals mostly with the eyelids themselves, it won't, or will only just partially, correct "crow's feet". However, eyelid surgery is often associated with other anti-ageing procedures, such as Botox, peeling or filler treatments, for a more fully-rounded result.
Is there an ideal age for a person to consider eyelid surgery?
Blepharoplasty can be considered at any age, especially when used to correct a dissatisfying situation or condition. It can be useful beyond 30, for some patients, although most patients we see for eyelid surgery are usually 40 years and above. In any case, if a person is considering such a procedure, there is little reason to postpone it, since the results of this type of surgery are usually fully permanent, lasting a person's entire life.
Is it possible to combine blepharoplasty with other aesthetic surgical procedures?
Does a blepharoplasty operation always eliminate a person's dark circles under the eyes?
It depends. Circles under the eyes may be caused by a variety of conditions, such as sunken areas below the eyes, dark patches due to swelling, allergies or a person's skin thinness or tone, which then allow blood vessels to show through. Lower-eyelid blepharoplasty can offer some solutions but we recommend you discuss your own specific case with Dr. Knutti for more complete advice.
Is blepharoplasty usually an out-patient (ambulatory) procedure?
In most cases, yes.
Are the various ointments and creams available on the market truly effective treatments for sagging eyelids or bags under the eyes?
Certain products may, to a small degree, appear to prevent ageing simply by keeping the skin from drying out. Beyond this superficial effect however, their efficacy is very limited and often cannot justify their price tag. A blepharoplasty operation gives durable, visible results, in many cases permanent. When looked at with a long-term view, with the cost spread over decades, an eyelid operation gives incomparable value for investment.
Can a person's eyesight be negatively affected by a blepharoplasty operation?
Permanent impairment to one's eyesight is extremely rare. A small, very temporary effect can occur, during the healing phase, but the condition fades quickly.
Is blepharoplasty a painful operation?
Eyelid surgery usually produces little pain and the eyelid is one of the quickest-healing parts of the human body. Nevertheless, the patient is given appropriate analgesics (pain-killers) to take home, in case these might be required.
What is the best solution for drooping eyelids - a blepharoplasty or a forehead lift operation?
To answer this question reliably, evaluation by the aesthetic surgeon is done on a case-by-case basis, in consultation with the patient, taking into consideration their wishes, options available, etc. If a person's eyebrows are relatively low and add to the drooping, tired appearance of the upper eyelids, a forehead lift may be the best option. If the drooping eyelids are due to excess skin tissue, a blepharoplasty is probably the best choice.