What you should know
- Blepharoplasty is a cosmetic surgery to fix your sagging or baggy eyelids, which occurs as you get older. Sagging eyelids can make you look older, more tired, and sad. The sagging skin can also get in the way of your eyesight. Blepharoplasty may be done in a hospital or in your caregiver's office. During blepharoplasty, extra folds of skin or fat may be removed from your eyelids. At the same time, your caregiver may also fix a drooping eyelid (a condition called ptosis). He may also do other cosmetic surgeries, such as a face lift or eyebrow lift.
- You and your caregiver will decide on a plan and set goals for the surgery. Blepharoplasty may help you see better if you have extra skin blocking your eyesight. It may also make the skin around your eyes smoother and less fat. With blepharoplasty, you may look younger and feel better about your appearance.
You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.
- Your eyelids may become red and swollen for weeks or months. You may have blurry or double vision. You may also have problems shedding tears, which may cause your eyes to become too dry. The way your eyelids look after the surgery may not be what you expected. You may have unwanted changes in the shape and look of your eyelids. Your eyes may look round, unequal, or sunken. Visible scars may form from the cuts made during the surgery.
- Ptosis or webbing (folding of the upper eyelid skin near your nose) may occur. Your eyelids may not close all the way. You may get retrobulbar hematoma (bleeding or bruising inside your eyes), which may lead to blindness. Call your caregiver if you have questions about your surgery. If any of these problems occur or continue, you may need to have surgery again. People who have diabetes, a blood disorder, or other eye ailment are at increased risk of having problems. If you do not have blepharoplasty, the skin may block your eyesight. Your eyelids may also become more saggy, wrinkled, and fat.
Before your surgery:
- Ask your caregiver if you need to stop using aspirin or any other prescribed or over-the-counter medicine before your procedure or surgery.
- Bring your medicine or a list of all your medicines when you see your caregiver. Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to any medicine, or if you are taking herbs or food supplements. Tell him if you have a medical condition, such as a thyroid problem, diabetes, or any eye problems. Tell him if you have bleeding problems or if your skin easily develops bruises or scars.
- Your caregiver will check your eyelids to see how much skin or fat will be removed. He may take pictures so you can see the difference in your eyelids before and after the surgery.
- Your caregiver will check your eyes and test your eyesight. Ask your caregiver for more information on other tests that you may need. Write down the date, time, and location of each test.
- Ask caregivers about directions for eating and drinking.
Day of your surgery:
- Write down the correct date, time, and location of your surgery.
- You or a close family member will be asked to sign a legal document called a consent form. It gives caregivers permission to do the procedure or surgery. It also explains the problems that may happen, and your choices. Make sure all your questions are answered before you sign this form.
- If you wear contact lenses, do not wear them on the day of your procedure or surgery. Glasses may be worn.
- Your caregiver will clean your eyelids and mark the area where the cuts will be made. These marks will help guide the surgery.
- An anesthesiologist may talk to you before your surgery. This caregiver may give you medicine to make you sleepy before your procedure or surgery. Tell your caregiver if you or anyone in your family has had a problem using anesthesia in the past.
What will happen:
- You will be placed lying on your back, with your head slightly raised. Your caregiver will give you medicine to make you feel sleepy and relaxed. He will give you a shot of numbing medicine in your eyelids to prevent pain during the surgery. A shield may be placed over each eyeball for protection. Your caregiver will make cuts in the natural folds of your eyelids using a blade or special laser.
- Your eyeball may be pushed back gently to help your caregiver reach all of your eyelid fat. Sagging skin and extra fat will be removed from your eyelids. Your caregiver may also tighten they eyelid and change its position. The cuts will be closed with stitches or thin strips of skin tape. Eye drops and antibiotic ointment may be applied to your eyes. These will help keep your eyes moist while your eyelids heal. They will also help prevent the cuts from getting infected.
After your surgery:
You will be taken to a room where you can rest and your caregiver will check on you. Do not get out of bed until your caregiver says it is OK. You may expect some soreness, itchiness, or bruising around your eyelids. You may also have blurring or double vision. A cold compress may be placed over your eyes to decrease soreness, itchiness, or swelling. You may be allowed to go home when you are fully awake. Your caregiver will give you instructions on your diet, activities, and medicines before you are sent home.
This is an area where your family and friends can wait until you are able to have visitors. Ask your visitors to provide a way to reach them if they leave the waiting area.
Contact a caregiver if
- You cannot make it to your surgery on time.
- You get sick (a cold or the flu).
- You have a fever.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.