Eyelid Reduction (Blepharoplasty)

Bright eyes are often the first thing we see in the faces of strangers. When talking to someone, you immediately notice the features around their eyes. The natural ageing process however causes the skin in this area to lose its elasticity.

The development of loose folds of skin on the upper eyelids may feel heavy and could interfere with your normal field of vision. In the lower eyelids excess skin forms deepening creases. At the same time, the muscles under the skin of the eyelids will slacken, allowing the fat to bulge forward, giving the appearance of bagginess. Sometimes the bagginess may be noticeable at a young age as a result of an inherited condition.

Eyelid reduction, or blepharoplasty, can effectively correct this problem, giving a more youthful and alert appearance. The procedure can be carried out on the upper or lower eyelid, or on both. Blepharoplasty can be performed as an isolated procedure, but is also commonly carried out in conjunction with a face lift procedure.

Eyelid Reduction Procedure

Incisions will be made into the natural creases around your eyelids to remove the excess skin and/or fat. The surgery is usually carried out under general anaesthetic and takes approximately two hours, with a one-night stay in hospital.

Eyelid Reduction Recovery

There will be swelling and bruising of the eyelids which may take two to three weeks to settle. It is sometimes difficult to close the eyes during this period, and usually the eyes will be watery and feel gritty. These are temporary problems and should settle completely in time.

Eyelid Reduction Risks

Complications are usually rare but may include bleeding, infection, reaction to anaesthetic and asymmetry of the eyes. Although the scars will be visible immediately following the surgery, the end result leaves an almost invisible scar.

Mr Prinsloo will explain how the possible risks will apply to you.

Due to the Data Protection Act etc. our supply of pre/post operative pictures is currently limited.

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Eyelid Reduction (Blepharoplasty – upper/lower)

Description

Eyebag removal or blepharoplasty refreshes the eyes by reducing puffy bags and excess folds of skin, creating a more youthful appearance.

Who are candidates?

  • People with development of loose folds of skin on the upper eyelids feeling heavy and interfering with their normal field of vision
  • People with excess skin folds on the lower eyelids creating deepening creases
  • People with prominent eyebags. The muscles under the skin of the eyelids will slacken, allowing the fat to bulge forward, giving the appearance of bagginess

How is it done?

Incisions will be made into the natural creases around your eyelids to remove the excess skin and/or fat. The skin is pulled tighter to give a fresher and more youthful appearance.

Length of surgery

Upper eyelid surgery: 1 hour Lower eyelid surgery: 1 hour
Combined upper and lower eyelid surgery: 11/2 - 2 hours

Hospital stay

Overnight stay

Anaesthesia

Usually performed under general anhaesthetic. In some cases a local anaesthetic is possible.

Time to heal

  • Tightness and discomfort for 1-2 weeks
  • Sutures are removed after 1 week
  • Difficulty to fully close the eyes during first 6-8 weeks
  • Swelling and bruising may persist for 2-3 weeks
  • Eyes will be watery and feel gritty for 2-3 weeks
  • Back to work in 2-3 weeks
  • Full recovery may take longer in people with sensitive or dry eyes.

Risks

Risks are rare but may include:

  • Blurred vision, increased tear production, dry, gritty eyes and difficulty closing the eyelids
  • Bleeding, infection, asymmetry of the eyes and risks associated with general anaesthetic (DVT, PE and chest infection)
  • Ectropion (where the lower lid is slightly pulled away from the eye): initially due to swelling, may rarely need further surgery
  • Double vision
  • Scarring - will fade over time
  • Contact lens wearers may have to wear glasses after surgery for 4-6 weeks

Duration of results

Between 10-15 years, maybe affected by lifestyle factors and heredity.

Pro's

  • Youthful appearance with minimal scarring

  • If upper eyelid is interfering with vision, it should improve.
  • May boost self-esteem
  • Make-up can be used after the first week

Con's

  • Cannot remove dark circles under the eyes
  • Doesn’t lift sagging eyebrows
  • Doesn’t remove crows feet
  • May cause prolonged sensitivity of eyes in people with dry eyes.
  • Doesn’t remove malar pouches (cheek pads)

Answers to myths

  • There is no age restriction to eyelid surgery
  • Bagginess of eyelids may be hereditary

"Dear Mr Prinsloo, Kind regards for all the wonderful care and attention you gave me."

JD - June 2009 - Blepharoplasty (upper and lower eyes)

"Mr Prinsloo, "Thank you" so much not only for your expertise but also for your excellent care and attention. My chin is definitely on the up! With kindest regards."

MS - June 2010 - Blepharoplasty

What can I expect from eyelid/blepharoplasty surgery?

Eyebag removal or blepharoplasty refreshes the eyes by reducing puffy bags and excess folds of skin, creating a more youthful appearance. Blepharoplasty can be performed alone or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a facelift.

Who are good candidates?

People with development of loose folds of skin on the upper eyelids feeling heavy and interfering with their normal field of vision
People with excess skin folds on the lower eyelids creating deepening creases
People with prominent eyebags. The muscles under the skin of the eyelids will slacken, allowing the fat to bulge forward, giving the appearance of bagginess

What are the benefits of blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)?

Increased confidence
A more youthful appearance
Stops vision being obscured by drooping eyelids

Copyright, Dan Prinsloo Cosmetic Surgery, 2013

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