Blepharoplasty removes excess skin and/or fat in the upper or lower eyelid. Prior to surgery, an eye examination should be performed by Dr. Van Buren. Photography and Visual field testing are recommended to determine whether blepharoplasty would be cosmetic (to improve appearance) or functional (to improve vision). If a person’s vision is limited due to excess upper eyelid skin, insurance may provide coverage.
The surgery is done most commonly under local anesthesia (often with intravenous sedation medication). This procedure performed on an outpatient basis. Bruising and swelling are common following surgery, and application of cold to the surgical sites is generally recommended following surgery. A postoperative visit is often recommended on post op day 1 and 2 weeks.
Dr. Van Buren’s Specific Post Operative Instructions – Blepharoplasty
ICE: Ice packs or ice to the sponges help tremendously after eyelid surgery. A bowl of ice cubes and several sponges at the bedside can soothe sore areas during the first 48 hours. Apply cold ice packs or sponges to lids for 20 minutes 6 times a day for the first 2 days. It is more important to sleep than to have ice on your eyelids, so don’t “stay up” in order ice. When you do awaken, apply some ice for a few minutes before going back to sleep.
POSITION: Keeping the head elevated will reduce swelling.
BLEEDING AND CLOTTED BLOOD: If you bleed from one of the suture lines, apply pressure with a sponge for 10 to 20 minutes, and it will almost certainly stop. If dried or clotted blood is stuck to the sutures or along the suture line, we advise gentle cleansing with peroxide or soap and water.
SUTURES: Your sutures will degrade and fall out on their own. Don’t be surprised to see suture debris fall from the incision site 1-2 weeks following surgery.
SUNSCREEN AND MAKEUP: Use a sunscreen with a skin-protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 on your eyelids when outside, and continue to do so for at least 6 months after surgery. You may apply makeup in addition to sunscreen on your eyelids once you are finished with the post op ointment. Please cover your skin to prevent sunburn with a hat or large sunglasses prior to this time.
ACTIVITIES: Most people feel nearly normal within a day or two after eyelid surgery (except for the eyelid itself). You can return to work as desired, provided your job does not involve any heavy lifting or straining. Do not do aerobic or heavy exercise for at least 3 weeks after surgery in order to avoid excessive swelling or bleeding.
SPECIFIC AS YOU HEAL INFORMATION
PAIN: Blepharoplasty usually causes little, if any, post-operative pain. If you notice significant sharp or dull pain, which persists, notify your physician immediately. If you have significant changes in vision or loss of vision, notify your physician immediately
DRYNESS: After surgery you may notice that your eyes feel drier than normal. This usually subsides in a matter of days to weeks. Until then, use artificial tears to comfort and protect the eye surface.
SENSITIVITY AND VISION: Your eyes may feel sensitive to light for several days and your vision may blur for a week to 10 days. These are common occurrences and should not alarm you.
NUMBNESS: Expected some numbness along lash lines. A normal occurrence, this usually disappears within several weeks.
SWELLING: All swelling will not disappear for several months. During this period, the eyelids will feel heavier and thicker than normal.
SCARS: The scars will become almost invisible when they turn white. This usually happens 4-12 months after surgery.
EYELIDS STICKING TOGETHER: Occasionally, the upper and lower eyelids will stick together the night of surgery. Simply use warm water or clean the lids with a QTip. After the first day, you may wash the lids with mild soap or baby shampoo (prior to applying ointment).