Eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty is one of the oldest treatments of the ageing face. It has been described since the early 1900s and has continued to improve in regard to techniques, patient safety, and surgical outcome.
Eyelid surgery can both achieve a rejuvenation effect as well as address physical issue that impairs vision, like ptosis or loose skin of the upper eyelids that obstructs the eyes.
WHAT HAPPENS DURING CONSULTATION?
A careful physical examination and medical history will be assessed which includes current medical diseases, regular medications, and any drug allergies or sensitivity. Your concerns, the expected outcome desired, any possible complications and limitations of the surgery will also be thoroughly discussed.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREPARE?
The following information is included for preparation:
- Smoking should be stopped two weeks before and two weeks following the surgery. Smoking decreases blood flow in the skin and can decrease the healing process.
- Certain medications will need to be avoided or discontinued, especially blood-thinning medications (aspirin) and food (a large amount of garlic and ginger), and Vitamin E.
- Arranging for help during recovery especially the first two days is important for your safety.
- Fasting is recommended on the day of the surgery from midnight.
- Homoeopathic anti-bruising medicine will be prescribed which needs to be taken a week before and continued for another week after the surgery.
WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT ON THE DAY OF THE SURGERY?
Accurate marking of the lid is one of the most significant preparatory steps to achieving a successful outcome. You will be placed in a sitting position and symmetry is assessed with eyes open and close. The surgeon will mark the proposed incisions using a marker and will reconfirm with you. During this time, informed consent will be signed by you, the surgeon and the anaesthetist.
WHAT ARE THE TYPE OF ANAESTHESIA USED?
Choosing the anaesthesia will be based on your preference, current health status, financial concerns and other additional procedures that might be performed simultaneously. Generally, blepharoplasty is performed under local anaesthesia with sedation. However, it can also be done under general anaesthesia.
The main difference between sedation and general anaesthesia is the effect on breathing and loss of consciousness. In general anaesthesia, complete loss of consciousness occurs and spontaneous breathing is impaired. Thus, general anaesthesia requires ventilation to help maintain adequate oxygen levels for the body to function. On the other hand, sedation only depresses the consciousness and patient can still maintain an adequate level of breathing.
Another difference between the two types of anaesthesia is recovery time. Patients undergoing general anaesthesia usually requires an overnight stay at the hospital and the recovery is longer. While in sedation, the surgery can be done as a day case and does not require an overnight stay as recovery will take only a few hours (around 2 to 4 hours).
WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE SURGERY?
Eyelid surgery will take approximately 1 – 1.5 hour for either upper or lower blepharoplasty, or 1.5 – 2 hours if both.
With either general anaesthesia or sedation, you will be totally relaxed and will not be able to recall or remember much of the surgery. Pain relievers will be also given during and after the surgery.
The incisions will be made on the outside of the eyelids and once the excess skin (sometimes fat) is removed, the incisions are closed using non-absorbable stitches.
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THE SURGERY?
A small tape (steri-strip) will be placed to cover the incisions. Oozing of blood from the incisions on the first day is normal and will be cleaned when you come for a follow-up the next day.
For the first few days, expect bruising and swelling. A cold compress can be applied for the first 24 hours to minimize swelling. You will need to keep your head elevated using pillows when lying down for the first 3 days. Bending at the waist and lifting any heavy objects is also prohibited as this can cause an increase in pressure on the eyes and can lead to the opening of the incisions.
The stitches will be removed in 4 days and a steri-strip will be applied. This steri-strip can then be removed after 24 hours.
ARE THERE RISKS AND COMPLICATIONS?
Most complications associated with blepharoplasty are usually mild and are mostly self-limiting. These complications include prolonged bruising and swelling and dry eyes. Persistent swelling can be managed by oral steroid while dry eyes with eye lubricant or artificial tears.
Eyelid surgery is generally a straightforward procedure and like any other surgery poses risks of bleeding and infection. These complications can be prevented by careful adherence to the surgeon’s before and after-care instructions.
To book an appointment for Eyelid Surgery Dubai at our LCAS Dubai Healthcare City Clinic, please contact 04-375 2393 or email gulf@LCAS.com
To book an appointment at our LCAS 15 Harley Street, London practice, please call +44 207 636 4272 or email info@LCAS.com