Have your eyelids sagged and your expression changed? Do your eyes give you a tired or sad expression and make you look older? Blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery can correct drooping skin over the upper or lower eyelids so your eyes look wider and you look younger.
What is blepharoplasty?
Your eyes express emotion without words. The skin around your eyes is very thin. Sagging tissue of the upper eyelids and puffy bags below your eyes can make you look tired or sad. For some of you, droopy eyelids interfere with your vision.
Blepharoplasty can correct this. It’s the surgical excision of excess or drooping skin over the upper or lower eyelids to restore a youthful, more alert gaze. It is also useful to restore the tone of the eyelids.
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Types of blepharoplasty
There are two main options:
- Upper blepharoplasty.
- Lower blepharoplasty.
These two types have different approaches and we will discuss this during consultation.
Where do you operate?
Blepharoplasty: step by step
You will be given a general anaesthetic and once you’re asleep we’ll start the procedure by making a tiny incision. The procedure is day surgery only and performed under general anaesthesia.
We use a small curved incision in the upper or lower eyelid to excise an appropriate amount of skin (usually between 8-15mm) to restore the tension of your eyelid.
Removing excess fat and bulges
Sometimes, only fat and bulges need to be removed with minimal skin. Scars are hidden as much as possible in the natural crease lines of your eyelid. Scars on your upper eyelid are usually only visible when you close your eyes. The lower eyelid scars are placed below the lash line to minimise the scar however this scar is more present.
Closing the incisions
After the excess fat and skin are removed, I will close the small incision.
You will see final results 4 to 6 weeks following surgery.
Avoid blood-thinning medication (however discuss this with me during your consultation), avoid smoking, remove contact lenses if worn routinely, and maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle.
The results are long-lasting however some degree of relapse is common over 3-5 years. The degree to which this occurs is variable.
Blepharoplasty treats wrinkles of the upper eyelid. Wrinkles of the lateral canthus (crows’ feet) will not be removed by this surgery. However, there are non-surgical options for this condition.
I use very small dissolving sutures.
Recovery after blepharoplasty
Blepharoplasty is not painful. After surgery, avoid sport and any form of exercise for 2 weeks, don’t smoke, rest in a cool, dark and quiet environment, and take occasional pain relief and anti-inflammatories if you’re able to.
After your surgery, the eyes will bruise and swell for up to 2 weeks. This is very normal given the excellent blood supply around the eyelids. Around day 4, the swelling will settle and bruises will migrate down the cheek. By day 8, most swelling will be settled. Puffy eyelids can persist until day 14.
Soft face wash is suitable for cleaning after 36 hours. A topical antibiotic ointment will be given to you to use 3x per day for 7 days.
Simple pain relief will suffice.
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Risks and complications
The following risks are associated with blepharoplasty:
- Asymmetry of skin.
- Changes in vision are often temporary. There is a 1:40,000 risk of blindness however this is associated with high-risk eye disease, smoking and excessive straining post-surgery.
Upper eyelid scars are only visible when your eyes are closed. These will fade to a small faint white line over time. Lower eyelid scars are more visible and will fade over time. Often both eyelids do not need treatment at one time; this surgery is far more commonly used to treat upper eyelid skin excess.
Blepharoplasty cost Brisbane
What does the procedure cost?
I’m all about making eyelid surgery affordable and accessible to patients who opt for this procedure. It’s important to know that you’ll get a medicare rebate if there is visual obstruction confirmed (ptosis) by an optometrist.
There are many low-cost options both in Australia and overseas and great care should be taken when dealing with a surgeon who is not an ASPS / AHPRA / FRACS recognised plastic surgeon.
Unfortunately, many patients confuse plastic surgeons with cosmetic surgeons (as mentioned in the ABC Four Corners report) and the training differs significantly.
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It’s also recommended to always seek second opinions if you have concerns. Ultimately you should feel comfortable with the plastic surgeon you are seeing.
About Dr Andrew Hadj, Plastic surgeon Brisbane
Plastic surgery is the ultimate expression of art and science
Is there any difference between a plastic and cosmetic surgeon
Finding the right surgeon for cosmetic procedures can be a daunting experience if you don’t know what to look for.