State of the Art Vision Care, with the Focus on You.
Eyes are what people notice first, and are probably the most important aspect of facial attractiveness. Even with a good night’s sleep, loose skin over your eyes or fat bags under your eyes can make you look tired, or sad, or older than you really are. As time goes on, increased laxity causes the lids to sag; while under the eye, the tissue can bulge forward due to fat pads. In severe cases, vision can become partially blocked due to sagging upper lids. Typically, theses unwanted characteristics, begin in the late thirties and early forties, but hereditary factors can cause a much younger person to appear prematurely aged. Exposure to the sun, use of alcohol, smoking, and less than optimal nutrition all accelerate the signs of aging.
Fortunately, through modern techniques and advances in the eyelid rejuvenation procedure called blepharoplasty, Dr. O’Rourke can help restore a more youthful and healthy look to your eyes, and in many cases improve vision. Blepharoplasty has become one of the most popular cosmetic procedures for both men and women because of its high level of patient satisfaction. Blepharoplasty can be performed on both the upper and lower eyelids.
As a general rule, insurance does not cover cosmetic surgery. However, if your upper eyelids are encroaching upon your peripheral field of vision, the procedure may be covered as medically necessary surgery. Before surgery, Dr. O’Rourke will evaluate the condition and health of your eyes.
Specifics regarding your vision, tear production, use of contact lenses, medications, and personal expectations will be discussed. This information along with other factors such as age, skin type, and ethnic background, will allow you and Dr. O’Rourke to come to a mutual decision. Together, a plan will be discussed regarding the surgical technique, amount of surgery, and type of anesthesia to be used.
Complications can occur with any surgery, however, with blepharoplasty, serious complications are rare. Be sure to ask Dr. O’Rourke any questions you may have regarding risks and complications before giving your consent for blepharoplasty.
Blepharoplasty is generally done using local anesthetic, and short acting IV sedation to help you relax. It is very unlikely that general anesthesia will be needed. Depending on the amount of tissue to be removed, the usual time in the operating suite is 15-20 minutes per eyelid. The incisions are made along the natural folds in the skin so as they heal they blend with the natural creases and become barely visible over time.
When performed on the lower eyelids, providing there is not too much excess skin, Dr. O’Rourke will make the incision inside the lower eyelid. This technique is called a transconjunctival blepharoplasty, which allows the removal of fatty tissue while avoiding the need for an external skin incision. If there is excessive skin or folds below the eye, an incision may also be made just below the base of the eyelashes. As this incision heals, the fine scar should also become barely visible.
After the procedure, you will need someone to drive you home. Your eyes may feel sticky, dry, and itchy for a week or so after the procedure. Eye ointments and/or eye drops may be given to keep the eye moist and clean. You will need to take special care in cleaning around the eyes until the sutures are removed at about 10 days post-operatively. Bruising and swelling is common after the surgery, peaking at day 3 or 4 after surgery. Swelling may be noticeable for a week to 10 days after the surgery, or longer in some cases. Ice, as well as head elevation, will help reduce swelling and bruising and minimize discomfort.
Make-up can usually be applied to camouflage bruising, and a good pair of sunglasses may help you feel more comfortable in public during the post-operative period. Postoperative discomfort is usually relatively mild, although this will vary from patient to patient. Most patients require little, if any, pain medication. Dr. O’Rourke will give you a list of activities and environments to avoid post-operatively, but the restrictions are minimal. It is important to follow all your postoperative instructions to speed healing and reduce the risks of complications.