Blepharoplasty, also called cosmetic eyelid surgery, is performed by specialized skin surgeons. This procedure appeals to people who have drooping or baggy eyelids. After the surgery it is intended that the patient will have a tighter firmer look in the eyelid area. The wrinkling that is associated with droopy eyelids is eliminated in most cases.
This is an outpatient procedure. Most patients do not have any lasting side effects. However there have been cases where the patient is dissatisfied with the results or could even experience physical discomfort. Infection or nerve damage has also been documented in some rare cases.
During a pre-operative exam, the patient will be examined to determine what is causing the upper or lower eyelids to sag. It is also used to determine how wrinkled skin is attached to underlying tissue. Depending on what the pre-operative exam reveals, the doctor may not recommend blepharoplasty. Instead they may recommend Botox treatments or a brow lift.
During the operation, the skin is separated from the underlying layer of tissue. Most people carry excess fat deposits in this area. This is one of the reasons as to why the nerves act differently in that area than when the individual was younger. These fat deposits can be easily removed. Once the skin is stretched and cut, the muscles in this region will tighten once the remaining skin has been stitched together. In order to connect the remaining skin of the eyelid, the surgeon will use tiny sutures. Once the sutures are removed, the patient will most likely not have any lasting scars.
To tighten the skin of the lower eyelid, an incision is made near the lashes. The fat is removed once the skin has been peeled away from top to bottom. Additionally, some of the wrinkled skin will be cut away to make the area smoother.
In most cases, the only side effect of this procedure is some slight to moderate swelling. This swelling usually only lasts for one day. There may also be some discomfort when the patient blinks or moves their eyeballs from side to side. As blood collects and forms small pockets, temporary hematoma formations can occur. This appears as red spots on the skin. In most cases, these problems will repair themselves. However, if symptoms occur for more than 10 days, the patient should contact the doctor as soon as possible. Patients can also experience side effects including dry eyes or bruising of the skin. These tend to disappear about a week.
More serious complications can include loss of vision, intra-orbital hemorrhage, and possibly leaving the patient unable to blink or even shut his or her eyes all the way. One woman in New Jersey was left unable to fully close her eyes after undergoing a blepharoplasty. She sued the surgeon for medical malpractice and was awarded $115,000.
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