Drooping eyelids can not only make you look tired, but they can also make you feel tired. They may even affect your vision. Eyelid surgery performed by Dr. Steven Carp of Carp Cosmetic Surgery Center is recommended in many cases. Patients in Canton, Cleveland and Akron can learn more by visiting his Green and Beachwood, OH clinics.
What us Eyelid Surgery?
The technical term for eyelid surgery is blepharoplasty. This procedure is used to remove excess fat, skin, and muscle from both the upper and lower eyelids. It can also be used to correct upper eyelids that are drooping and remove puffy bags from under the eyes. These features can make you appear tired and older than you really are and may negatively affect your vision.
Eyelid surgery is not designed to eliminate crow’s feet, wrinkles, or dark rings under your eyes. Neither will it lift sagging eyebrows. For patients with Asian eyes, the procedure may add an upper eyelid crease. However, it will not remove racial or ethnic features.
Some patients choose to have blepharoplasty done as a standalone procedure while others choose to have it done in connection with facial surgery procedures such as a facelift or a brow lift.
The following information will provide you with a basic understanding of eyelid surgery. We will detail when the procedure could help you, how the procedure is performed, and what results you should expect. Of course, we will not be able to answer every single question you may have. For this reason, it is best for you to speak with Dr. Carp about anything you do not understand.
The Best Candidates for Eyelid Surgery
Blepharoplasty can improve your appearance and help boost self-confidence. However, it will not drastically alter your appearance, nor will it necessarily cause other people to treat you differently. Before deciding to have this procedure done, carefully think about what you expect from this procedure and discuss those expectations with Dr. Carp.
Ideal blepharoplasty candidates are those who have good physical health, expect realistic results from the procedure and are psychologically stable. Most individuals who have this procedure performed are over 35 years of age. However, some individuals who have a family history of baggy or drooping eyelids may choose to have the procedure performed when they are at a younger age.
Individuals who are dealing with thyroid problems, Graves’ disease, dry eyes, high blood pressure, circulatory disorders, diabetes, or cardiovascular disease may face more risk during the blepharoplasty procedure. It is good to check with your ophthalmologist prior to having the surgery performed if you have a detached retina or glaucoma.
Planning Your Eyelid Surgery
The first consultation you have with Dr. Carp is extremely important. During this consultation, Dr. Carp will perform a complete medical history. Review your records ahead of time so that you can provide the information he will need, such as whether or not you have allergies. If you are taking any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, or vitamins; are a smoker, or use illicit drugs, you should also inform Dr. Carp ahead of time.
During the initial consultation, Dr. Carp or a nurse will perform a vision test and also judge your tear production. Any relevant information from a recent eye exam should also be provided. If you wear glasses or have contact lenses, bring them with you to the initial consultation.
When you sit down with Dr. Carp, carefully explain to him what your goals are and what your expectations are for the surgery. You will need to talk about things such as if you plan to do all your eyelids or just the upper or lower ones. Will skin and fat be removed? Will any additional procedures be performed? All of these things should be discussed during that initial consultation.
Do not be afraid to ask Dr. Carp any questions, especially ones you might have about the procedure itself or the results.
Preparing for Your Eyelid Surgery
Dr. Carp will provide you with specific detailed instructions on the steps to take when preparing for your surgery. This will include things such as guidelines on the foods, vitamins, and liquids you should consume or avoid, as well as instructions on stopping smoking and the use of medications. Your procedure will go more smoothly if you carefully adhere to the guidelines provided.
As part of your preparation, make arrangements for someone to drive you home after the surgery and provide you with assistance for a few days afterward.
Types of Anesthesia
In most cases, eyelid surgery is performed using local anesthesia that will numb the area around your eyes. You may also be provided an oral or intravenous sedative. This means that you will be awake during the procedure. However, your body will be relaxed, and you will be insensitive to pain. You may feel some pulling or some tugging and the occasional slight discomfort. A few patients prefer to use general anesthesia. When this is done, you will sleep throughout the entire procedure.
Your Eyelid Surgery Procedure
Blepharoplasty takes between one and three hours. This is based on the extent of the surgery.
During a normal procedure, Dr. Carp will make incisions that adhere to the natural lines of your eyelids. These are the creases in your upper lids and the folds underneath the lashes on your lower lids. The incisions will go all the way to the crow’s feet or the laugh lines that sit on the outer corner of the eye. Dr. Carp will work using these incisions to separate the skin from the fatty tissue and muscle underneath it. He will also remove excess fatty deposits and trim skin and sagging muscle. Once the procedure is complete, the incisions are closed with very fine sutures.
A transconjunctival blepharoplasty treats pockets of fat underneath your lower eyelid in cases where it is not necessary to remove excess skin. This procedure is performed by making a small incision in the lower eyelid. It will not leave a scar that is visible and is usually better suited for patients who are younger or who have thicker, more elastic skin.
After Your Eyelid Surgery
Once the procedure is complete, Dr. Carp will likely use an ointment to lubricate your eyes and then put a bandage over them. You should expect the eyelids to feel light and a little sore as the anesthesia wears off. However, Dr. Carp will likely prescribe a medication that will help you control the discomfort. If you experience severe pain, contact Dr. Carp immediately.
Dr. Carp will instruct you to keep your head elevated for a few days and to reduce the swelling and bruising by using cold compresses. The amount of bruising the patient experiences will vary from person to person. In most patients, it last between two weeks and one month and is usually the worst during the first week.
Dr. Carp will give you instructions on how to clean your eyes, which may have a gummy substance on them for a week or so. Many doctors recommend patients use eye drops to eliminate burning sensations following the procedure. It is not uncommon for patients to experience light sensitivity, blurriness, double vision, or excessive watering of the eyes during the first few weeks after their procedure.
You should expect Dr. Carp to closely follow your recovery process during the first week or two. The stitches will be removed between two days and one week after your surgery. Once the stitches have been removed, you can expect the discoloration and swelling around your eyes to gradually disappear. Soon, you will look better and feel better.
How Much Does Eyelid Surgery Cost?
Eyelid surgery is considered to be elective, so most insurance providers won’t cover the costs. To help make eyelid surgery affordable and accessible for everyone, Carp Cosmetic Surgery Center offers financing options. We also accept cash, personal checks, and major credit cards.
Getting Back to Normal
In just a few days, you will be able to watch television and read. About two weeks later, you will be able to use contact lenses, but they might be uncomfortable for a while.
Most patients feel good enough to get back to work and go out in public after 10 days. Depending on how well you are healing, you might be able to put on light makeup to cover any bruising that remains. It is likely that you will have sensitivity to sunlight, the wind, and other irritants for several weeks. You should wear sunblock made for eyelids when you go out.
Expect Dr. Carp to recommend that you keep all activities to a minimum for the first 3 to 5 days, and strenuous activities to a minimum for at least three weeks. You will likely be advised to avoid alcohol because it causes fluid retention.
Your New Look
Recovering from blepharoplasty is a gradual process. Scars may remain a light pink color for up to six months or more after the surgery. Over time, they will fade and become thin and white or completely invisible lines.
The youthful, alert, and positive appearance that results from your eyelid surgery will last for years, with many patients enjoying the results for decades.
Look and feel younger with eyelid surgery from one of the most trusted cosmetic surgeons around: Dr. Steven Carp of Carp Cosmetic Surgery Center. His Green and Beachwood, OH clinics welcomes patients from throughout the Canton, Cleveland and Akron areas. Contact us today!