Cosmetic eyelid surgery procedure
A cosmetic eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) procedure can like most plastic surgeries be divided into a three step process, concerning what happens before, during and after an eyelid surgery. This page is about the two first steps of these three stages.
Planning prior to a cosmetic eyelid surgery
Once the decision is made to undergo plastic surgery you need to book a consultation with a surgeon.
The introductory consultation with your plastic surgeon is very important. He/she needs to know your medical history so be prepared to describe it.
Make sure you inform your plastic surgeon if you smoke, use medication (especially anticoagulants), vitamins and other substances such as naturopathic preparations. Do not forget to inform about contact lenses if you use such.
You and your plastic surgeon will discuss your goals and what results you expect from the cosmetic eyelid surgery. You also need to discuss whether you are going to do all four eyelids or just the upper or lower ones, if both skin and fat is to be removed and if other alternatives or additional procedures are recommended.
Be honest when describing your expectations and demand the same honesty from your surgeon when he/she describes the limitations and risks your cosmetic eyelid surgery involves.
Preparations prior to a cosmetic eyelid surgery
You will receive thorough instructions about how you should prepare for your eyelid surgery. These include information about what you should eat and drink, rules of smoking, taking vitamins, medication and other substances.
It is extremely important that you do not use anticoagulant medication such as acetylsalicylic acid (Balmyl etc.) or substances that contain vitamin E two weeks before surgery.
You will receive information about how to tend to your hygiene prior to your cosmetic eyelid surgery with the aim of minimising the risk of infection. These instructions include a so called preoperative wash which implies taking a double shower and washing with a particular soap (Decutan/Hebiscrub) for three days prior to your eyelid surgery.
As part of your preparations you should also make sure that someone can collect you after surgery and assist you for a few days afterwards.
You can read more about this on the page about preparations for surgery »
Surgical procedure for cosmetic eyelid surgery
Cosmetic eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) normally takes one to two hours to perform, depending if two or four eyelids are being operated on. If both the upper and lower eyelids are being operated the surgeon will generally begin with the upper lids and then move on to the lower ones. The surgery is performed under local anaesthetic, sometimes in combination with sedative medications (except from the cosmetic eyelid surgery which can be performed under general anesthesia).
The surgeon places an incision that follows the eyelids natural lines; in the crease approx. 9 mm above the eyelashes of the upper eyelids and right up to the eyelashes of the lower lids. In some cases the incision runs all the way to the laughter lines of the outer eye area. Through the incision the surgeon frees the underlying fat and muscle tissue, removes fat and alters the excess skin and musculature. The incision is then sutured with small, fine stitches.
If you have fatty deposits which are to be removed from behind your eyelids and no excess skin needs to be removed, the surgeon can perform a so called conjunctival cosmetic eyelid surgery. The surgeon places the incision on the inside of the lower eyelid. By doing so any visible scarring and the risk of the eyelid edge protruding downwards is eliminated. The method is primarily used on younger patients with thicker and more elastic skin. Excess skin cannot be removed with this method.
After your cosmetic eyelid surgery a supporting tape is normally placed on the eyelids which can be removed when the sutures are removed 5-7 days later. It is also normal that a cooling dressing is placed in order to minimise the risk of swelling. Eye ointment is also provided to protect the cornea.