Cosmetic eyelid surgery – called blepharoplasty – is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the upper eyelids or lower eyelids – or both – and give a rejuvenated appearance to the surrounding area of the eyes, helping the patient to look more rested and alert.
Mr Sherif Wilson is an expert plastic surgeon who is able to perform eyelid surgery in Bristol, Bath or Gloucester.
Why you might need eyelid surgery
For the majority of people, one of the first signs of ageing is a change in the skin around the eyes. Many patients turn to eyelid surgery because they are unhappy with the appearance around their eyes, caused by droopy eyes or bags.
This happens because 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. When this is the case, surgery may be recommended during the patient’s 20s.
Before eyelid surgery
Like any cosmetic surgery, going ahead with eyelid rejuvenation surgery is a big decision so it’s important as a patient that you understand exactly what can – and can’t – be achieved during your procedure.
Mr Wilson will meet with personally in a private consultation to assess your specific case and answer any questions you may have. Following an assessment, he will then make recommendations for your eyelid surgery and talk you through the procedure itself.
Mr Wilson will also make you aware of the risks with eyelid surgery. Whilst complications are rare, they can include:
- Bleeding under your skin (haematoma) which may result in 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.
Eyelid surgery procedure
There are two types of eyelid surgery:
- Upper blepharoplasty
- Lower blepharoplasty
Both upper and lower eyelid surgery can be carried out under local anaesthetic or under general anaesthetic. 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.
After eyelid surgery
It’s common for eyelid surgery to be performed as a day case, meaning you will be able to return home the same day as the operation. However, some patients may need to stay in hospital overnight.
When returning home, you won’t be able to drive initially so will need to arrange transport when leaving the hospital. It is recommended to take some time off from work to allow for the best possible recovery. Most patients return to work after a week to ten days.
You will need to take it easy at home initially, and will likely find that your eyes appear watery for the first couple of weeks. Your eyes may also feel sticky and itchy, but this should subside after a week to ten days.
You will have bruising around your eyes and some swelling. This will disappear after around three weeks, when you will be able to see the full impact of the surgery.