Eyelid surgery: what you need to know

Your eyes are, without a doubt, one of your most important features. When your eyes look sparkling and healthy, it enhances the appearance of your whole face. Similarly, tired and heavy eyes are a key sign of ageing and can have a devastating effect on your self-esteem.

Eyelid surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is an increasingly popular method of improving the appearance of the eyes and attaining a fresher, more youthful look. It can also be a solution to vision problems caused by drooping or puffy eyelids.

How it works

Eyelids are one of the first areas to show the signs of facial ageing. As we get older, the eyelid skin and muscle become loose, often accompanied by bulging excess fat, giving the appearance of bags under the eyes and droopy upper lids.

Eyelid surgery is a procedure that aims to correct most of these problems by removing excess skin, muscle and fat. After surgery, your eyelids should be tighter and firmer, making your eyes appear brighter and more youthful. The appearance of fine surface wrinkles around the eyes should also be reduced.

What to expect

The type of eyelid surgery you undergo should be decided after careful consultation with your doctor. Upper eyelid surgery is a relatively simple procedure that can generally be performed on an outpatient basis. Lower eyelid surgery can be a little more complicated, usually requiring an inpatient stay and with a more protracted recovery time .

Benefits and limitations

Ultimately, eyelid surgery should be looked at as an enhancement procedure, rather than a transformative one. You should not expect or be concerned about seeing drastic changes to the overall appearance of your face. For many, the effects are very subtle, leaving you looking naturally fresh and rejuvenated. It is not suitable for treating all problems around the eye area, however. Drooping brows, for example, are not generally rectified by eyelid surgery, but can be addressed by browlifting. Sometimes this is carried out at the same time as the eyelid lift.

Recovery

Recovery time for eyelid surgery varies from person to person. For upper eyelid surgery, the vast majority of patients are able to return to work within 1-2 weeks with only minimal visible scarring. However, the full effects of the procedure may not be visible for several months, so don’t feel discouraged if you don’t feel that you’ve achieved what you wanted after the first few weeks.

Lower eyelid surgery can have a lengthier recovery time due to the more complex nature of the procedure. Bruising and puffiness around the eyes are common, and it some individuals it can be several weeks or months before you achieve complete recovery.

The after-effects of eyelid surgery can be treated by applying cool compresses throughout the day, as well as avoiding the use of makeup and contact lenses in the immediate aftermath of your procedure. However, in most cases, it is perfectly safe to wear makeup and contacts as normal when you’re recovered enough to return to work.