Upper blepharoplasty is a procedure carried out to remove the folds of loose skin which sit over the upper eyelids. This upper eyelid surgery is often performed to produce a rested, more youthful appearance.
As we age, eyelid skin frequently becomes a concern, prompting people to consider treatment to relieve heaviness and alleviate a tired appearance. To understand why these changes develop, we need to have an understanding of the anatomy of the eyelid area and how the ageing process affects this.
The prime role of the eyelids is to protect the eye to ensure that the cornea remains hydrated and provides a physical barrier to injury. As we age, the brow falls a little, allowing more skin to sit in the upper eyelid. This increases the overhanging skin fold and may give a sensation of heaviness. The quality of the skin changes, also leading to crepey texture within the eyelid and this increased fold often looks messy and can lose its sharpness. Fat may be apparent in the corners of the upper eyelid.
Fat that is naturally present around the eye is kept in place by a structure called the orbital septum. As we age, the orbital septum becomes lax, allowing the fat to prolapse forwards. This prolapse forwards gives the characteristic puffiness that commonly occurs with advancing age. When the above changes happen, the junction between the eyelid and the cheek falls, leading to hollow lines appearing which gives the illusion of the eye becoming smaller.
In assessing the eyelids, we need therefore to assess the following:
A detailed consultation with a consultant plastic surgeon is essential prior to undergoing upper eyelid surgery. During the consultation, your surgeon will discuss any problem areas, desired improvements, options available, and can address your expected outcomes.
Should upper eyelid blepharoplasty be agreed upon as the most suitable treatment, the procedure will be carried out by your surgeon in our newly refurbished operating theatre. Following cleaning of the eyelids, the skin is carefully marked and local anaesthetic gently given. The procedure commonly takes around 60 minutes to perform and after the anaesthetic is given, it is entirely pain free. Skin is removed along with a small strip of redundant muscle and if necessary, the fat can be re-contoured. The wound edges are carefully closed and fine strip dressings applied.
A local anaesthetic is placed across the treatment site to ensure your total comfort for the duration of the upper eyelid surgery.
The upper eyelid has to have spare skin in it to enable it to close effectively. As a result, there is only so much skin that can be removed during an upper blepharoplasty. It is therefore likely that, in most cases, patients will have a fold of skin in the eyelid.
You will always be able to see a scar. Usually the scars settle to fine lines but often these are only noticeable when the eye is closed. Occasionally the inner and outer aspects of the scar may be visible as fine lines.
The brow doesn’t lift after upper blepharoplasty unless a specific procedure is used at the time of surgery. The brow may be lifted surgically or botulinum toxin is often an effective non surgical alternative.
We are governed by CQC guidelines which state a consultation must be carried out prior to any surgical appointment being booked. The consultation must be conducted at least 2 weeks before, but not more than 4 months prior to the surgery.
On the day of treatment, patients are advised to eat and drink as normal. Eating something sugary such as a biscuit ahead of the procedure is also recommended.
Contact lenses should be removed prior to arrival at the clinic.
Patients should not drive for 24 hours post-procedure, therefore arrangements for a taxi or driver should be made.
It is imperative that after surgery you rest to allow the area to settle. We advise you not to bend over or strain and to avoid exercise for a few days after your surgery. This ensures that your blood pressure remains stable, reducing the chances of bleeding and subsequent swelling and bruising.
Generally, you will experience minimum discomfort after your upper eyelid surgery and healing usually progresses quickly. After surgery the area will bruise a little, reaching maximum severity after 48 hours, gradually settling over the weeks after surgery. Any bruising that occurs on the upper eyelid may be covered up with concealer if you wish.
The very fine stitch is easily removed after a week.
We advise you to start gently massaging the incision line with a light eye cream to help soften the scar and speed up the healing process two weeks after your upper eyelid surgery.
Application of local anaesthetic at the treatment site ensures total comfort for the duration of the procedure
An incision is made in the natural skin crease, enabling excess skin, fat and muscle to be delicately removed. A fine, single suture is then placed to carefully approximate the skin.
Once the suture is removed one week after the procedure, patients should expect to see the true result of the procedure
Patients are advised to treat day 1 post-op as a rest day, refraining from exercise for 14 days. Bruising should be expected for around 7 days after the procedure.
Excess skin is permanently removed