Eyelid surgery, also referred to as blepharoplasty, improves the appearance of the eyelids. Puffy bags underneath the eyes and sagging upper eyelids make you look older and tired. Your vision may also be affected by extra upper eyelid skin. These problems can all be corrected with eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, which is accomplished by removing and contouring excess fat, muscle, and skin from the upper and lower eyelids. Blepharoplasty can be performed as a single procedure, or can be combined with other procedures.
Is Eyelid Surgery right for You?
Eyelid surgery is ideal for women and men who are healthy, do not like the appearance of their eyes and who have realistic expectations.
Your Eyelid Surgery Consultation with Dr. Brooksher
The initial consultation with is very important. Dr. Brooksher will review your medical history, as there are medical conditions that increase risk the complications of eyelid surgery. These conditions can include: thyroid problems such as Grave's disease, problems with poor tear production, high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, and glaucoma. Please let Dr. Brooksher know if you have any allergies, if you smoke, and if you take any medications.
Dr. Brooksher will carefully discuss with you your goals and expectations. Together you will decide if all four eyelids or just the upper or lower ones need contouring. Please do not hesitate to ask Dr. Brooksher any questions you may have.
Before Your Eyelid Surgery
Prior to your surgery you will be given specific instructions regarding surgery. We will tell you what medications to take or avoid. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery be as successful as possible.
After your eyelid surgery, you will need a family member or friend to drive you home.
Where Your Eyelid Surgery Will be Performed
Dr. Brooksher will discuss options of where to perform your procedure. It is frequently done in office under local anesthesia, however, depending on your preference it can also be done at YRMC in outpatient surgery.
Eyelid Surgery Technique
Blepharoplasty usually takes about one to two hours, depending on the complexity of the problem as well as how many eyelids are going to be corrected.
Incisions are made in the natural and already existing lines of your eyelids. Through these incisions, Dr. Brooksher separates the skin and muscle from underlying fat pads, the excess fat is contoured and removed, and extra skin and muscle are removed. Very fine stitches are used to close the incisions.
After Your Eyelid Surgery
As the local anesthetic wears off, your eyelids may feel tighter. It is unusual to have severe discomfort; any discomfort you do have can be controlled with the pain medication prescribed by Dr. Brooksher.
Dr. Brooksher will likely instruct you to elevate your head for several days. Swelling and bruising can be relieved with cold compresses for the first 24 hours. There is very little care required for the incisions. Simply apply an antibiotic ointment daily.
Dr. Brooksher will follow you very closely after surgery. The stitches will be remove approximately one week after surgery. The swelling around your eyes will gradually resolve. You will then start to look and feel much better. You probably will not feel comfortable wearing contact lenses for about two weeks. Most people feel ready to go out in public or back to work in a week to 10 days.
Dr. Brooksher will probably tell you to keep your activities to a minimum for three to five days. More strenuous activities such as heavy lifting or vigorous sports should be avoided for several weeks.
Your New Look
Healing is a gradual process; over the course of weeks to several months the incisions will fade to a thin, nearly invisible line.
After your eyelid surgery, your more alert and youthful appearance will last for years. For many people, these results are permanent.
One of the most difficult things about aging is the effects on our face. Stress, gravity, and sun damage are all factors associated with aging which cause visible changes in the face. Changes in the face associated with aging include nasolabial folds (the deep crease between the nose and mouth), jowls (loose tissue at the jawline making the face look rectangular), sagging of the cheeks, and loosening and sagging of the neck tissues.
A facelift, also called rhytidectomy, can greatly improve the signs of facial aging. Excess fat can be removed or repositioned, the underlying muscle layer is tightened, and extra skin of the face and neck is removed, with redraping of the remaining skin into a more youthful position.
Is a Facelift Right for You?
The ideal patient for a facelift is a person showing signs of facial aging: primarily sagging of the face and neck, and who are physically healthy and do not smoke. Facelifts can be done at almost any age; even people in their eighties can have a facelift if they are healthy.
In addition to making you look younger and fresher, a facelift can improve your self-confidence in the process. A facelift will not completely change the way you look; your friends and family will still recognize you. You will however look younger and refreshed.
Your Facelift consultation with Dr. Brooksher
Facelifts are complex procedures which are customized to each patient's individual anatomy and concerns. During your initial consultation Dr. Brooksher will evaluate your face and discuss your goals for the surgery. When he reviews your medical history please be sure to tell Dr. Brooksher if you smoke or are taking any medications.
After you decide to have a facelift, Dr. Brooksher will explain the technique that he will use, the anesthesia, where the surgery will be performed, and the risks and costs involved.
Before Your Facelift
Prior to your surgery you will be given specific instructions. Carefully following these instructions will help your surgery go more smoothly. Smoking greatly increases the chances of complications after a facelift. Arrangements should be made for a friend or family member to drive you home after surgery.
Where Your Facelift will be Performed
Your safety is always Dr. Brooksher's number one priority. Your facelift is usually done at the outpatient surgery at YRMC.
A facelift usually takes several hours. Incisions are strategically designed to be as inconspicuous as possible after healing. The incision usually begins at or within the hairline of the temple, and follows a natural line where the ear meets the cheek, and continues around the earlobe to the lower scalp. In cases where Dr. Brooksher plans to tighten the neck, a small incision may also be made under the chin.
In general, skin is separated from the fat and muscle below. The underlying muscle layer is then tightened, the skin is redraped and the excess is trimmed. Stitches secure the layers of tissue and close the incisions.
After Your Facelift
Moderate discomfort, if present, is relieved with prescription medication. Minor pain can be managed with over the counter medications. You may have some numbness in the facial skin. This is normal and temporary. It will resolve in several weeks to possibly a few months after surgery.
Bandages and drainage tubes (if used) will be usually be removed the day after surgery. Your stitches should all be out by about one week after surgery.