Eyelift surgery, or to use its technical name, blepharoplasty, is a surgical procedure which can correct drooping upper eyelids and remove bags from beneath the eyes. It is a cosmetic surgery performed by plastic surgeons, which if successful can enhance appearance and self-confidence. Eyelift surgery is achieved by removing fat and sometimes excess skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. The surgery can be done as a single procedure or in conjunction with other facial plastic surgeries such as lip enhancement or a nose job.
In a procedure taking up to three hours, depending on the extent of the eyelift, the surgeon will probably work on the upper lids first and then follow with the lower lids. The surgery will be performed using a local anesthetic to numb the area around the eyes. The patient will be awake during the surgery, but relaxed, and will not feel any pain. Some surgeons prefer to use general anesthesia, in which case the patient will be asleep.
In a typical eyelift procedure, the surgeon will make his incisions to follow the natural lines of the patient's eyelid. These incisions may extend as far as the laughter lines around the outer eye area in the corner of the eyes. The surgeon will then separate the skin from muscle and fatty tissue and may trim sagging skin and muscle to tighten the eyelid area. Closing the incisions with very fine sutures completes the eyelift surgery.
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If a patient has eyebags or pockets of fat beneath the lower eyelid, the surgeon may perform a transconjunctival blepharoplasty. This eyelift procedure is usually performed on younger patients who have more elasticity in their skin and consists of making an incision inside the lower lid but leaving no visible scar.
After eyelift surgery, the surgeon will lubricate the eyes and may also apply a bandage. The eyelids may feel sore and tight as the anesthesia begins to wear off, but medication can be prescribed to help with any discomfort. Many doctors also prescribe eyedrops after surgery, as the eyes may feel dry and may be prone to itching and a slight burning sensation.
The stitches will usually be removed up to a week after surgery. Reading and watching television should not be a problem a few days after the eyelift, but wearing contact lenses will not be possible until about two weeks after, and even then they may cause slight discomfort for a while. Many people feel confident and comfortable enough to face the public in about a week to 10 days after surgery, and any bruising, which will eventually disappear, can be hidden by makeup. The patient will be left with a more youthful and alert look that will last for years. One of the most positive aspects of an eyelift is that for many people, the results are permanent.