If the skin on your eyelids is sagging, it’s not just a cosmetic issue or an annoying feature you must learn to live with. It can even affect your vision. Some people with this condition have difficulty seeing out of the corners of their eyes (called peripheral vision.)
However, you don’t have to live with it or adjust to it. You can get a blepharoplasty, which removes the excess skin from around your eyes. The Advanced Plastic Surgery Center specialists explain more about this procedure and how it helps you see better.
Signs of a problem
Most people don’t have perfect symmetry in their faces. One eye may be larger than the other or may have more extra skin than the other. Technically, the medical name for excess skin around your eyes is called blepharochalasis. This medical condition may even lead to your insurance covering the surgery, especially if it interferes with your vision.
Some causes of this condition include the following:
- The muscles around your eyes may weaken
- Age-related loss of elasticity
- You could get a rash on the skin around your eyes
- The muscles under your eyes can also weaken, either due to diabetes, problems with your nervous system, or eye injuries
Fortunately, all of these symptoms can be cured with a blepharoplasty.
What is blepharoplasty?
Getting a blepharoplasty is an outpatient procedure, meaning you’ll go home the same day as your surgery.
During your consultation with our specialists, a full health history is taken. In addition, you’ll get a full eye exam, including measuring the amount you can see with your peripheral vision. We’ll let you know if you are determined to be a good candidate for the procedure. Most people in good health can get the procedure, though you should know in advance whether or not your insurance will pay for it.
You'll prepare for the surgery after you first come in for the procedure. This includes changing into a hospital gown. You’ll receive anesthesia through an IV so that you are extremely relaxed and have numbing creams placed on your eyelids.
We’ll make small incisions into the skin around your eyes during the procedure. This allows us to remove the excess skin and make everything appear tighter. Small scars are left, but they’re usually hidden and invisible to others.
Once the anesthesia wears off and we confirm your condition is stable, you’ll be released to go home. However, you’ll need extra precautions during the recovery phase.
The recovery phase after blepharoplasty
After a blepharoplasty, you'll still need to take some precautions. These include the following:
- Avoid the sun, especially in the first weeks after the procedure
- Sleep with your head elevated (no lying on a pillow yet)
- Use cool compresses around your eyes
- Take acetaminophen (Tylenol®) for pain according to the package directions
- Wear sunglasses when you go outside
- Use prescription eye drops as directed
Some swelling and bruising are normal and to be expected. You can help ease your discomfort during this period by placing ice packs on the area around your eyes for 10 minutes at a time.
Who shouldn’t get the procedure
While there’s no question that a blepharoplasty works, often making you look younger and more “awake” and helping to improve your visual field, not everyone is an equally good candidate for it.
Those who may experience more complications from the procedure include:
- People who smoke
- People with diabetes or other conditions can have it done but need to be in contact with their usual doctor and remain alert for complications
- People who take aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen (Advil®, Motrin®) or naproxen sodium (Aleve®) should stop taking them until they recover
In addition, if you normally wear contact lenses, you'll want to stick to glasses for a few weeks as you heal.
A blepharoplasty removes the excess skin around your eyes and improves your visual field. If you want to know if you're a good candidate for the procedure, contact the Advanced Plastic Surgery Center specialists today. You can call their office in Arlington, VA, or request an appointment online.