What is Blepharoplasty?

A blepharoplasty, or eyelid lift, is surgery to remove excess skin and fat from the upper or lower eyelids. This procedure restores the area around the eyes and improves peripheral vision.

We all have fat around our eyes to protect the eyeball in case of trauma. This fat “cushions the blow” and is not something that can be lost with diet. As we age the skin around the eyes stretches and loses its elastic ability. As a result, excess fat may gather above and below your eyelids, causing sagging eyebrows, droopy upper lids and bags under your eyes. These changes are mostly determined by genetics and age, but can be modified by smoking, diet and sun exposure.

Besides making you look older, severely sagging skin around your eyes can reduce your side vision (peripheral vision), especially the upper and outer parts of your field of vision. Blepharoplasty can reduce or eliminate these vision problems and make your eyes appear younger and more alert.

Blepharoplasty is done on an outpatient basis. Prior to the procedure each patient will have a consultation with the eye surgeon to discuss their goals and expectations from surgery. A thorough examination of the eyes will be conducted and measurements will be taken. Pre-operative photographs and visual field testing may also be performed to determine medical necessity for the procedure.

Upper blepharoplasty is done under local anesthesia so the patient may be somewhat awake or may have IV sedation, but they will be able to cooperate with the surgeon during the procedure. Typically the procedure takes 30 minutes. Lower lid blepharoplasty may take slightly longer to perform.

Following the procedure, patients are able to go home with ice packs to use on to the eyelids for the first 48 hours. An antibiotic ointment is applied to the incisions three to four times a day until the sutures fall out, which is usually after about 10 days. Most patients experience some swelling and bruising which typically worsens over the first 48 hours, and then improves daily. Swelling should be almost completely resolved two weeks after surgery. Patients may use their eyes normally in the post-operative period. There may be some minor blurring of vision which is usually caused by the ointment getting in the eyes. Most patients can resume to normal activities within a few days.

Established in 1977, Carolina Eye Associates is on the largest eye care facilities in the Southeast. The practice provides a full range of quality medical and surgical eye care services. For more information on blepharoplasty (eyelid lift) or other services offered by Carolina Eye, call toll-free at (800) 733-9355 or visit www.carolinaeye.com.

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