An Eye Lift Surgery Overview

Eye lift surgery, also known as blepharoplasty, is the surgical removal or excess of fat and skin around the eye.  As it is generally used to make the eye area look younger, refreshed or Westernized, the procedure is sometimes called an eye lift, although the eye is not actually lifted.  The “lift” is reminiscent of “face lift”, a surgical procedure used to make the face look younger and more refreshed.

Who Gets Eye Lift Surgery?

There are many reasons why people choose eye lift surgery.  Having a heavy pouch of skin or fatty tissue above the eye can impair vision.  Cosmetically, having excess organic material removed from around the eye can improve one’s looks.  Some people of Asian descent desire eye lid surgery to make their eyes appear larger and more “Western”.

What Do You Need to Know Before Surgery?

Surgery of any kind can be traumatic to the body.  Prior to your eye lift surgery, you should be in good physical health.  This can dramatically improve your pain and recovery time post-surgery.

If you are getting eye lift surgery for cosmetic reasons, it is important to anticipate a reasonable result.  You must closely examine your reasons for desiring the surgery.  If you think having larger eyes will get you into a loving relationship, a better job, raise your self-esteem and make you desirable, you may want to work on some internal and external factors that have more to do with your mindset than the shape of your eyes! While a little cosmetic enhancement is nothing to be ashamed of and can certainly help your confidence and self-esteem, plastic surgery is never a magic-bullet cure all for what ails you.

Discuss your reasons and expectations with your doctor before the surgery.  Look at before and after photos of people with facial features similar to your own.  This will give you a good idea of the end result.

Does it Hurt?

During surgery, the area will be numbed with a local anesthetic.  Some doctors prefer general anesthesia.  Regardless of the method, you should not feel pain or discomfort during the surgery.  You can, however, expect some discomfort post-surgery.  Pain tolerance differs from person to person, so it is impossible to say how much discomfort you will experience after eye lift surgery.

What are the Risks?

All surgery carries risk.  According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons®, the risks associated with eye lift surgery include :

•    Unfavorable scarring
•    Temporarily blurred or impaired vision
•    Dry eyes
•    Difficulty closing your eyes
•    Lid lag, a pulling down of the lower eyelid may occur and is often temporary
•    Ectropion, rolling of the eyelid outwards
•    Bleeding (hematoma)
•    Poor wound healing
•    Infection
•    Fluid accumulation
•    Blood clots
•    Numbness and other changes in skin sensation
•    Anesthesia risks
•    Pain, which may persist
•    Skin discoloration and swelling
•    Sutures may spontaneously surface through the skin, become visible or produce irritation that require removal
•    Deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications
•    Possibility of revisional surgery
•    Loss of eyesight

Your doctor should explain the risks to you as well as your candidacy for the procedure.

Risk vs. Reward

The decision to have eye lift surgery is a personal one.  Do your due diligence.  Find a doctor that has a good reputation, takes the time to explain the produce as well as the risks, and answers any questions you may have.  Be as healthy as possible going into the surgery and follow all after care instructions.

The desire to look and feel our best is natural and healthy.  If you are concerned about the skin and tissue around your eyes, perhaps an eye lift surgery is for you.

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