Cosmetic eyelid surgery, called blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure to improves the appearance of the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both, and gives a rejuvenated appearance to the surrounding area of your eyes, making you look more rested and alert.
The skin loses its elasticity and our muscles slacken with age. For the eyelids this results in an accumulation of loose skin, which collects as folds in the upper lids and forms deepening creases in the lower lids. At the same time there is slackening of the muscle beneath the skin allowing the fat, which cushions the eyes in their sockets, to protrude forward to give the appearance of bagginess. In some families there is an inherited tendency for bags to develop during early adulthood before any skin changes.
Both upper and lower eyelid surgery can be carried out under local anaesthesia or under general anaesthesia in a hospital. In a typical procedure incisions are made following the natural lines of your eyelids; in the creases of upper lids and just below the lashes in the lower lids. These incisions are extended a little way into the crow’s feet or laughter lines at the corner of the eyes. Through this incision surplus fat is removed and excess skin and sagging muscle removed.
Complications of cosmetic eyelid surgery are uncommon but can include:
- Bleeding under your skin (haematoma) – you may need another operation to stop the bleeding and drain the area.
- Swelling that pulls the lower lid away from your eyes – this usually settles on its own after few days
- Tightness of the eyelids that means you can’t close your eyes, which usually improves after time
- Bleeding behind the eye which can press on the optic nerve and cause partial or complete blindness – although this is very rare, don’t ignore any severe pain you have as it can be a sign of bleeding behind the eye
- Uneven appearance – your eyes may not look identical.