Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is a procedure used to reshape the upper or lower eyelids (or both) by removing excess skin and fatty tissue. Eyelid surgery can be used to eliminate the droopy or “hooded” appearance that often occurs with older age, and it can also eliminate under-eye “bags” and puffiness. Blepharoplasty can also be performed to correct lids that turn in (entropion) or out (ectropion), both of which can cause eye irritation and interfere with normal tear production and distribution.
The approach will depend on which lid – upper or lower – are being treated. Incisions may be made in the crease of the upper lid, so scars are hidden when the eyes are open, or along the lash line of the lower lid. Some types of lower lid surgery can be performed via an incision made on the inside of the lower lid, a technique called transconjunctival blepharoplasty. Once the incisions are made, fatty tissue and excess skin are carefully removed; then the incisions are closed using tiny sutures. Blepharoplasty is performed in an outpatient setting using sedation. Patients may choose to have just the upper or lower lids treated or both.
Immediately following eyelid surgery, an ointment will be placed on the eye to protect the treatment area and prevent infection. Over-the-counter pain medication and compresses can be used to reduce discomfort and swelling, and contact lens wear may need to be suspended for a brief period to avoid irritation. Patients should also be sure to discuss any chronic eye conditions or diseases like dry eye syndrome or glaucoma before their procedures. Redness, irritation, and bruising typically resolve within about a week. Patients will receive complete care instructions, including guidance regarding the use of mascara and other eye cosmetics and products.
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