Eye Lid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

Blepharoplasty is a procedure in which fat deposits, loose skin and drooping around the eyelids is removed. Plastic surgeons or ophthalmologists (eye surgeons) perform the procedure, which improves “hooding” of the upper lid (when excess skin causes a droopy appearance). It can also help to reduce puffiness of the eyelid. Blepharoplasty gives the eyes a more youthful appearance and reduces the look of tiredness that can occur with older age.

The Procedure

An incision is made in the skin fold of the eyelid and excess skin and fat is removed. The external incision is closed, and the scar is hidden in the natural skin fold. The surgery usually takes one to three hours to complete and this depends on the technique used and the extent of the repair.

Blepharoplasty can be performed under general or local anaesthetic, either in hospital or in a surgical suite. Whether or not you stay in hospital will depend on your, and your surgeon's, preferences.

After Your Surgery

Initially the incisions will be red and there may be some swelling and discolouration around the eyes, but this decreases gradually over the following weeks. Make-up can be used to hide bruising, which can take up to 10 days to improve.

Your eyes may be sensitive for a few days following surgery, and it is important to avoid activities that can dry your eyes or that can cause excessive swelling. Strenuous physical activity should also be avoided for the first few weeks, and your surgeon will advise you as to when you can return to normal activities.

The Long Term Outcome

The results of the surgery typically last for a long time, and scarring is minimal. After approximately six months, the scars will fade to a thin white line in the natural skin fold, which is nearly invisible. Some looseness of the skin and wrinkling may return as aging continues, but fat removal from the area is permanent. Patients are typically very happy with the results of the procedure for many years following surgery, and find that the procedure helps to give them a more youthful appearance.

Risks

All surgery carries some risks, which include the possibility of post-operative infection, bleeding, excessive scarring and reaction to the anaesthetic. There are other risks that are more specific to this procedure, and it is important that you talk to your surgeon about the possible complications prior to surgery.

Pre-existing medical conditions can alter the level of risk associated with any procedure, and it is important that you notify your surgeon and anaesthetist of any medical problems prior to surgery. It is also important to follow your surgeon's instructions both before, and after, surgery to ensure that these risks are minimised

Cost

The components that determine the cost of the procedure are the surgical theatre costs, hospital costs, anaesthetic fee and the surgeon's fee. Prices vary widely and depend on; the extent/complexity of the procedure, the physical attributes of individual patients, and the surgeon performing the operation. A combined upper and lower blepharoplasty typically costs around $9000.