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Eyelid Lift (for medical purposes)
A functional blepharoplasty (in contrast to a cosmetic blepharoplasty) is eyelid surgery performed for medical reasons.
In most cases, a functional eye lift is performed to remove loose skin from the upper eyelid if it droops low enough to impair your vision for driving or other visual tasks.
Another functional problem is a potential difficulty when wearing glasses or contact lenses. This could be from baggy upper or lower eyelids.
Other medical conditions that may require functional eyelid surgery include:
- Irritation from excess folds of eyelid skin rubbing together.
- Forehead discomfort from overused muscles that strain to lift sagging skin in the eyelid area.
The Eyelid Lift Procedure
Eyelid surgery can take place in the Doctor’s surgery.
The Doctor will ensure you are comfortable during the procedure by using local anaesthesia. This will numb the area of surgery so the patient feels no pain.
Sedative medications, if desired, allows the patient to remain awake but relaxed.
The procedure itself takes approximately one hour. Immediately afterward, the Doctor may apply tiny sterile bandages to the area.
The eyes may not need to be covered, however the Doctor may use an ointment to prevent the area from drying.
What to expect at Your Procedure
During surgery, incisions are made in the natural folds of the eyelid, in the crease of the upper eyelid and just beneath the lashes or behind the lower eyelid. This way, incisions are virtually unnoticeable after they have healed.
While you are lying down during blepharoplasty, your surgeon will make precise markings to designate where excess skin and fat pads need to be removed.
The tissues are removed with surgical instruments. After this, sutures and/or steri-strips are carefully applied to the edge of the skin to allow healing with minimum scars.
Post Eyelid Lift Care
On the first day, you should apply cold packs regularly throughout the day. The ice should reduce the swelling and keep bruising to a minimum. On the second day, apply cold packs every few hours for about 10 to 15 minutes at a time.
After 48 hours, warm compresses should be applied to promote faster healing.
Expect mild discomfort during the immediate recovery period. But if pain is severe or vision changes occur, call your doctor’s office immediately.
While you recover, your eye area will be bruised and red with swollen eyes, particularly during the first few days. The whites of your eyes (sclera) also may become red and bloodshot.
It may take a few weeks for healing to be complete, during which time you should not wear eye makeup.
Following the procedure, the patient may notice that their eyelid/s feel tight or sore.
The eyes may feel sticky, dry or itchy for a week or more.
Bruising and swelling are normal, and cold compresses can help, along with prescribed pain medications and in some cases, eye drops.
Have eye drops on hand for dry eyes after surgery, and large sunglasses for wearing outside.
Don’t overlook your pillows. Elevating your head can help reduce swelling and speed recovery. If you are traveling, a travel pillow will improve your comfort on the way home.
Please ensure you have someone to collect you from the surgery.
It is extremely important to follow the Doctor’s post-surgery instructions carefully, especially:
Avoiding certain activities and environments
Alerting your Doctor immediately in the event of any problem or unexpected change
Keeping follow-up appointments
What is an eyelid lift?
The medical term for an eyelid lift is blepharoplasty. The procedure surgically removes excess fat and skin from the upper and lower eyelids to redefine the shape of the eye.
While an eyelid lift cannot alter dark circles or fine lines and wrinkles around the eye (“crow’s feet”), it can correct drooping eyelids that are interfering with vision.
Recovery time for eyelid surgery is typically about one week.
Most people need about one week of rest before returning to work, which is typically how long most swelling and bruising takes to go away.
Scars fade very quickly to become almost invisible within a few weeks.
Although rare, if too much skin is removed from your upper eyelid it could affect your ability to fully close your eyes. Dry eyes are also possible, and if you already have dry eyes, there is a chance surgery could make it worse.