Blepharoplasty is a medical procedure intended to remove or reposition the excess skin and fat of the eyelid. It is both a functional and a cosmetic surgical procedure. When an excessive amount of upper eyelid skin is present, the skin may hang over the eyelashes and cause a loss of peripheral vision. In this circumstance, upper eyelid blepharoplasty is performed to improve peripheral vision. Patients with a less severe amount of excess skin may have a similar procedure performed for cosmetic reasons. Lower eyelid blepharoplasty is almost always done for cosmetic reasons, to improve puffy lower eyelid “bags” and reduce the wrinkling of skin.
Blepharoplasty is performed through external incisions made along the natural skin lines of the eyelids, such as the creases of the upper lids and below the lashes of the lower lids, therefore scarring will typically be unnoticeable. Initial swelling and bruising takes one to two weeks to resolve but at least several months are needed until the final result becomes stable. Depending on the scope of the procedure, the operation takes about an hour to complete and is performed on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia.
Possible Side Effects or Complications
This surgery is generally safe; however, as with any surgery, there are some risks:
- Your surgeon will attempt to make both eyes look similar, but differences in healing between the eyes may cause some unevenness in appearance following the surgery.
- A black eye is common but will resolve quickly.
- The eye may feel dry after surgery because it may be more difficult to close your eyes completely. This irritation can be treated and generally disappears as the eyelids heal.
- Serious complications are rare. The risk of losing vision is estimated to be less than one in 5000 surgeries. Infections and excessive scarring occur infrequently.