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As one ages, the skin in the upper eyelids becomes redundant and hangs down, causing heaviness on the eye that can result in a tired appearance. Genetics, sun exposure, smoking and allergies can also play a role and some patients start to experience these symptoms at a young age. In some cases it may be so severe as to limit vision, especially peripheral vision.
Through upper lid blepharoplasty the excess skin, muscle and fat is removed and contoured creating a natural rejuvenated, sculpted upper eyelid. The sutures are hidden in the natural fold of the eye and are removed five days after. The procedure is done in the office using local anesthetic. Bruising is usually minimal, and any bruising can be easily camouflaged with sunglasses. Regular work and exercise may be resumed in a few days. It may, however, take several weeks to realize the final results as the swelling from surgery continues to decrease. We do require all patients get clearance from their eye doctor prior to surgery. We will supply the clearance form when the quote is given. These are simple tests but it is important Dr. Finn knows everything about your eyes and that there are no underlying conditions that surgery could compromise.
Several things happen to the lower eyelid as aging occurs. A unique type of fat surrounds the eye and its muscles. As we get older, the membrane that holds that fat into the orbit weakens, causing bulges or bags to form underneath the eyes. These bulges under the eyes are also unmasked as mid-face volume decreases with aging and can contribute to the skin wrinkling and sagging under the eye. Often people complain of having dark circles under their eyes but what they are actually seeing is a shadow underneath the eyes created when overhead lighting shines down on the bulges. After surgery, a smooth contour is created and the shadow goes away thus no signs of dark circles. At times, the muscles of the eye sag, and cause what is called “festooning” or multiple bags under the eyes. Lower lid blepharoplasty may help reduce each of these problems.
The 2 Different Approaches to Lower Blephs and What to Expect With Each
A trans-conjunctival blepharoplasty may be performed for the patient with minimal wrinkles but significant fat in the lower eyelids. With this procedure, no external incisions are made; instead, the fat is repositioned and sometimes partially removed through a small incision inside the lower eyelid. This results in a quicker recovery and no external scar formation. This approach is often combined with fractionated co2 laser resurfacing to tighten up the skin of the lower eyelid.
A transcutaneous blepharoplasty is a better alternative for the patient with excess skin or redundancy in the muscles surrounding the eye. With this approach, a small incision is made just below the eyelashes trailing out into one of the crow’s feet. Through this incision, a dramatic tightening of the lower eyelid skin and muscle may be obtained. Healing is rapid and sutures are removed in five days. At times, there is bruising which may last from seven to ten days. Redness in the lateral portion of the incision may last for several weeks but may be covered up with make-up after seven days.
We do require all patients get clearance from their eye doctor prior to surgery. We will supply the clearance form when the quote is given. These are simple tests but it is important that Dr. Finn knows everything about your eyes and to insure there are no underlying conditions that surgery could compromise.
Lower Blepharoplasty is usually performed under IV sedation as an outpatient procedure in our accredited private surgery suite. You will need a driver and somebody that can stay with you for 24 hours after the procedure.
Deciding to Schedule
You will be given a surgical quote at your consultation with Dr. Finn as well as any clearance forms required. Should you decide to schedule the procedure with Dr. Finn you will contact our patient care coordinator Shannon Jones. At this time you will pick a procedure date that works for both you and Dr. Finn. At this time a $500.00 non-refundable surgery booking fee will be paid to reserve this day on Dr. Finn’s schedule. Once the surgery date is set we back track 2 weeks prior and schedule a pre-operative appointment.
At your pre-op you will have ample time with Dr. Finn to discuss your upcoming procedure in great detail and have all your questions answered. You will bring the required clearance forms to this visit unless we have already received them. We will review all pre- and post-operative care, prescribed medications and any provisions we may give you for use pre- and post-surgery. You will review and sign the consent for surgery and the balance will be due at the conclusion of this appointment.
What to avoid before surgery?
It is vitally important to avoid all blood thinning medications/supplements for 2 weeks prior to surgery. This includes any aspirin or aspirin-containing products as well as any anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen or naproxen (including Motrin, Aleve and Advil). It is generally fine to be take Tylenol (Acetaminophen). Avoid supplements such as Vitamin E including multi vitamins, omega 3 fatty acids such as fish oil and flax seed oil. You will be given a complete list of medications/supplements to avoid at your pre-op. All these medications can contribute to bleeding problems following surgery and can increase the amount of bruising.
What can I do to speed up my recovery time?
We want you back to your normal routine as quickly as possible so in addition to avoiding blood thinners we provide our surgical patients with a supply of Arnica Montana and Vitamin K cream which are both clinically proven to help reduce bruising and swelling. Vitamin K cream applied to your skin two weeks before surgery tends to reduce bruising. Arnica Montana is a homeopathic herb that helps to reduce swelling and bruising. We also have a laser called the V Beam Perfecta that is amazing at speeding up stubborn bruising! It targets the pigment in the bruise causing it to break up and dissipate much faster than it could by itself. We encourage surgery patients to take advantage of this laser treatment at no charge and it can be done as often as you want while the bruising is still present. We will also go over surgery specific tips at your pre op that can help speed up the down time!