The procedure | Lower eyelid correction
The combination of soft and pliable skin on one side and the constant movement on the other makes that aging often shows first around the eyes. Next to the upper eyelids, this is also true for the lower eyelids. Both skin excess and malar bags are signs of this process and are responsible for creating a weary and sad look. The aim of the procedure is to reposition or remove the bulging fat and reduce the excess of skin in the lower eyelids while achieving a natural and refreshed appearance.
Where will I be operated?
The operation will be performed in the fully equipped operating theatre at the Radetzky villa.
What can I expect of the operation?
The operation will be performed either under local anaesthetic or under sedation and will take approximately 45 minutes. Your surgeon will always see you before the operation and will talk you through the steps. Pictures will be taken for documentation. The procedure will start with prepping and draping of your face. Markings will be made on your eyelids and you are advised to keep your eyes closed. You will be warned when the local anaesthetic is going to be injected and you will experience a swelling of your eyelids. While you will not feel any pain during the procedure, you will be able to experience movements, pressure or changes in temperature. Your surgeon will use a precise electric devise to stop any bleeding that may occur and will use one suture to close the wound. Often a suspension suture (canthopexy) is used to support the lower eyelid, which will result in a tight feeling on the side of your eyelid for a while.
What are the risks?
Postoperative bleeding occurs in less then 1 in 100 cases. If this occurs behind the eyeball it may compromise vision. Even though this is extremely rare (1:40.000), you are advised to contact your surgeon if you experience impaired vision in the days after surgery. Other complications might involve a weakened suspension mechanism of the lower eyelid, where a tight scar could cause drooping of the eyelid. In the majority of cases this resolves by itself. Sometimes however, a second small procedure is needed to retighten the eyelid.
What can I expect of the operation?
When the anaesthetic wears off you may experience some slight discomfort of the eye and tightness of the lower eyelids. In the first few days healing will include some swelling and (variably) some bruising. Regularly cooling your eyelids in the first 24 hours will help in keeping this swelling to a minimum. Prevention of bending down or lifting heavy goods in the first few days also helps. You may find it more comfortable to sleep with an extra pillow to elevate your head in this period. The healing process might induce some dryness in your eyes. If you experience this sensation, you should treat it by using eye-drops (and ointment during the night). The tight feeling in your eyelids may persist on and off for several weeks.
What will the scars be like?
The scar follows the curvature of the eyeball and runs just below the eyelashes of the lower eyelid. At the side of the orbit the scar will be visible for a few millimetres, especially as it will be slightly red for the first few months. Eventually the colour will even out. Typically a scar will take one year to fully mature and in the majority of cases the scars, although present, should not be visible anymore by that time.
How long before I can resume my normal life?
Most people manage to return to light activities in the first few days after surgery. At one week after surgery a follow-up appointment will be made for you at the Radetzky villa, where the sutures will be removed.
Lower eyelids take a little longer to heal compared to the upper eyelids, but after two weeks the swelling and possible bruising normally is reduced to a level where social activities can be resumed. Occasionally however it takes longer for these side effects to disappear completely. We therefore advise you to postpone any important social activity until at least four weeks after the operation. We also recommend you to refrain from doing any strenuous activities in the first 2 weeks.
What is good to know about the long term?
Although the aging process proceeds also after surgery, it is extremely uncommon to have enough indication do a blepharoplasty for a second time.
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