What Issues Can Eyelid Surgery Treat?
Upper eyelid surgery (upper blepharoplasty) is performed both to improve the appearance of the eyes and address functional problems with your vision. Heavy-appearing eyes as a result of loose, sagging skin are rejuvenated with this procedure.
How Is Blepharoplasty Performed?
Upper eyelid surgery usually focuses on removing or tightening sagging skin. In more extreme cases, this is called hooding. Dr. Belz removes skin and tightens underlying muscles around the eye to firm up the area. She makes the incisions in the natural crease of the upper eyelids. This effectively makes the scars invisible, as they are hidden in these natural creases.
What Should I Do to Prepare for Upper Eyelid Surgery?
Dr. Belz will walk you through the early preparations, such as the need to stop taking certain medications, including anti-inflammatory drugs, aspirin, and herbal supplements. These can increase bleeding and subsequent bruising. You’ll need to stop smoking for a few weeks before and after, as this affects wound healing. Limit alcohol consumption a few days prior to and after your surgery.
The morning of your surgery, you’ll need to shower and shampoo your hair. Be sure to wash your eyebrows. Do not put on any makeup, jewelry, contact lenses, or other accessories. Arrange for someone to take you to surgery and pick you up afterward.
That’s about it; there isn’t much preparation required for blepharoplasty.
What Can I Expect for Results from Upper Eyelid Surgery?
These procedures deliver dramatic results, but they do so very subtly. People will only know that your face and eyes look refreshed, more alert, and you look younger.
It’s generally thought that eyelid surgery takes about a decade off of the patient’s facial age. And these are permanent changes. The excess skin that Dr. Belz removes is gone for good. She’ll reposition fat as needed and that won’t accumulate under the eyes to the same degree again. Sure, your eyelids will continue to age, and they will sag somewhat moving forward, but they will never even approach the degree of sagging and drooping that caused you to seek this surgery. You’ll enjoy your younger-looking eyes for the rest of your life. Eyelid surgery is not a procedure that will be repeated years down the road.
Can I Combine Eyelid Surgery with Other Procedures?
Blepharoplasty is a great rejuvenation procedure because the eyes hold such a prominent place in our facial anatomy. Most people say the eyes are the first thing they notice when meeting a new person.
Still, many of our patients from around the San Antonio area seek broader rejuvenation, so they are interested in combining procedures. A facelift can extend the rejuvenation from the eyes down through the mid to lower face. A neck lift extends the rejuvenation down through any neck banding and sagging under the chin.
If you’re interested in a wider range of rejuvenation, let’s talk about it during your consultation with Dr. Belz. The two of you can discuss complementary procedures.
When Can I Begin Exercising after this Surgery?
After just a few days you can walk and do some light exercise, but you need to avoid anything strenuous for your first week, especially lifting or anything that increases blood pressure to the face. Most patients can return to their regular exercise regimen in 2-3 weeks, but Dr. Belz will discuss this with you because different patients heal at different rates.
How Long Before I Can Drive after Eyelid Surgery?
If you’re taking your prescription pain medication, obviously you cannot drive. Most of our patients don’t use their pain medication, however, opting instead for simple over-the-counter pain medication. Otherwise, as long as you’re able to make the movements necessary for proper driving and safety, you’ll be able to drive. Many patients wait until their pain basically resolves, which is just a couple days for the most part, to start driving again. If you’re concerned about swelling and going out in public, plan on about a week.
Is Eyelid Surgery Recovery Painful?
Eyelid surgery is, of course, surgery, but the recovery is not difficult, which is another great aspect of eyelid surgery with our team. Dr. Belz does provide prescription pain medication, but many of our patients don’t feel it is necessary, instead feeling that over-the-counter options sufficiently handle the discomfort. For most patients, prescription medication isn’t necessary after more than a day or two.
What Are the Risks with Upper Blepharoplasty?
Upper eyelid surgery is still that…surgery. As such, there are the potential risks and complications of any surgery: infection, bleeding, and poor wound healing. There can be some eyelid specific complications such as dry eye, entropion or ectropion, and problems closing an eyelid, but these are very rare. This is where Dr. Belz’s board-certified training, expertise, and experience are important. She has extensive experience with the anatomy, muscular structure, and the best methods for rejuvenating the eyes.
Dr. Belz will review the entire procedure, risks and benefits, and post-operative course during your personalized consultation.