What you should know about eyelid surgery

As we age, our eyes tend to show the long-term effects of sun exposure, dry air, stress and gravity. Also known as blepharoplasty, an eyelid lift is a great way to restore a youthful, vibrant look to the face. Here’s how this “little” procedure has a “big” effect for both men and women:

You can have both upper and lower eyelids done at the same time. Depending on your desired look, both upper and lower eyelids can be done together or separately. For upper eyelid surgery, excess skin is removed and fat is removed or repositioned. Muscles are tightened as needed. For lower eyelid surgery, fat pads (bags) and skin are removed from the lower lid, reducing puffiness and excess wrinkling under the eyes.

Incision lines are carefully designed so scars are hidden. On the upper eyelid, incisions are made in the natural crease of the upper eyelid, while incisions are made just under or behind the lower eyelid for lower lid surgery. Tiny sutures close the incisions and are removed one week after surgery. Scars may look slightly pink for several months, but fade, and remaining lines become hidden by the natural creases.

Most people return to normal activities a week after surgery. While your eyelids may feel tight and sore right after surgery, recovery is not very painful. Most patients only need over-the-counter pain medication for discomfort for the first few days. You may have blurry and your eyes may be watery, sticky, dry or itchy for a few days. Most bruising and swelling resolves after two weeks. Scars may be slightly pink for several months after surgery.

Watch sun exposure after surgery. Your eyes will be sensitive to sunlight and airborne irritants, so you will need to wear sunglasses that have a special eyelid sunblock for several weeks. You’ll need to protect your scars from sunlight for several months to a year as well.

Eyelid surgery can be done separately or with other procedures such as a facelift to restore the youthful look you desire. To learn more about this popular procedure, schedule a consultation with Dr. Dick by calling (301) 251-2600.

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