Eyelid Lift (Blepharoplasty)
Eyelid reduction surgery, known as blepharoplasty, is a procedure that removes excess fatty tissue and or loose skin surrounding the eyes. It is one of the most commonly performed plastic surgery procedures, and can assist in creating a more youthful appearance by rejuvenating natural signs of ageing specific to the eye region.
An upper blepharoplasty removes loose or sagging skin that disturbs the natural contour of the eyelid, as well as removal of excess fatty deposits that can result in upper lid puffiness. In some extreme cases this surgery is necessary for medical reasons, when the loose folds of skin droop over the eyelid and cause vision impairment.
A lower blepharoplasty can remove or reposition excess fatty tissue under the eye, along with excess sagging skin, to remove the appearance of wrinkles and the under-eye ‘bag’.
The upper eyelid, lower eyelid, or both, is able to be treated depending on your individual needs. Whether you are looking to aesthetically improve your aging eyes or resolve functional abnormalities, one of our specialist plastic surgeons would be pleased to discuss suitable surgical options with you.
The Procedure + Surgical Techniques
Before surgery, your surgeon will mark up the eye area, and define the amount of excess skin needing to be removed. The incision lines involved in both upper and lower blepharoplasty procedures enable our surgeons to neatly conceal scars in the structure of the eyelid region.
An upper blepharoplasty is achieved by making an incision in the natural crease of the eyelid, and removing that pre-determined amount of skin. Depending on your individual needs, your surgeon may also tighten the muscles and or remove or reposition excess fatty tissue in the area. When closed, the incision site is neatly camouflaged in the natural crease of the eyelid.
One technique for achieving a lower blepharoplasty is the transcutaneous method, involving an incision just below the lower lash line. Once again, your surgeon will then excise a pre-determined amount of excess skin, tighten muscles and or reposition and remove excess fat deposits, depending on your individual surgical needs. This incision site is neatly camouflaged in the lower lash line. Alternatively, your surgeon may use a transconjunctival incision, which is created on the inside of the lower eyelid. This approach is a suitable method to reposition or remove excess fat, but does not remove excess skin.
Your surgeon will discuss which technique will be the best approach for your individual needs during your consultation.
For further information on the procedure, we highly recommend you watch the animated video on our website, which outlines this surgery in more detail.
Hospital Stay and Anaesthesia
Typically, a blepharoplasty procedure does not require an overnight stay and can be performed as a day surgery unless combined with another procedure. Depending on individual circumstances, this procedure can be safely performed either under a general anaesthetic with an anaesthetist present, or, in our rooms in our accredited theatre with local anaesthetic. Your plastic surgeon will discuss your choices in your initial consultation and determine which option is best for you.
In order to keep your consultation as smooth and efficient as possible, we ask that you please bring all relevant documentation with you on the day. This includes your referral letter, Medicare card, private health insurance details, any third party or return to work insurance information, and any relevant scans i.e. x-ray or ultrasounds.
During your initial consultation with one of our specialist plastic surgeons, you will have an extended opportunity to discuss expectations and desired outcomes, along with any questions you may have about the procedure. Remember, there’s no such thing as a silly question!
You will then meet with one of our friendly and experienced nurses. You will have clinical images taken in our blue room as a before and after reference for both yourself and your surgeon (please note that all our images are confidential and are securely stored).
The final stage involves meeting with your surgeon’s personal assistant. At this time, you will be given a detailed quote, outlining the surgeon, hospital and anaesthetist fees (if required), along with some clinical information on the procedure to take home.
We recommend that you allow up to an hour for the initial consultation. Please keep this in mind when organising parking so that you don’t feel the need to rush.
It is important to mention that as of the 1st November 2018, there have been significant changes to the criteria set by Medicare for being able to claim for this type of surgery as a “Medical” procedure. This affects your ability to be able to claim any rebates from Medicare and / or your Private Health Fund and have your Hospital stay covered by your health insurance.
You will need to obtain a referral from your GP as well as a letter from an Optometrist demonstrating your visual field defect and the degree of visual disturbance. If you think you may qualify for a medically indicated Blepharoplasty, please make this known when booking your consultation and we will be pleased to assist you with the next steps.
There is a lot of information to take in during your first consultation. We encourage our patients to go home and think about the procedure, discuss it with trusted others and then see us for a second, usually shorter, consultation. We find our patients almost always return with additional questions they hadn’t originally considered. This second visit allows you to go into your surgery feeling confident and fully informed about your procedure.
Before your procedure
There are a number of
things you can do before your procedure, to encourage a smooth recovery and
ensure you are as comfortable as possible post-surgery.
It is important that you:
- Exercise, having good physical health will significantly help your recovery process
- Provide a complete medical history for your specialist plastic surgeon; this should include all current medications, as some may need to be stopped prior to surgery.
- Quit smoking
- If going under general anaesthesia, pre-arrange someone to transport you too and from your surgery, as well as stay with you 48 hours after returning home.
- Ensure you follow pre-operative instructions from your surgeon, such as fasting times, or your procedure may have to be cancelled.
- You may wish to pre purchase medical grade camouflage makeup, to help cover any residual redness or bruising post surgery. Many of our facial procedure patients find this helpful when getting back to day-to-day activities. As a practice we stock the complete Jane Iredale collection for patients to purchase, a medical grade mineral makeup range that is safe to use post operatively.
- Prepare your recovery area! You’ll want to have everything you need to recover easily accessible and within arms reach. We suggest comfortable pillows, icepacks, prescribed medications, emergency contact details, a phone, as well as things to keep you entertained. Previous blepharoplasty patients also recommend having more than one cooling gel eye mask, so you always have one in the fridge/freezer ready to go.
Recovery time is highly individual, however we find many of our patients are able to resume normal activities after a few days and return to work after seven to ten days. This time frame will vary depending on your individual surgery details, the nature of your employment and your overall level of health. Your surgeon will discuss this with you prior to surgery, and it is important to allow yourself the recommended recovery time.
On discharge, you will be given specific postoperative instructions to facilitate recovery, and a follow-up appointment will be made with your plastic surgeon. These instructions will cover everything you will need to know in order to make your recovery as smooth and comfortable as possible.
Post-surgery it is common to have localised bruising and swelling concentrated at the incision sites, and we recommend sleeping upright initially to help reduce swelling. After approximately ten days it is safe to use mineral makeup to help cover any residual redness or bruising if you wish. At this stage, we offer a complimentary ‘cover up’ lesson using Jane Iredale cosmetics, a medical grade mineral makeup range. As a practice our philosophy is built around holistic treatment. For this reason, during your makeup consultation you will also be given the opportunity to discuss ways you can care for and protect your skin, post-surgery and in the future. This includes skincare, make up, non-surgical treatment options and most importantly – sun protection!
Our team is here to support you to make a swift, uncomplicated recovery. We offer a 24/7 on-call medical assistance service for all our post-operative patients. It’s your journey, but we’ll be with you every step of the way!
Ready to book an initial consultation?
If you are ready to book your initial consultation, please book online or call us to book with one of our helpful team members. We’ll be pleased to help you start your journey.
Not quite ready or have a question to ask?
Stay up to date
News – March 23, 2023
Will my surgery leave me with a scar?
Specialist Plastic Surgeon Dr Anthony Porter and Jo Herreen RN discuss everything you need to know about post surgical scarring in our latest blog post. Read it now