Eyelid Surgery with Sydney Plastic Surgeon Dr Ellis Choy
There are a range of external influences that can alter your facial appearance. Ageing, genetics and lifestyle choices all play their part. Blepharoplasty is a plastic surgery procedure that alters the eyelids, resulting in aesthetic and functional improvement around the eye region. The operation can include the removal or reconfiguration of excess skin and fat tissue, while also reinforcing muscles and tendons around the eyes.
The surgery can be performed on adults of all ages, but is most often associated with patients who are noticing unwanted changes around their eyes over time. In some people, the upper eyelid has drooped down over the upper eyelid fold, and simple tasks such as driving and reading can be negatively affected. Book your in-person consultation with Dr Choy today.
BLEPHAROPLASTY SURGERY GOALS
Blepharoplasty, sometimes called eyelid surgery or an eyelid lift, aims to re-establish correct functioning of both upper and lower eyelids. Surrounding tissues connected to the eyebrows, cheeks and nasal-bridge can also be modified to provide long-lasting or permanent results. Blepharoplasty can tighten facial structure, improve muscle tone and eliminate unwanted skin.
Heavy, ‘baggy’ eyelid tissue can also have a functional impact. If your upper eyelid tissues sag down too much, they can obstruct your vision, causing difficulty with daily tasks such as reading or driving. Excess upper eyelid skin may also lead to skin irritation or chronic pain in your forehead from straining your brow muscles to elevate your upper lids. Functional blepharoplasty provides an improved field of view, along with greater comfort and the same aesthetic benefits as cosmetic blepharoplasty.
Eyelid surgery is not undertaken to remove fine lines, wrinkles or dark circles under the eyes. There are alternative surgical and non-surgical procedures to accomplish those goals. All this and more can be fully appreciated in a consultation with Dr Ellis Choy.
THE BENEFITS OF EYELID SURGERY
Any visible changes in the eye region can dramatically alter the look of your face. As you age, your eyelids begin to droop and sag as your muscles weaken, your skin loses elasticity and subcutaneous fat shifts position. Blepharoplasty’s purpose is to remove excess skin and reposition facial fat to create a fresh, youthful expression.
Common reasons to consider eyelid surgery include:
- Your upper eyelids feel heavy or puffy
- Your upper eyelids droop over your eyes, possibly all the way to the lash line
- You have puffy bags below your eyes
- You have dry eyes due to malposition of the lower eyelids
- Your vision (particularly peripheral vision) is impaired
- You have chronic forehead discomfort from brow straining
- Your eyelid skin is irritated due to excessive friction
Eyelid surgery is a popular procedure that has helped women and men alike, but it is not for everyone. Good candidates for this operation are usually in good overall health, do not smoke and do not have an underlying eye condition that should be treated before considering blepharoplasty. If you believe eyelid surgery is the right choice for you, it is imperative to visit an experienced plastic surgeon who can confirm your candidacy after an evaluation.
BLEPHAROPLASTY VS BROW LIFT SURGERY
In some cases, drooping of the upper eyelid is due not to loosening eyelid muscles and skin, but to the descent of the eyebrow, which can shrink the upper lid space. Patients in this scenario may achieve better results with a brow lift than a blepharoplasty. Brow lift surgery elevates the brows and smooths the forehead, and may improve upper eyelid hooding if it was caused by sagging brows. If excess skin and fat is the cause of the hooding, then a blepharoplasty is a more appropriate procedure.
EYELID SURGERY CONSULTATION
Dr Choy will spend the time with you to inform you of your options and his professional yet gentle attitude will ease any concerns you may have.
A consultation will provide greater understanding of your eye function and also determine the influence of previous operations or underlying conditions on blepharoplasty outcomes. Other factors taken into consideration include skin type, age and ethnic background. As with any plastic surgery, it’s important to apply healthy lifestyle habits for the best ongoing results, and to keep expectations and aspirations realistic.
The physical examination will determine the best means of action, including eye-muscle slackness, excess eyelid skin or malposition. For those considering eyelid surgery for functional reasons, a visual field test will be conducted. Preoperative photos are performed prior to both functional and cosmetic blepharoplasty.
Blepharoplasty is an outpatient operation that may be performed under local anaesthesia or general anaesthesia. The choice of anaesthesia will be tailored to your comfort level and the specific procedure(s) being performed.
UPPER EYELID SURGERY
Appropriate lines and creases are marked in order to keep any scarring invisible along your natural skin folds. An incision is made, and loose skin, excess fat and unwanted tissue are removed. Using local anaesthesia for upper eyelid surgery can be advantageous because it allows for immediate biofeedback.
LOWER EYELID SURGERY
Two techniques are used for lower eyelid surgery. With the transcutaneous approach, an incision is made near the lash line or smile creases under the lower eyelid. Skin, muscle and fat are removed, and the incision is closed with very fine sutures. For patients who only require fat removal, the incision may be placed inside the lower eyelid, leaving no visible scarring behind. The scarless or ‘conjunctival’ approach is not suitable for patients with significant skin redundancy.
Blepharoplasty surgery cost will vary depending on individual requirements, the amount of surgery needed and the time taken to perform the operation. Dr Choy will outline these details during your initial consultation.
The operation is usually over in two hours, and recovery will begin immediately.
EYELID SURGERY RECOVERY
In some cases, sterile bandages are applied post-surgery. Ointment or drops for preventing dry eyes may also be prescribed. Some swelling and bruising is a perfectly normal reaction to any invasive operation; this should subside within a couple of weeks.
Discomfort is often alleviated by elevating the head slightly or applying a cold compress. Any additional medications required can be prescribed by Dr Choy. Environments that aggravate symptoms (sticky, dry or itchy eyes) or inhibit recovery should be avoided for a time. Contact lens wear should also be avoided during the initial stages of healing.
Patients should expect to spend approximately a week after the surgery recovering at home. Those with occupations requiring minimal physical activity may return to work sooner than those who perform heavy lifting or require strong visual acuity in the workplace.
Dr Choy takes great care to avoid removing too much skin and fat for a natural appearance.
Your improvements can be long-lasting. For many patients, eyelid surgery is performed only once. Ageing will continue, however — your eyelid tissues may loosen again and your brow may descend.
Have a look at our gallery for some before and after pictures that show the improvements that can be attained by blepharoplasty.
*This information about blepharoplasty was reviewed by Dr Ellis Choy. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us here.
Making an Informed Decision
Undergoing plastic surgery is a significant decision that should be made only after careful consideration of all aspects involved, including the potential risks and complications.
General Risks and Complications
There are general risks and complications that apply to most plastic surgery procedures. These are discussed in detail on our Risks and Complications page.
Specific Risks and Complications
In addition to those that apply generally to plastic surgery, each individual procedure comes with its own specific risks and complications. For blepharoplasty, these may include:
- Asymmetrical eye appearance
- Dry eyes or excessive tearing
- Inability to fully close the eyelids
- Ectropion (outward turning of the eyelid)
- Temporary blurred or double vision
- Loss of vision
- Hollow appearance due to over-removal of fat
- Drooping of the upper eyelid
Request a consultation with Dr Choy for a detailed discussion of these considerations. Dr Choy will conduct a thorough risk assessment based on your individual factors and outline the measures that can be taken to minimise these risks. He and his team are here to support your decision-making process, providing all the information you need to make well-informed choices about your care.
Blepharoplasty (Eye Lid Surgery) Information Sheet
Download and print out the Blepharoplasty (Eye Lid Surgery) Information Sheet that includes a list of questions to ask Dr Choy during your appointment.