Eyelid rejuvenation surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure that is designed to reduce the appearance of bagginess from the lower eyelids and sagging from the upper eyelids. This operation is often used for cosmetic surgery to reduce the appearance of aging.
If a sagging upper eyelid is partially obscuring the field of vision, interfering with a patient’s ability to see, then blepharoplasty surgery can also be considered "medically necessary."
However if too much eyelid skin is accidentally removed, then a patient can suffer from severe complications due to the inability of the eyelids to fully close. This can lead to severe eye dryness, corneal dessication and possible vision loss. Ask Dr. Kubota if you are a good candidate for blepharoplasty.
As our skin ages, it loses its elasticity. This loss makes the skin unable to rebound back to its original shape and the stretched out skin results in wrinkles and bulges. While these wrinkles can occur all over the body, they typically first appear in the face and in the thin delicate skin around the eyes. The stretched skin on the eyelids can cause the eyelid to sag or droop sometimes over the eyelashes and into the field of vision.
The eyelids, like all the skin on our body, also contain a layer of fat. The fat is held in place by a thin membrane. As we age, the membrane can weaken and can no longer keep the fat in place. This fat can create bulges in the upper and lower eyelids.
There are several non-surgical treatments on the market to help treat sagging skin or reduce the appearance of wrinkles, but it is important to use additional caution when applying any product near the eyes. Always make sure that the product is designed to be used in the ocular area. Dermatologists Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields have developed a skincare regimen and other products that can diminish the signs of aging by firming the skin and reducing the appearance of wrinkles around the face and eyes. If you are interested in authentic Rodan+Fields products, please ask Dr. Kubota or visit their website at http://ckubota.myrandf.com.
If non-surgical options do not have enough effect on their eyelids, then patients sometimes consider working with an oculoplastics ophthalmologist or plastic surgeon that specializes in eyelids to have an incisional or non-incisional blepharoplasty done.
There are several different methods for achieving your desired results. Typically in an incisional blepharoplasty, an incision is made into the eyelid and then the excess skin or fat cells are removed by laser or scalpel. Additionally, your surgeon may suggest that you also get laser resurfacing done in combination with your surgery. A non-incisional blepharoplasty can sometimes be done to move the crease in the eyelid using sutures if there is not excessive skin sagging.
Eyelid surgery can be done in a local office or a surgery center. If you are completing the operation in an office environment, you can probably expect that you will be treated with a local anesthetic and an oral sedative, if needed. If you are in a surgery center, it’s likely that you will receive an intravenous anesthetic. The surgery takes about two hours to complete if you are getting all four eyelids done (upper and lower lids). While the upper eyelids will have several stitches, the lower eyelids may not have any. The stitches should remain in place for three to six days.
After the surgery is complete, you will need somebody to drive you home because you will have received an anesthetic and it will not be safe to drive a vehicle. You should also plan to have somebody with you for the next few day as you recover, just in case. In addition to the post-operative medications your surgeon will prescribe, it is a good idea to have items that you may want for your comfort already in place.
Common recovery items include:
Ice cubes and packs
Small gauze pads
Clean washcloths and towels
Over counter pain medication
However, be cautious about medications that contain aspirin because they increase the risk of bleeding.
Side effects are typically minor, but include dry eyes and eye irritation, bleeding, bruising. To be sure that any side effects or complcations are handled correctly, IT IS CRUCIAL that you attend your follow up appointments with your surgeon or Dr. Kubota if she is co-managing your surgery.