Blepharoplasty refers to treatments to remove sagging skin from the upper and lower eyelids, as well as tightening the skin around the eyes - resulting in a more youthful and alert appearance.
More commonly known as eye bag removal, blepharoplasty can remove lower eye 'pouches' and eliminate the 'hooding' of upper eyelids, something that happens naturally as skin ages but which can be more pronounced on some individuals.
Depending on the wishes of the patient, blepharoplasty can be carried out on just the upper or lower eyelids, or both. The blepharoplasty procedure typically takes one to three hours.
Upper eyelid surgery - usually performed under local anaesthetic, though patients may prefer sedation. Surgeons make incisions in the natural fold above the eyelashes to remove excess fat and trim the sagging muscle and skin before closing with fine sutures or glue.
Lower eyelid surgery - performed under general anaesthetic. Incisions are made at the outer edge of the lower eyelashes, where surgeons remove overlapping skin and close with fine sutures.
Recovery from blepharoplasty
Before undergoing blepharoplasty, patients should seek a consultation with their surgeon to clarify any issues with the procedure, particularly with regard to smokers or patients taking medication. This consultation could involve an eye test if patients are worried about additional health issues with their eyes.
Immediately following blepharoplasty surgery, patients should place ice packs over their eyes to minimise swelling and bruising, and keep scars clean and dry until the stitches are removed - usually between three and seven days after surgery.
Patients should use elevated pillows or cushions to provide extras support for their head for four nights following surgery. Most patients are able to return to work within four days of their blepharoplasty.