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Eyelid Surgery - Blepharoplasty

Information in spanish

Eye Lift - Blepharoplasty

Some of the first signs of aging appear in the area around the eyes. The excess skin of the upper eyelids can actually obstruct the field of vision, causing ocular fatigue. When loose eyelids are hanging over the eyes a subconscious effort is made to open up vision. This extra effort causes deep wrinkling in the forehead and makes the forehead very tired. Excess of skin under the eyes causes bags, which are impossible to hide or cover with makeup. impossible to hide or cover with makeup.

Blepharoplasty is the facial plastic surgery that removes the excess fat and drooping skin of the upper eyelids, minimizes bags under the eyes, and tightens the lower eyelid skin. Incisions for upper and lower Blepharoplasty are placed within the natural folds of the eyelids, where they will be hidden after they heal. The incisions are closed with very fine sutures.

Thesurgeon will make every attempt to ensure that any scars are as inconspicuous as possible. Sometimes, an endoscopic brow lift or cheek augmentation may be performed simultaneous to Blepharoplasty. Laser treatments for skin, dermal fillers or Botox are considered in order to provide a fresher, youthful, and more rested appearance.

The extra hanging loose skin of the eyelids and puffy bags causes symptoms such as blocked vision, eye fatigue, wrinkling, and gives an older, tired appearance. If you have these and other symptoms, and you are in good health, you may be a good candidate for Blepharoplasty.

In your initial consultation, Dr. Espinosa will carefully examine every angle of your face.

You and your surgeon will analyze the areas of your face you want to improve. A computer imaging study will be developed for you to visualize the possible results. In this consultation, the surgeon will determine if you need upper and/or lower eyelid surgery. Other procedures can also be considered to improve the results from your surgery.

It is important to be in good health, have no uncontrolled preexisting diseases and be mentally and emotionally stable. You need to make sure that you understand what Blepharoplasty can do for you, and what it cannot do. Good health and realistic expectations are prerequisites. People who are considering Blepharoplasty may need first speak with their ophthalmologist (physician specialized in eyes and vision).

What kind of anesthesia will be used during the surgery?

Blepharoplasty is a procedure performed under local anesthesia. Depending on the type of procedures of your surgery, Dr. Espinosa may consider having local or general anesthesia. Most eyelid surgeries are performed under general anesthesia or light sleep sedation, where you are lightly asleep and entirely unaware of the surgery. Both types of anesthesia are secure, you do not feel anything during surgery and you wake up quickly and comfortably, feeling no pain and experiencing no anxiousness. You will be carefully monitored by your anesthesiologist during and after surgery.

Anesthesia can be a reason for preoperative anxiety. However, pre-operative routines make it possible to perform safer surgical procedures.

In the first visit, Dr. Espinosa may order you some lab tests to evaluate the condition of your health, in order to take precautions and avoid any complication. Subsequently, a pre-anesthetic evaluation will be ordered to determine the appropriate anesthetic plan.

On the day of your surgery, your health history will be reviewed by Dr. Espinosa, the anesthesiologist and the nursing staff to ensure a safe and uncomplicated experience. Your vital signs will be carefully monitored by the anesthesiologist during and after surgery. He will treat any possible medical problem which you may develop during surgery. You will be under your anesthesiologist supervision until surgery is completed and during your recovery phase. Because anesthesia affects your entire system, it is important for your anesthesiologist to know about you as much as possible. Please inform him about your allergies, medications and past anesthetic experiences.

Our Santa Bárbara Medical Center is an accredited surgical center fully equipped to ensure you excellent care. When your procedure is completed, you will be taken to the recovery room. Later, you may rest in a comfortable room. Some medications can be prescribed to minimize any discomfort. You will be carefully monitored to observe any adverse side effect to anesthesia. You will stay in our medical center until Dr. Espinosa feels sure you have completed your recovery phase. You will receive specific home-care instructions and medicine prescriptions. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home and to stay with you at least the first night following the surgery.

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Frequently Asked Questions - Blepharoplasty

At what age is Blepharoplasty performed?

The Blepharoplasty is usually performed on individuals from 35 years of age and up. However, some people suffer from premature aging due to disease or trauma, and patients who want to change some distinctive family feature, may desire to have a Blepharoplasty before 35 years of age.

How will I look after Blepharoplasty? Will I look stretched and unnatural?

Dr. Espinosa believes that “If it doesn’t look natural, it doesn’t look good.” Through a Blepharoplasty, the surgeon corrects sagging or drooping of the eyelids, to remove excess fat, skin and atrophied muscle, or even some of the fat around the periorbital area. The procedure preserves the natural elasticity of skin. Today’s techniques for facial plastic surgery prefer “lifting” to “stretching”. Blepharoplasty is performed to restore the shape of the eyelids to their natural state. Every surgery is designed according to the needs of the patient.

How is Blepharoplasty performed?

The surgeon starts by making incisions in the creases of the upper and lower eyelids. Through these incisions the skin is then lifted from the underlying muscle and fat. Fat is removed, and excess skin or muscle trimmed. The incisions are then closed.

How long does my Blepharoplasty take?

It usually takes from 1-1 ½ hours. When Blepharoplasty is performed in conjunction with other procedures, it will take a little longer.

What should I expect after surgery?

After surgery, you will be taken to a recovery room to be closely watched for 1-2 hours or until your physician feels you are ready to go home. You will wake up quickly and comfortably, feeling no pain and experiencing no anxiousness. Be sure to arrange for someone to drive you home and to stay with you at least the first night following the surgery. As hours pass by, it is possible you will feel some temporary discomfort that can be controlled with pain medication. Remember that it is completely normal for you to feel some tightness or numbness due to swelling in your eyelids.

What is the recovery time from Blepharoplasty?

Most patients are able to return to normal activity quickly. However, this will depend on the individual patient. You should resume gradually your normal daily activities after 8 days. Take your time to recovery. Healing from surgery may take some time. Schedule your surgery, so you have proper time to recovery. For exercise you should wait a little longer.

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Dr. Espinosa´s special instructions:

Instructions before surgery:

  • Avoid taking Aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid) or anti-inflammatory medicines.

  • Stop smoking at least one month before your surgery.

  • Inform your surgeon about drug allergies, medical treatments, and current medications.

  • Always have realistic expectations about the results of surgery.

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Instructions after surgery:

  • Before you leave the medical center, make sure you have your surgeon’s prescriptions, medical certification, and date of your first post-operative visit to the office.

  • Your diet has no restrictions.

  • Although patients report minimal pain, they are discharged with post-operative analgesia. If you have severe pain, inform Dr. Espinosa immediately.

  • Avoid taking Aspirin (acetyl salicylic acid) or anti-inflammatory medicines.

  • Apply the local ophthalmic ointment provided twice daily. Apply a small quantity on the incisions.

  • You may be instructed to apply cold compresses over your face and eyelids, for 20 minutes, every 4 hours, for the first two days after surgery.

  • Keep your head elevated during your recovery. Sleep on your back with your head elevated at least for the first 8 days. It is necessary to sleep strictly on your back so as to prevent swelling on one side or any complication. Sleep on two pillows to keep head elevated or use a wedge-shaped foam pillow. You must sleep face up.

  • You should be able to read or watch television after surgery.

  • Do not wear contact lenses during the first two weeks. Even after that time, your contacts may not feel comfortable for a while. You may experience excessive tearing or dryness from lack of tears until the healing process is complete. Things return to normal after a few weeks. You may wear glasses.

  • Do not wear any facial makeup or eye makeup for the first two weeks.

  • Avoid strenuous activity, including exercise and sex. Do not carry or lift heavy objects for 3 weeks. Light aerobic exercise is allowed just 3 weeks following surgery. Return to normal aerobic exercise after 6 weeks. However, Dr. Espinosa will observe your recovery and will let you know when you can resume your usual physical activities.

  • Lifting heavy things, animals or children may affect the area of surgery. You must avoid any activity that increases the risk of hitting.

  • Excessive exposure to sun in the first 2 months following surgery may result in prolonged facial swelling and injury to the skin. Thereafter, you should always protect your skin with a strong sun-screen. Exposure to sun should be limited or skin discoloration may occur. You must be protected under an umbrella or a hat. Wear sun glasses. Try to keep out of the sun as much as possible.

  • You can resume gradually your normal daily activities in about 8-10 days, as long as, you avoid strenuous activity and protect yourself from being hit.

  • It is normal to feel sensations of tightness and itching during the first days of recovery. These symptoms will subside within the first weeks.

  • Post-operative swelling, discoloration and ecchymosis in the periocular area are very common until approximately 15 days, and should not be considered a complication.

  • Time for removing remaining sutures may vary, depending on the type of procedure and the condition of the skin. Your surgeon will decide when the right moment is to remove your sutures.

The information provided here is not a substitute for a consultation. Please, do not hesitate to communicate with us if you are concerned about something you consider significant. Your post-operative appointment is really important. Remember, the success of your surgery depends very much upon post-operative care. It is crucial that you follow your surgeon’s instructions.

Eyelid Surgery - Blepharoplasty

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