Eyelids can change as we age, with the development of extra skin and wrinkling in the eyelids. With time, these changes may worsen so that the excess upper eyelid skin interferes with vision, like a curtain hanging from above.
Eyelid surgery (Blepharoplasty) effectively improves visual troubles due to upper eyelid drooping skin. Eyelid surgery may also make a substantial change to your appearance.
Upper eyelid surgery usually removes excess skin, while lower eyelid surgery focuses more on tightening and lifting the structures that have weakened with age and gravity. The scars of eyelid surgery are hidden in the upper lid natural crease line and below the lower lid’s eyelash line.
Whether you are looking to treat the upper eyelid, lower eyelid, or both, our specialist plastic surgeons can deliver a Blepharoplasty that can help aesthetically improve the appearance of aging eyes or resolve functional abnormalities. In addition, our surgeons will take the time to discuss your surgical suitable surgical options for you, allowing you to take the next step confidently.
If you have excess skin of the upper eyelid, you may find that it can stretch to the point of obstructing your vision, as well as causing your forehead and brow region to fatigue.
If you have restricted vision due to heavy upper eyelid skin, surgery will help relieve this curtain and improve your field of vision. If you notice changes from ageing around your eyelids, which are of concern to you, eyelid surgery (Blepharoplasty) may be beneficial.
Blepharoplasty surgery required due to an impact of vision can be entitled to Medicare and private health rebates. To take advantage of your rebates, you will require a referral from your family doctor to support this and your surgeon will need to confirm that your vision is affected.
However, Blepharoplasty that is undertaken to primarily improve the appearance of the patient without physical symptoms in relation to the eyelid is considered cosmetic and won’t necessarily be covered by your private health.
There will be a discussion with your plastic surgeon about the individual suitability, type of surgery, and outcome expectations at your consultation.
Your initial consultation
During your first consultation with your plastic surgeon, you must bring all relevant medical documentation with you on the day. This includes any referral letters, insurance details, Medicare cards, and any relevant scans that you may have had. This will allow our surgeons to look at your unique situation and develop a personalised procedure plan for you in order to achieve the best results.
Initial consultations go for around 30 minutes. This is to ensure that you do not feel rushed and we have the opportunity to discuss the surgery in detail with you.
We understand that undergoing any surgery can be a daunting experience for some, which is why we encourage all our patients to ask as many questions as they need. We want to ensure that you feel confident and comfortable before taking the next step.
Once you have discussed your options with your plastic surgeon and are comfortable moving forward, your surgery will be scheduled.
Before Your Procedure
To help ensure a smooth procedure and a quick and comfortable recovery, we have listed some important things that you should do:
Blepharoplasty is usually booked as day surgery and is performed under local anaesthetic with sedation for your comfort. However, this is determined by individual circumstances. Your surgeon will discuss the best sedation method for you.
An overnight stay is generally not required with eyelid surgery. However, if performed in conjunction with another procedure, we may recommend an overnight stay.
It is also important to note that you will need to fast the day of your surgery and have a support person to take you home and be around for the first night after your procedure.
Recovery and What You Can Expect
Each patients recovery time is individual, and you must give yourself enough time to heal and recover properly. However, most of our patients return to everyday activities within a few days and return to work within 1-2 weeks.
However, it’s important to consider that these time frames will vary from patient to patient, depending on their surgery details and overall health. Your recovery expectations are all something that your plastic surgeon will cover with you prior to your surgery.
Upon discharge, your medical team will provide you with post-op instructions to help ensure a smooth and comfortable recovery.
After surgery, it is normal to have some bruising and swelling in the area that will be most evident 1-2 days after surgery and mostly resolve over 2-3 weeks. While the surgery is not particularly painful (simple pain medications such as paracetamol usually suffice), it is important to rest after surgery and use ice packs to the area to reduce swelling.
You will need two days without driving, one week off for administrative jobs and duties and two weeks off physical jobs or activity (including gym or exercise).
A post-operative appointment will be conducted to see your plastic surgeon one week after surgery to remove sutures (usually one long suture in each eyelid). Also, check your progress and provide advice to care for your scars as you recover.
Substantial improvement is noticeable once the early swelling from surgery settles in 1-2 weeks.
It may take up to 6 months for all swelling to settle and scars to mature to see your long term result. And note that ageing and gravity continue after surgery, so some recurrence of your eyelid changes will occur in time, though this may take 10 -20 years to reach similar levels.
All operations have risks, though major complications are rare after eyelid surgery. However, there is a small risk of concerns that may delay healing and require a little extra care (e.g. minor bleeding, infection, overactive scars). Or even small risks of asymmetry in the scars between the eyelids, impairment of the eye-opening muscle function, or excessive eye-opening with dryness of the eye.
Abnormal pain, sensitivity or bleeding that may compress structures behind the eye with a risk of blindness are incredibly rare. However, these risks may vary depending on your specific situation and will be discussed at your consultation.
Please feel reassured that your plastic surgeon will only recommend surgery if they feel that the benefit of the procedure substantially outweighs the risks.
When upper eyelid surgery is undertaken for improvement in vision, the majority of the cost is rebatable through Medicare and standard private health insurance. However, this does require a referral from your family doctor and confirmation of visual difficulty by your surgeon.
When upper eyelid surgery is performed purely for appearance or any lower eyelid surgery for appearance, it is considered cosmetic – no rebate is available from Medicare or private health insurance.
After your consultation, a detailed quote will be provided to you, including the surgeon fee, anaesthetic fee and hospital fee.
If you’re considering eyelid surgery, book your consultation with our medical team today!
Please be aware that all surgical procedures require a consultation with our plastic surgeons to allow a thorough assessment and discussion of your specific needs.