Eyelid surgery is the ideal procedure designed to reduce fatty tissue around the lower and upper eyelids. Typically, candidates for this surgery complain about sagging skin that can impair vision or puffiness in the lower eye area. While blepharoplasty can remove excess skin and fine wrinkles in the lower eye area, it does not eradicate all your wrinkles. There are other procedures that target wrinkles, but Eyelid surgery can greatly enhance and brighten your face. For a thorough assessment it’s important to schedule your complimentary consultation with Dr. Salomon to thoroughly discuss your options.
Eyelid Surgery Combined with Fat Grafting
Eyelid surgery, blepharoplasty, is one of the most common cosmetic procedures. Often time, surgeons combine eyelid surgery with fat grafting techniques to further enhance their appearance. The primary reason is that the combined surgery usually provides the restoration of a more youthful look, which cannot be achieved by just the blepharoplasty alone.
The problem most patients considering this procedure face is that of unsightly bags under their eyes. Eyelid surgery alone does not fully correct this problem, as it only removes herniating, sagging fat from under the eyes. In order to fully restore a firm, youthful appearance in all three dimensions, it is necessary to graft in fat. The transplanted fat then serves as a support for the lower eyelid shelf.
Bags under the eyes are not the only reason to consider blepharoplasty with fat grafting. Some patients also have issues with the appearance of their upper eyelids. Fat grafting by injection is often a useful technique to help "lift" drooping upper eyelids. Fat injections should not, however, be used on the lower eyelid as it may induce bleeding that can result in blindness.
Pearl fat grafts are far safer for the lower eyelid as the solid pearls of fat create very little risk of rupturing a blood vessel. They also tend to have more pleasing cosmetic results on the lower eyelid.
Pearl fat grafts also have a higher survival rate, from 70% to as high as 90%, than fat injections. The survival rate of fat injections hovers around 50%. In practice, this means that twice the desired amount of fat may be injected. There is then a waiting period of several months to reach the intended outcome while the excess fat dissolves. Alternatively, the patient may return for multiple fat injections to slowly reach their goal.
An additional advantage of pearl fat grafts to the lower eyelid is the ease of correcting an overestimate. A pearl of fat is a single object that can be easily removed or reduced as needed.
Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty) Post Operative Healing
Recovering from blepharoplasty usually takes approximately four to six weeks. Postoperative care consists primarily of protecting the eyelids from any kind of irritation. Common symptoms following surgery include:
*Swelling around the incisions
*Temporary blurring of vision
*Feeling of tightness around eyelids
*Some bruising (severity of bruising varies among patients. Bruising is most evident during the first week of recovery)
Postoperative Care for a Blepharoplasty
Pain is minimal following a blepharosplasty. Patients experiencing soreness may take analgesics to relieve discomfort. Swelling is reduced by applying cold compresses several times a day if necessary. In addition, clean your eyes whenever they feel gummy or crusty. Although build-up of a crusty substance is part of the normal post-operative recovery process, this needs cleared away from eyes to prevent infection.
To facilitate healing during the first few days, physicians will ask that blepharosplasty patients do the following:
Avoid prolonged, eye-straining activities such as watching television, reading or using the computer
Swelling may be minimized by elevating the head as much as possible. Instead of lying flat while sleeping, try propping your body up in bed using several pillows
Wear sunglasses when venturing outside in windy and sunny conditions
Avoid activities that tend to increase blood flow to the head and eyes, especially lifting, bending or vigorous physical exercise
Wearing contacts is not recommended
Removal of Stitches
Stitches are removed anywhere from two days to a week following a blepharoplasty. Patients should still take extra care with protecting eyes from possible irritants after stitches are removed. Eyes need frequent rest and overexertion should still be avoided. Generally, most patients are able to return to their normal routine within 10 days to two weeks following the surgery.
Blepharoplasty patients will our NYC office at least twice during the recovery process. The surgeon will inspect the eyelids and stitches carefully to ensure that healing is progressing normally. Complications following this surgery are rare. In fact, blepharoplasty is considered one of the safest forms of cosmetic surgery available today. The risk of infection is the most probable complication, a risk that can be eliminated by regularly cleaning the eyelids and preventing exposure of the eyes to contaminants.
Eyelid Surgery Animation - How The Surgery Is Performed