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Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)

Blepharoplasty - eyelid surgery - is a cosmetic operation that tightens the skin and muscles surrounding your eyes, giving you back your doe-like, youthful gaze.

Before You Go

Questions to ask your doctor: Will blepharoplasty make my eyes look younger?

Pre-procedure prep for eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty): Avoid blood thinners like aspirin, ibuprofen, and Vitamin E for 10 days. Smokers should stop two weeks before and continue to avoid cigarettes for two weeks after surgery.

Let your doctor know if you have glaucoma, diabetes, dry eye, a detached retina, high blood pressure, or a thyroid disorder.

On the day of treatment: Do not wear makeup on the day of surgery. You may be instructed to limit your food and drink intake if you're planning on having the surgery using general anesthesia, however your doctor can better assess this.

What To Expect

The surgery is typically completed on an outpatient basis. Because your upper and lower eyelids function separately, they can be treated individually or concurrently. If your eyelids droop, forming a hood, an incision is made along the upper eyelid crease.

For problems of the lower eyelid, an incision is made a few millimeters below the lower lash line. Another way to access the lower eyelid is through an incision inside the lower flap. This method is called a transconjunctival incision, and leaves no scarring since the cut is created internally. Though it may sound ideal, not every patient is a candidate for this incision.

Once an incision is made, a surgeon can redistribute and extract the underlying fat, remove excess skin, and tighten the muscles. Incisions are closed with absorbable stitches, skin adhesives, and surgical tape. Your eyes will be covered with ointment and bandages.

Who should do it: Blepharoplasty surgery can be performed by board certified members of the American Society of Plastic Surgery, the American Academy of Facial Plastic And Reconstructive Surgery, and the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. To be safe, make sure your physician has extensive experience dealing with the structures surrounding the eye.

Duration: Blepharoplasty surgery takes between one and three hours.

How Painful Is It?

Recovery is surprisingly not painful. After surgery, eyelids may feel tight and sore, becoming burning, itchy, achy, and sticky as the anesthesia wears off.

Options for anesthesia: Blepharoplasty surgery is completed under local anesthesia alone or with a sedative. Special arrangements can be made if you would be more comfortable being put under general anesthesia instead.

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