What Happens in Eyelid Surgery?


There are a number of different ways in which the surgery is carried out, which depend on whether you are having the surgery on the upper or lower lids or both, what technique your surgeon likes to use and the anesthetic you will be placed under. This may be just local anesthetic and sedation or a general anesthetic. Depending on the lid, the surgeon will make an incision, remove any excess fat, tissue or skin and re-stitch the wound. The cut is usually made along the eyelids natural line so that the suture line will be barely noticeable. The procedure will usually last around 2 hours depending on how much work you are having done. Recovery time will differ from patient to patient and the anesthetic used will have an impact as local will mean that you can go straight home whereas general anesthetic means that you will have to wait for the effects to wear off.

Most people who undergo cosmetic eyelid surgery can go back to their normal routine after around 7 days. The stitches will usually be taken out in this time period and regular checkups are needed to ensure that the area is healing well. The majority of patients are happy with the outcome, although it can be a long time before the results can fully be seen, as the area needs to heal. There is a small risk of complications, which can result in further surgery but these are very rare cases.

Cosmetic eyelid surgery is a procedure that has been well defined over the last decade or so. It is carried out in a variety of ways depending on the eyelid and the technique the surgeon is familiar with. Usually, the surgery will be carried out using a scalpel, however, some surgeons opt for a laser approach.

Upper eyelid surgery

Surgery carried out on the upper eyelid will usually be carried out under a local anesthetic and sedative. This means that you will not be unconscious but the area will be numbed so you will not feel a thing. An incision will be made above the eyelashes, along a natural crease in the eyelid so that scarring will be less noticeable. The layers of tissue are then peeled back and excess fat will be removed. The excess skin and muscle will be cut later and the skin is stretched back before the incision is sutured to ensure that the skin is smooth.

The procedure is usually carried out with a scalpel although a laser may be used to smooth the skin. During the procedure, the surgeon may ask you to open and close your eyes to ensure that the skin is in the correct position and not too much has been removed. Once the incision is sealed, antibiotic ointment will be applied to the area.

Lower eyelid surgery

Lower eyelid surgery can be carried out under a local anesthetic but quite a few surgeons opt for a general anesthetic, which means you will be unconscious for the duration of the procedure. The principle of the surgery is essentially the same as you want to remove the excess fat, muscle and skin but there are two different techniques in which to do so.

The transconjunctival method involves making an incision on the inside of the eyelid instead or along the eyelash line. This means that the scar will be hidden inside the eyelid and will not be as noticeable as other techniques. The excess material is then pulled out through this incision. This technique also ensures less bruising.

The second technique is the transcutaneous method whereby you make an incision along the eyelashes and carry out the procedure like the upper eyelid.

This involves removing the excess material sewing the skin back together and then trimming the excess skin.

Using a laser technique

Some surgeons may opt to carry out the procedure using a laser instead of a scalpel, it just depends what instrument they are most skilled with. Using a laser makes the procedure shorter and can reduce the amount of bleeding from the wound. Unfortunately, lasers can create an irregular incision line at times and scalpels are usually more favorable in this instance. However, they may be used in conjunction with the scalpel technique in order to remove wrinkles and make sure the skin is smooth before closure of the wound.

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