One of the most commonly performed facial aging procedures is that of the blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery. While it could be most common because there are four eyelids (and only one nose for example), it is frequently performed for reasons. It is the earliest sign of facial aging…and it often bothers patients the most because aging eyes are seen by all and make an impression (usually wrong) of being tired or worn out. Every conversation that you have ever had, you spend most of your time (or you should) looking into the other person’s eyes. Tired eyes are seen by all!
Of all the facial aging procedures, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery or eyelid tucks) often makes the greatest difference in your appearance because of their social awareness. Removing a little excess skin and fat can really clean up your eyes and make you look less tired and more vibrant. This is why I always call blepharoplasty the best value of all the facial aging procedures. It causes the greatest positive change in your appearance.
The interesting thing about blepharoplasty is that is painless to go through for most patients. Yes, there is some noticeable swelling and bruising around the eyes but remarkably, there is usually no pain. You look bad but you don’t feel bad. Recovery from blepharoplasty is what I call social recovery. It is about when you will feel comfortable going back into public. Some patients don’t care what others think and they are back in circulation within 3 to 5 days. Most patients do care, however, so their full return to the public eye may be closer to 7 to 10 days.
Blepharoplasty is one plastic surgery where what you do before and after the procedure can make a big difference in the amount of bruising and swelling that occurs. Stopping any aspirin and non-steroidal medications 3 weeks before surgery is the first step. Taking arnica tablets beginning one week before and after surgery is the next step. For the first 24 hours after surgery, keeping your head up and ice on the eyes is tremendously beneficial. I also place an Actipatch Eye Recovery mask immediately after surgery and onto this is where you place the ice. ActiPatch emits pulsed electromagnetic waves which help reduce swelling on the traumatized eyelids. After the first 24 hours, keep your head elevated and only use a very light amount of eye antibiotic ointment on your eyelid incisions. (this keeps the sutures soft so that they are easier to remove)
In 10 – 14 days, you will look ‘non-operated’, even though there is still some small amount of swelling and perhaps some line of bruising along the lower eyelid. By 3 weeks after surgery, you will be able to enjoy the full benefits of your blepharoplasty surgery! Everyone will notice how much more refreshed you look…even though most will never figure that it was due to eyelid surgery. (unless you told them!)
Dr Barry Eppley