Transforming Appearances: Eye Lid Surgery Before and After
Eyelid surgery is not only a cosmetic procedure but also has important health benefits. Learn how it can improve your appearance and overall well-being.
How you view the world around you has an impact on how you experience your life. That’s why eye health has become a top priority for many, and procedures like eyelid surgery and LASIK are becoming popular ways to keep your eyes in great condition.
These procedures have aesthetic and medical benefits. Undergoing eyelid surgery removes eye bags and excess skin or fat from your upper or lower eyelids. Because they can make you look older, removing them gives you a more refreshed appearance.
But more importantly, it can help improve eyesight, especially when the excess skin or fat is getting in the way of your vision. Similarly, LASIK will permanently correct any problems with your eyes, drastically improving your eyesight.
In this article, we will take a closer look at eyelid surgery and LASIK, their benefits, and everything else you need to know if you’re considering these procedures.
What Is Blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty, which is more commonly known as eyelid surgery, is a procedure that removes the excess tissue, fat, and sometimes skin from the eyelids. It’s the second most common procedure performed in the United States in 2020, trailing only nose reshaping.
It can be a cosmetic or medical procedure that improves the eyelid’s appearance and function. Cosmetically, it can make you look younger and gives you a more refreshed appearance. Medically, it improves your vision by lifting droopy eyelids. If left untreated, this can block your field of vision and can lead to accidents or injury to you or those around you.
Types of Blepharoplasty
There are two main types of blepharoplasty: upper eyelid and lower eyelid surgery. To differentiate, upper blepharoplasty removes excess upper eyelid skin, while lower blepharoplasty removes the fat pockets below the eyes.
Upper Eye Lid Surgery
Upper blepharoplasty is used to improve droopy upper eyelids which can restore youthful volume to the area. Thus, this procedure is usually recommended for patients over the age of 30, which is when excess upper eyelid skin becomes more apparent.
The procedure can be done on different parts of the upper eyelid such as the upper left eyelid, right upper eyelid, or both, which is called bilateral upper eyelid surgery.
The most common reason for the surgery is to correct sagging eyelids, droopy eyelids, or remove excess skin that makes the eyes look tired, giving you an aged appearance.
Lower Eye Lid Surgery
On the other hand, lower eyelid surgery is performed to reduce excess skin, fat, and muscle from the lower eyelids, which results in puffiness or eye bags.
Similar to upper eyelid surgery, lower blepharoplasty can involve either of the lower eyelids or both, which is also known as lower bilateral blepharoplasty.
However, lower blepharoplasty doesn’t remove any sagging skin from the lower eyelids. Instead, the procedure removes the fat deposits and tightens the skin around the eyes. This reduces puffiness and wrinkles, giving you a more youthful appearance.
Then there are some cases where eyelid surgery needs to be performed both on the upper and lower eyelids of the same eye. This is a bilateral blepharoplasty procedure that also aims to remove any excess fat, skin, or muscle from both the lower and upper eyelids.
Why Eyelid Surgery Is Done
There are several reasons why eyelid surgery is needed, both cosmetic and for health purposes.
When it comes to cosmetic reasons, eyelid surgery becomes necessary if your eyelids are making you look older than your age. If this is bothering you, it can negatively impact your confidence and mental health.
This makes eyelid surgery the best option to improve your appearance. It does this by:
- Reducing wrinkles and puffiness around the eyes
- Lifting sagging and heavy upper eyelids to give your face a fresher appearance and restore youthful volume
Meanwhile, when excess skin or fat blocks your field of vision, it also becomes medically necessary to undergo surgery on the lower or upper eyelids.
Other medical reasons include:
- Ptosis: Upper eyelid ptosis repair is when the excess fat and skin need to be removed to clear hooded upper eyelids.
- Ectropion: This is a condition where the lower eyelid turns outward and exposes the white of the eye, making lower blepharoplasty necessary.
- Entropion: In this condition, the lower eyelid turns inward. This causes the skin to rub against the cornea.
Best Age for Eye Lid Surgery
There is no one-size-fits-all answer for the best age for eyelid surgery since every patient’s condition varies. But generally, many surgeons recommend patients to be over 30 since it is typically the period when signs of aging become more apparent and sagging skin or eye bags start to form.
However, it can be performed at any age if it is medically necessary. In fact, some surgeons have reported that some patients are getting younger.
At the end of the day, the decision to have eyelid surgery is a personal and medical decision. It’s best to consult your doctor about your individual needs and goals. Some factors to include in your decision are:
- The amount of excess skin and/or fat on your eyelids
- The severity of your drooping eyelids
- Your overall health and fitness
Signs That You Need Eyelid Surgery
There are a few signs you can watch out for that may indicate that you need blepharoplasty. Some of the most common ones are:
- Excess fat, skin, or both on your eyelids. This can make your eyes look tired, droopy, or and make you look older.
- Droopy eyelids. This can make it difficult to see and can also be a sign of a more serious medical condition.
- Puffy bags under your eyes. This can be caused by a number of factors like excess skin, fat, and fluid.
- Dark circles under your eyes which is often due to genetics, lack of sleep, and allergies.
- Inability to close your eyelids completely. It can be a sign of a medical condition and can also lead to dry eyes.
If you’re experiencing any of these signs, you may need upper or lower blepharoplasty. You’ll need to talk to your doctor so they can evaluate and help you decide if eyelid surgery is right for you.
Potential Risks and Complications of Eyelid Surgery
Eyelid surgery, whether it’s bilateral, upper, or lower blepharoplasty, is a relatively safe procedure with a 90%-95% success rate.
However, it’s not without its risks and complications. These include the following:
- Bleeding: This is a common complication of lower or upper eyelid surgery, but it’s usually a minor risk and can be controlled with pressure. In rare cases, more serious bleeding can occur and may require surgery to stop.
- Infection: Symptoms to watch out for include redness, swelling, pain, and drainage from the incision site.
- Scarring: While this is a possible complication of upper eyelid surgery or lower blepharoplasty, it’s usually minimal. Even when scarring is noticeable, it will usually fade over time.
- Dry eyes: Dry eyes can happen when the tear ducts that produce tears are damaged during surgery, which can prevent your eyes from forming tears. This can be easily treated with artificial tears or other medications.
- Uneven results: In rare cases, the results of eyelid surgery may be uneven. This can happen if the surgeon removes too much or too little skin or fat. If needed, it can be corrected through revision surgery.
Upper Eyelid Surgery: Before and After
Before you undergo upper lid surgery, your doctor will discuss with you the risks and potential complications. During this consultation, your surgeon will discuss your goals for surgery and assess your upper eyelids.
What to Expect Before Upper Eyelid Surgery
Before the actual upper eyelid lift, you can expect the following:
- Preoperative testing: It’s possible that your doctor may order tests like blood tests and an electrocardiogram. These are often done as precautions to ensure that you’re healthy enough to have surgery.
- Preparation for surgery: You’ll be asked to avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and avoiding certain medications. On surgery day, you will need to arrive at the hospital or surgery center early. This way, you can settle down and be mentally and physically prepared for the procedure.
Overview: Upper Eyelid Surgery Procedure
The surgery is typically performed under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia. It usually just takes 30 minutes to 1 hour to complete, and since it’s an outpatient procedure, you can go home afterward.
As for the surgery itself, the surgeon makes an incision along the natural crease of the upper lid or just below your lashes to remove excess skin or fat. The incision is then closed with stitches, which can be removed within a week.
What to Expect After Upper Eyelid Surgery
After the surgery, expect some side effects as a result of the surgery. Some of the most common are:
- Bruising and soreness: These are normal side effects for someone who underwent upper blepharoplasty. This can last for a few weeks or more, which makes it critical to follow your doctor’s instructions to reduce the risk of infection.
- Sensitivity to light: You may experience light sensitivity for a few weeks or more. When outdoors, it’s recommended to wear sunglasses and use eye drops if needed.
Under-Eye Surgery: Before and After
Like the procedure for the upper eyelids, you need to have a consultation with your doctor before deciding to go through the surgery.
What to Expect Before Lower Eyelid Surgery
Just like upper eyelid surgery, your doctor will assess your condition, discuss the risks and potential complications. During this consultation, they’ll also explain the procedure in detail and answer any questions you may have.
Overview: Under-Eye Surgery Procedure
The procedures for upper and lower blepharoplasty are similar. You may also have preoperative tests, sign consent forms, and prepare for the procedure.
The procedure is also performed under local anesthesia with sedation or general anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the procedure.
The main difference is that the incision will be done on the lower eyelid. The incision is made either just below the lower lash line or inside the lower eyelid. The location is chosen based on the issues that need to be addressed and the desired outcome.
What to Expect After Lower Eyelid Surgery
Similar to upper eyelid surgery, you can also expect bruising and swelling, as well as some pain and discomfort. To prevent irritation and infection, be sure to follow your doctor’s advice on restricted activities, your sleeping position, and protecting your eyes.
What Is LASIK Surgery?
Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) surgery is a type of eye surgery used to correct refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. The procedure uses a laser to reshape the cornea to improve your vision.
It’s a generally safe and effective procedure, with many patients experiencing a significant improvement in their vision after the surgery.
Additionally, it’s a short procedure that results in permanent vision improvement without the need for glasses and contact lenses. However, not everyone can be a candidate for LASIK. If you’re interested in this procedure, you’ll need to undergo an evaluation to determine your eligibility.
Conventional LASIK vs. iDesign LASIK
Conventional LASIK and iDesign are two different approaches to LASIK surgery. While the objectives are the same, the main difference lies in how they measure and correct the refractive errors in your eye.
The main advantage of iDesign is that it’s more precise. This is because it takes into account both the way light is refracted through the eye and the shape of the cornea. Meanwhile, LASIK only considers the latter.
This means that iDesign can provide better vision correction and a lower risk of complications.
Here’s a short comparison of the two:
LASIK is the more traditional procedure. Here, your doctor typically relies on a combination of automated refraction and subjective refraction where you give feedback based on what you see as you look through different lenses.
iDesign is more advanced, as it uses technology that maps out your eyes’ landscape in 3D. This allows your doctor to see the imperfections and create a more customized plan to treat the problem.
Accuracy of Treatment
LASIK is effective in treating common refractive errors but won’t be able to address the subtle irregularities that impact your vision.
iDesign is more accurate because it uses wavefront technology that can detect even the most minor optical imperfections, which can yield better results.
Cost and Availability
Due to the technology used, iDesign is more costly than traditional LASIK. However, since it provides much better results, it’s the preferred option.
However, iDesign is not as widely available as LASIK. This can limit your options, depending on your location.
However, if you’re in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, we at Ophthalmology Associates use the latest iDesign technology for all our LASIK surgery procedures. We also offer a variety of financing options to give you the best care possible without breaking the bank.
Why LASIK Eye Surgery Is Done
LASIK has become the go-to vision correction procedure for many people because of its safety and effectiveness. The main reason for LASIK is to fix vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and even astigmatism.
Laser eye surgery is also beneficial to those who no longer want to depend on glasses and contact lenses.
If you are currently experiencing these vision problems, LASIK might be the best permanent solution for better eyesight.
However, not everyone qualifies for this type of procedure. Qualifications need to be met before you become a candidate. Some of the general criteria are:
- A stable prescription: Your prescription should be stable for at least one to two years, which means the refractive error should not have any significant changes during that period.
- At least 18 years old: Younger individuals may still be experiencing major changes in their vision, which makes it difficult to recommend LASIK.
- Good eye health: Your eyes must be in good health and you’re free from problems like glaucoma, severe dryness, cataracts, or other diseases that can cause issues with the healing process.
- Thick cornea: Your cornea must meet a certain thickness to ensure the safety and success of the procedure. Thin corneas may be riskier.
- Having realistic expectations: While LASIK will significantly improve your vision, it will not give you perfect eyesight. Expectations must be tempered and set to more realistic terms.
Potential Risks and Complications of LASIK Eye Surgery
LASIK is a generally safe procedure. According to data, success rates for patients are at 96% to 98%. When it comes to risks and complications, there’s only a 1% chance of occurrence.
However, in that rare chance, you may experience any of the following:
- Dry eyes: It’s the most common side effect and disappears on its own within a few months. But when it becomes chronic, it will require long-term treatment.
- Glare, halos, and starbursts: These visual disturbances can occur after the procedure, and can be worse at night. In most cases, this improves over time, but it may not go away completely.
- Undercorrection or overcorrection: This means that your vision may not be as good after surgery as it was before. You may need to have additional surgery to correct this problem.
- Infection. Although extremely rare, infections can be serious. See your doctor immediately if you experience redness, swelling, or pain.
- Corneal flap complications: LASIK procedure involves creating a thin flap in the cornea. Complications can happen when this flap becomes dislodged or folded, which can lead to vision problems.
Before and After LASIK Eye Surgery
It’s important to know what to expect before and after undergoing LASIK surgery. This way, you can set realistic expectations for your vision and recovery.
What to Expect Before LASIK Surgery
Initially, your doctor will perform a comprehensive eye exam to measure the shape of your cornea and determine if you’re a good candidate for LASIK. They may also take other detailed measurements of your eyes as needed and discuss your medical history.
If eligible, your doctor will next discuss the potential risks and complications that are involved with LASIK. You’ll also be given detailed instructions to follow before and after the surgery. Some of these include:
- Avoiding rubbing your eyes
- Wearing glasses instead of contacts for a few weeks
- Taking prescribed medications
Be sure to follow the preoperative instructions from your doctor. This ensures you’re well-prepared for the procedure and helps achieve the desired results.
Overview: LASIK Eye Surgery Procedure
LASIK is an outpatient procedure which means you’ll be able to go home afterward. It usually takes around 30 minutes or less per eye, with the procedure done one eye at a time.
Before surgery, you’ll be given numbing eye drops to make sure the procedure is painless and comfortable.
The first step is to create a thin flap on the cornea to expose the tissue. Next, the flap will then be lifted and the laser will do its work to reshape the cornea and fix your vision problem.
Finally, the flap will then be placed back in its original position and your eyes bandaged.
What to Expect After LASIK Surgery
After surgery, it’s critical to focus on your recovery. This will ensure you don’t experience risks and complications.
Here’s what to expect:
- Recovery: Vision improvements can be experienced shortly after surgery but you need to rest your eyes for the first 24 hours. Avoid straining your eyes to give them time to heal. You’ll also be asked to avoid rubbing your eyes and to wear protective eyewear.
- Mild discomfort: It’s common to feel some discomfort after LASIK but this usually subsides after a few hours.
- Use of eye drops: Doctors will recommend medicated eye drops to reduce inflammation and prevent infections.
- Follow-up visits: These visits are needed to monitor your recovery and ensure your eyes are healing the right way.
Get Your Eye Surgery from a Reputable Eye Surgeon
Eye surgery can be a life-changing procedure if done correctly. That’s why it is important to consult with an experienced and reputable eye surgeon. They have the skill and knowledge to make sure you’re able to meet your personalized goals and experience all the benefits of eye surgery with little to no complications.
At Ophthalmology Associates, we’re a multi-specialty practice that can address a variety of eye concerns. With our large team of ophthalmologists and our state-of-the-art facilities, you no longer have to go to different specialists to get the treatment you deserve.
Contact us now to improve your vision and way of life!
What is the difference between eyelid surgery and blepharoplasty?
Eyelid surgery and blepharoplasty are the same thing. It’s a cosmetic surgery procedure that removes excess skin, fat, and muscle from the lower and/or upper eyelids. It’s done to improve vision and to give the eyes a more youthful look.
What is the best age to have eyelid surgery?
The best age to have eyelid surgery will vary depending on the individual. However, most surgeons will advise patients to be at least 18 years old before undergoing eyelid surgery.
What are the side effects of eyelid surgery?
The most common side effects you may experience are swelling, bruising, dry eyes, scarring, and infections.
How long does it take to heal after eyelid surgery?
Recovery time varies from person to person, but most people can expect to be back to their normal activities within 2 to 4 weeks. Bruising also lessens during that time. However, it may take up to 2 to 3 months before the swelling completely subsides.
Is LASIK eye surgery permanent?
Yes, the effects of LASIK are permanent. However, some vision changes may still occur over time due to natural aging or other factors.
What is the best age to have LASIK eye surgery?
Doctors advise patients to be at least 18 years old to undergo LASIK surgery.
What are the side effects of LASIK eye surgery?
The most common side effects of LASIK include dry eyes, glare or halos around lights, under-correction or overcorrection, and corneal flap complications.
How long does it take to heal after LASIK surgery?
Most people can expect their vision to improve within the first week after LASIK. Recovery may take several weeks and full results may not be seen for up to 6 months.