The Eyelid Lift or Blepharoplasty, is one of the most common cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, and there is no better time for Facial Plastic Surgery, like an Eyelid Lift than in the winter months. Winter months mean less sun, and less sun exposure during healing.
Is Eyelid Surgery Painful?
Blepharoplasty literally means “eyelid changing.” It’s an outpatient procedure, that can be performed safely under local anesthesia or general anesthesia, if you’d rather not be awake. The recovery time is more dependent on how much explaining you want to do, rather than any physical discomfort. It should not be a painful operation. In fact, if you are having a lot of pain after eyelid surgery, you should call your plastic surgeon right away.
Eyelid Surgery Recovery
Most commonly, your eyes feel slightly achy, tired or dry for a few days after surgery. Artificial tears are usually enough to soothe the eyes, and sometimes a moisturizing ointment may help at night. Pain medication is not usually needed, and acetaminophen (Tylenol) is usually enough. The procedure needs to be individualized, so don’t do anything because you read it on the Internet. All medical treatment should be supervised by an experienced, Board Certified professional.
Who Performs Eyelid Surgery?
Plastic Surgeons, Ophthalmologists and Otolaryngologists are all trained in eyelid surgery. How much training will depend on their training program and the motivation of the surgeon. I was fortunate to be in a training program strong in cosmetic plastic surgery. My first rotation was in the Bothin Burn Unit. It is a regional referral center, so we received patients with large percentages of their bodies burned from all over Northern California. The workload fluctuated, so when the burn care was finished, I was free to see what other procedures were being performed in the hospital.
Many of San Francisco’s finest Plastic Surgeons were members of our teaching faculty, so there was always something to see, and something to learn. During my time in the burn unit, I helped perform several miles of skin grafts, and countless dressing changes. I learned as much from the burn nurses as my professors.
Even on the burn rotation, I wanted to learn about the cosmetic side of plastic surgery. With some hounding, I was able to participate in cosmetic procedures between burn cases. Even though I was not on the cosmetic rotation, I was able to see more cosmetic plastic surgery procedures, including breast augmentation, tummy tucks, facelifts and blepharoplasties, than many plastic surgery residents see during their entire training. For the self-motivated, there were abundant opportunities to learn. You just had to ask, but the option was available. This is why the type of training a doctor has makes a difference. In other types of training programs, especially non-surgical training programs, the opportunities, and more importantly, the amount or responsibility shared is not the same. I am very thankful for those who volunteered their time to teach us.
What Does Eyelid Surgery Do?
Eyelid surgery removes excess skin to tighten and removes excess fat to smooth the eyelids. Upper eyelids tend to accumulate skin as we age. The excess skin can block vision, grab eye make-up and feel heavy. Lower eyelids can have excess skin too, but extra fat can fill the lower eyelid causing bags. All this contributes to make us look sleepy, inattentive and tired. Eyelid surgery can relive these symptoms and contribute to a rested and alert appearance.
If you are considering Eyelid Rejuvenation, a personal consultation is the next step. Give me a call at (925) 943-6353; we can review your concerns and find the best solution tailored to your eyelids. More information is available here on the San Francisco Plastic Surgery Blog, and my other websites in English and in Spanish, and questions are welcomed via the contact form in the margin.