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Eyelid surgery (technically called blepharoplasty) is a procedure that removes fat along with excess skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. It can correct drooping upper lids and puffy bags below your eyes – features that make you look older and more tired than you feel, and may even interfere with your vision.
However, it won’t remove crow’s feet or other wrinkles, eliminate dark circles under your eyes, or lift sagging eyebrows. While it can add an upper eyelid crease to Asian eyes, it will not erase evidence of your ethnic or racial heritage. Blepharoplasty can be done alone, or in conjunction with other facial surgery procedures such as a facelift or brow lift.
Blepharoplasty can enhance your appearance and your self-confidence, but it won’t necessarily change your looks to match an ideal, or cause other people to treat you differently. Before you decide to have surgery, think carefully about your expectations and discuss them with Dr. Almonte.
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The best candidates for eyelid surgery are men and women who are physically healthy, psychologically stable, and realistic in their expectations. Most are 35 or older, but if droopy, baggy eyelids run in your family, you may decide to have eyelid surgery at a younger age.
A few medical conditions make blepharoplasty more risky. They include thyroid problems such as hypothyroidism and Graves’ disease, dry eye or lack of sufficient tears, high blood pressure or other circulatory disorders, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. A detached retina or glaucoma is also reason for caution; check with your ophthalmologist before you have surgery.
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Complications are infrequent and usually minor
When eyelid surgery is performed, complications are infrequent and usually minor. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility of complications, including bleeding or an infection. You can reduce your risks by closely following your surgeon’s instructions both before and after surgery.
Other minor complications that occasionally follow blepharoplasty include double or blurred vision for a few days; temporary swelling at the corner of the eyelids; and a slight asymmetry in healing or scarring. Tiny whiteheads may appear after your stitches are taken out; your surgeon can remove them easily with a very fine needle.
The Initial Consultation
The initial consultation with Dr. Almonte is very important. He will need your complete medical history, so check your own records ahead of time and be ready to provide this information. Be sure to inform your surgeon if you have any allergies; if you’re taking any vitamins, medications (prescription or over-the-counter), or other drugs; and if you smoke.
In this consultation, Dr. Almonte will test your vision and assess your tear production. You should also provide any relevant information from your ophthalmologist or the record of your most recent eye exam. If you wear glasses or contact lenses, be sure to bring them along.
You and Dr. Almonte should carefully discuss your goals and expectations for this surgery. You’ll need to discuss whether to do all four eyelids or just the upper or lower ones, whether skin as well as fat will be removed, and whether any additional procedures are appropriate.