Eyelid (Blepharoplasty) Surgery


Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery can be done to correct drooping upper eyelids, puffy fat pads in the upper and lower eyelids and sagging lower eyelid skin. Technically known as blepharoplasty (blef-r-o-plas-tee), this procedure involves removal of fat and excess skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. In some cases, the lower lid itself is tightened at the outer corner of the eye socket to correct laxity of the tone of the lower eyelid (canthoplasty). Eyelid surgery does not address crow’s feet lines, dark pigmentation of the lower eyelids, or drooping eyebrow skin.

Eyelid surgery is frequently done at the same time as other procedures, such as a facelift or brow lift, and can be combined with laser or chemical resurfacing to smooth skin wrinkles.

Eyelid Surgery Patient Photos

Click the thumbnails below to see the before and after photos in sequence. Please note that all photos are actual patients of Dr. Parson.

Eyelid Surgery
Eyelid Surgery
Eyelid Surgery

The First Office Eyelid Surgery Visit

Dr. Shaun Parson will take a medical history, with particular emphasis on conditions, which may impact your candidacy for eyelid surgery. Underlying medical conditions such as high blood pressure, bleeding disorders, heart disease, diabetes, thyroid disorders, or a history of dryness of your eyes, are important issues which can increase the risks of eyelid surgery. The medications you take may need to be altered prior to surgery, so be prepared to provide specific dosing information at the time of the consultation.

Please inform us if you have any history of allergies to medications. Let us know also if you wear any corrective lenses, or if you have had prior eyelid surgery or eye muscle surgery. The doctor will do a thorough eyelid examination, and will assess other related issues which impact the perception of eyelid aging, such as the effect of the eyebrows and the skin itself. A vision exam and sometimes a test of tear function will be done. He will discuss the relevance of all of these issues as they relate to your overall appearance. Dr. Parson will answer all of your questions to the best of his ability. On occasion, the doctor may feel that there are indications for you to seek consultation with a board-certified ophthalmologist; he will make this referral if necessary.

The Pre-Operative Eyelid Surgery Period

It is imperative that patients refrain from ingesting any medications or other substances which could potentially be the cause of surgical complications. A list of medications should be reviewed and discontinued at least 2 weeks prior to the operation. Patients are seen just prior to their surgery date for a general physical examination to ensure that no underlying medical problems exist which may interfere with the safety of their surgery. Prescriptions for antibiotics and for pain medication will be written, so that you have your medication when you return home from the operation.

Pre-operative photographs are taken so that you can see the improvement from your surgery afterwards. We generally take post-operative photographs at 3 months after your procedure. You will be asked to sign a surgical consent which enumerates the risks of the procedure in detail. These risks are also discussed at the consultation.

You will be asked to pay your surgical fee at your pre-operative visit. You will need to arrange for an escort to drive you to and from the surgery center. Patients cannot operate motor vehicles after surgery, and we will not place recently sedated patients into taxis for transport home. We can arrange for medical transport in the event you cannot find an escort. It is a good idea to have someone stay with you for at least 24 hours after surgery for your comfort and safety.

The Day of Blepharoplasty Surgery

Prior to giving you any sedation, Dr. Parson will carefully mark the skin incisions with a marking pen, following your natural skin creases, so as to minimize visibility of the scars after surgery. The remainder of the surgery will be performed under a general anesthetic.

The excess skin, muscle, and fat are removed once the area is completely numb. Much of the operation is done with a very fine electrocautery, which controls any bleeding. The skin is then closed with very fine sutures. Occasionally, the lower eyelid is very lax, and removal of any amount of skin could result in a pulling down of the lid, or ectropion. In this circumstance, the doctor may elect to perform what is called a lateral canthoplasty. In this procedure, the actual lid structure is tightened up to the bone of the eye socket near the outer corner. This may result in a change in the shape of your eyelid, which can be permanent, and will lengthen your recovery. There is an additional fee for this procedure as well.

Following your facial plastic surgery procedure, you will be monitored briefly in our recovery room, and will then be discharged into the company of an adult escort. Post-operative instructions will be given to that person and to you in writing.

The Post-Operative Eyelid Surgery Period

Dr. Parson will place a lubricating ointment in your eyes, which may blur your vision temporarily. You should continuously apply lightweight ice-cold compresses to your eyes for the first two days. Frozen peas placed into an inexpensive “Zip lock” type baggie works very well as a compress. You should avoid anything heavier than one ounce. Dr. Parson recommends that you avoid using your eyes, and try to get as much rest as possible during the first week after eyelid plastic surgery. Stay propped up on a couple of extra pillows in bed, or better yet, sleep in a recliner if you have one; this reduces swelling. Blood pressure needs to be kept under tight control, as this can lead to bleeding complications which can affect your vision.

It is important to avoid reading, watching television, or using a computer for the first week. Blinking leads to increased swelling. Staring at a monitor is frequently accompanied by drying out of the eyes, which increases irritation and prolongs recovery. Take this opportunity to catch up on your sleep and avoid any interruptions which may cause you stress.

Sutures are removed in 5 – 7 days. Swelling and bruising usually lasts for 10 to 14 days, but makeup can be applied as a camouflage after the first week or so. When you go outside, use sunglasses, as you may be very sensitive to light for a while. Avoidance of contact lenses for a week or so is necessary. You should not drive until you have normal vision and are off of any narcotic medications. The eyes may fatigue easily for several weeks after eyelid plastic surgery, due to any residual swelling in the tissues; frequent naps are helpful.

You should avoid strenuous activities such as bending, lifting, and sports for about 3 weeks. Drinking alcohol can lead to fluid retention and delays recovery. Healing is a gradual process and it usually takes 6 weeks to 3 months for you to look completely natural, or no longer “surgical”. This may be more apparent to you than to others, and most people return to work in a week while still maintaining their confidentiality.

Scars may remain slightly pink for 6 months or so, but can easily be concealed with makeup. Eventually, they fade to a thin, nearly invisible white line. The more alert, youthful look that eyelid plastic surgery gives one is very long lasting. For many people, the results are permanent.

Risks of Blepharoplasty

When eyelid surgery is performed by a qualified plastic surgeon such as Dr. Parson, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Nevertheless, complications can occur including bleeding, infection, reactions to the anesthetic medications, temporary problems with excessive tearing, prominence or firmness of the scars, asymmetry in healing or scarring, and milia or whiteheads where the sutures emanate from the skin. After the procedure, some patients may have difficulty closing their eyes completely while they sleep; in rare cases, this condition may be permanent. Another rare condition is ectropion, or a pulling down of the lower lids. Further surgery may be required to correct many of these complications.

Contact Dr. Shaun Parson Today about your Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery is an advanced facial cosmetic surgery that can help men and women achieve a youthful, refreshed appearance. To learn more about this procedure, or other facial plastic surgeries such as facelift, neck lift or rhinoplasty, contact Dr. Parson today at 480-282-8386.