Eyelid surgery is often the only way to permanently solve eye bags, circles under the eyes, and drooping eyelids. These conditions develop naturally with age, but various surgical procedures, known collectively as blepharoplasty, can resolve them quickly and in many cases permanently.
The skin around the eye is especially delicate, making blepharoplasty a more difficult proposition than some other surgical skin-rejuvenation procedures. Here are some tips designed to help prepare for and recover successfully from eyelid surgery.
Before Eyelid Surgery
While eyelid surgery is delicate work, its results can be subtle. Rather than changing the shape of your eyes, blepharoplasty is a rejuvenating procedure that results in a fresher, often younger appearance.
Some patients can become discouraged when surgery on one problem only seems to bring other issues to the fore. A patient’s eye bags might be her biggest concern until they are corrected when her slightly drooping eyelids become all the more apparent. Modest expectations and frank discussions with the surgical team can help patients establish realistic expectations.
Speaking of the surgical team, patients should look for board-certified plastic surgeons, ideally those specializing in oculoplastic surgery, and should extensively research their experience. Patient reviews and internet research are a start, but patients seeking eyelid surgery should also interview potential surgeons before making a choice.
Research on the subject of eyelid surgery can also help calm the nerves of some patients. For many of us, the more we know, the better we feel about any situation. When the situation involves putting one’s appearance in the hands of a surgeon, a little homework can help patients become partners in choosing surgical options and planning the recovery phase. That kind of partnership can go a long way toward alleviating pre-surgery jitters.
Properly qualified and highly experienced surgeons can charge quite a bit of money; it’s not unknown for eyelid surgery to cost upwards of $6,000. Patients who work hard to find the right plastic surgeon will probably encounter underqualified practitioners offering to do the job for considerably less. Smart patients will avoid them.
After Eyelid Surgery
Like most surgical procedures, eyelid surgery requires some recovery time before even preliminary results are apparent. Specifically, patients usually experience swelling and redness around the affected area. A simple cold compress can help alleviate swelling, and redness should dissipate quickly and naturally.
Dry eyes are also common. Because they can also be among the first symptoms of an unexpected complication, dry eyes deserve some extra attention. Surgeons usually ask patients before surgery if they have experienced dry eyes recently; this helps establish a baseline against which post-surgical symptoms can be measured.
Patients are typically advised not to wear contacts or eye makeup in the weeks following surgery. This gives the incision site and other affected tissue their best chance to fully recover.
Worst of all, eyelid surgery may take up to a year to deliver its final results. In the meantime, swelling often dissipates slowly, over two or three months: eyelids’ thin, delicate skin is especially prone to swelling, and may reveal even trace amounts of swelling. Initial results may seem too subtle, and two eyes receiving similar procedures may still heal in slightly different ways, at slightly different rates.
The discomfort associated with any surgery can be difficult to live with; the patience required to see eyelid surgery through to its happy conclusion can be just as difficult. Most patients benefit from a simplified routine in the days following surgery, including time off from work. Many even plan a few days of private time, which allows them a chance to get through the worst of the swelling before resuming normal activities.