WHAT CAN CAUSE THE NEED FOR THIS EYELID SURGERY?
With age, skin and muscles of the eyelid can sag and droop. In addition the fat that surrounds the eye may bulge through the skin of the upper and lower eyelids. Excess skin, muscles and fat can weigh down the eyelids and can sometimes block your vision. This can lead to fatigue, eye strain, skin irritation and loss of peripheral vision. Excess skin, muscle and fat can create what many feel is an unattractive aged appearance especially in the lower eyelids (eye bags or bags under the eyes). Age itself may not be the cause of such an appearance as some people may have a propensity to have excess eyelid skin or eyebags than other people of similar age. Sometimes ageing can occur earlier than the person’s chronological age due to smoking, alcohol consumption and systemic diseases.
The ageing changes of a face looks something like the left side of the face below:
WHAT IS BLEPHAROPLASTY?
Blepharoplasty is the removal and repositioning of the skin, muscle and fat of the upper and/or lower eyelid. In the upper eyelid the incision is made and hidden in the natural lid crease. In the lower eyelid the incision is made along the skin just beneath the eyelashes or in the moist surface of the eyelid known as conjunctiva.
HOW WILL EYELID SURGERY AFFECT MY VISION AND APPEARANCE?
The results of the Blepharoplasty depend upon each patient’s symptoms, unique anatomy, appearance goals and ability to adapt to changes. Blepharoplasty only corrects vision loss due to excess skin, muscle and fat that blocks the eye. By removing this excess skin, muscle and fat that blocks the eye, the Blepharoplasty of the upper eyelid may allow for more air to get in and improve peripheral vision. Blepharoplasty does not improve blurred vision caused by problems inside the eye or by neurological disease behind the eye.
Because excess skin, muscle and fat are consequences of ageing, most patients feel that blepharoplasty improves their appearance and makes them feel more youthful. Some patients, however, have unrealistic expectations about how changes in appearance will impact their lives. You need to carefully evaluate your goals and your ability to deal with changes to your appearance before agreeing to this surgery.
WHAT ARE THE MAJOR RISKS?
Risks of Blepharoplasty include but are not limited to: bleeding, infection, an asymmetric or unbalanced appearance, scarring, difficulty closing the eyes (which may cause damage to the underlying corneal surface), double vision, tearing or dry eye problems, inability to wear contact lenses, numbness and/or tingling near the eye or on the face, and in rare cases, loss of vision. You may need additional treatment or surgery to treat these complications; Due to individual differences in anatomy, response to surgery, and wound healing. For some patients, changes in appearance may lead to anger, anxiety, depression, or other emotional reactions. The listing of these complications do not imply that these are common occurrences but only to emphasise that risks are a part of any surgery.
WHAT ARE THE ALTERNATIVES?
You may be willing to live with the symptoms and appearance of extra skin, muscle and fat around your eyes and decide not to have surgery on your lids at this time. In some mild cases, the appearance of excess skin and fat in the lower lids can be improved with skin resurfacing (using lasers, dermabrasion, or chemical peels) and/or injectable fillers but it may not be possible to use such alternatives in more advanced cases.