Upper Eyelid Surgery (Upper Blepharoplasty) – Everything you ever wanted to know…
What are the risks of Upper Eyelid Surgery (Upper Blepharoplasty)?
Firstly, we want to make it clear that Upper Eyelid Surgery (Upper Blepharoplasty) is a straightforward procedure when carried out by an experienced Consultant Plastic Surgeon in a registered medical setting. But as with any surgery, there are a few risks. We always make sure that our patients are fully informed about any procedure that we carry out, so we thought that we would take this opportunity to answer your most frequently asked questions.
What is Upper Eyelid Surgery (Upper Blepharoplasty)?
Upper Eyelid Surgery (Upper Blepharoplasty) is a surgical cosmetic procedure to remove any excess folds of skin or bulges of fat, which sit over the upper eyelids. Patients choose this procedure to give them a more youthful appearance, with smoother skin around the eyes and a less ‘tired’ look. At Core Medical Clinics, a Consultant Plastic Surgeon will make a cut in the natural crease of your eyelid, removing excess skin and fat and they will close the cut using very fine stitches.
Why would someone have Upper Eyelid Surgery?
If you are tired of looking tired or can’t apply make up as you would want because of sagging eye skin, this procedure could be for you. This procedure is very popular in both men and women and there is a high satisfaction rate.
How painful is Upper Eyelid Surgery?
The local anaesthetic that we use is sufficient to relieve the pain associated with this procedure. You will feel some discomfort as we give you the local anaesthetic injection, but the surgical procedure itself should be pain-free. Upper Eyelid Surgery takes 60 minutes and we will keep you at the clinic for a further 30-45 minutes to ensure that you feel well enough to go home. You can take over the counter pain medication (eg. paracetamol) when the local anaesthetic wears off and for the recovery period which follows.
Can you have Upper Eyelid Surgery without general anaesthetic?
Upper Eyelid Surgery at Core Medical Clinics is carried out under local anaesthetic. There is no clinical need to have a general anaesthetic for this minor surgery and because of the associated risks with a general anaesthetic, we always carry out this surgery with the kid of local anaesthetic injection that you might get at the dentist. The pain relief that you get from one of these injections is sufficient to make the procedure painless and it also means that you don’t have the recovery time associated with a general anaetshetic.
How long does it take to see results of Upper Eyelid Surgery?
Once the swelling and redness has gone down from the surgery, you will have a good indication of the new look of your eyes. Post-op swelling can prevent the true results from showing for months. The initial recovery can even make it seem like your results are asymmetrical. Give it time. Some Surgeons suggest that it can take 6 months to see the proper end result of this surgery.
Will I get scars?
This procedure takes place on a very delicate area of the skin, but there is good blood flow to the area, so healing usually occurs relatively rapidly, especially if the aftercare advice is strictly adhered to. All surgical procedures result in scarring of some sort and this is why the skill of the Consultant Plastic Surgeon is very important in these cases. A small sharp blade is used to remove the excess skin and thin and delicate stitches by an experienced Surgeon will keep any scarring to a minimum. The good news is that any thin scar lines which do occur are usually hidden within the natural creases of the eyelid. Once the post-op swelling has settled down and a few weeks have passed, scarring is virtually unnoticeable.
Does insurance cover Upper Eyelid Surgery?
Usually it is very difficult to convince any insurance company to cover this procedure. None of our patients have ever claimed for Upper Eyelid Surgery/Upper Blepharoplasty under insurance.
How long is the recovery for Upper Eyelid Surgery?
Initial recovery will take anywhere between 2 weeks and 6 weeks. After this period, the swelling should have reduced and any residual discomfort should have subsided.
It can take months for you to see the full effect of the surgery as the skin heals and settles and falls into it’s new position.
It is important to note that all patients have individual rates of healing and certain factors can affect this, such as smoking, drinking, medications, certain medical conditions and your overall health.
How long does Upper Eyelid Surgery last?
Surgical procedures are permanent and they do not wear off over time. Having said that, the ageing process does not stop, so the skin in this area will continue to age with time. Surgery takes the skin around your eyes back to a more youthful look, but as the years advance, your eyes will begin to age again. In our experience, this is a very positive thing in keeping a natural look.
Do people ever have to have their Eyelid Surgery done again?
Generally, people don’t have the surgery again in their lifetime. It can be done, so there is always that option, but no, one surgical procedure in this area usually makes enough of a difference that it never has to be done again.
What are the side effects of Upper Eyelid Surgery?
After surgery, there will be a period of recovery. You will experience some level of:
- Discomfort around the treatment area
These are all normal and will settle down and disappear as the skin heals.
Rarely, you may experience the following:
- Infection and bleeding
- Dry or irritated eyes
- Difficulty closing your eyes
- Noticeable scarring
- The need for follow-up surgery
- Temporarily blurred vision
It is important to know about all the possible risks if you are considering this surgery. In the hands of an experienced Consultant Plastic Surgeon, the risks are minimal and the results can transform the way you feel about your eye area.