Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty)

The droop in the upper eyelid, also referred to as papaebral ptosis, can impair vision.

The eyelids are one of the parts of the body to experience the most changes with age.

Excess skin and fat (¨bags¨) on the upper and lower eyelids are the natural consequence of aging. This excess skin can give the patient a tired or aged appearance; in the most advanced cases, this can result in a limitation of the upper field of vision.

Treatment entails the surgical removal of excess skin, muscle and fat from the palpebral zone. Though it is the upper eyelid which is most often operated on, the lower eyelid may also be treated when necessary.

Various issues must be kept in mind regarding this operation:

  • Blepharoplasty cannot solve all peri-ocular problems, such as sunken eyebrows or wrinkles (¨crow's feet¨) which require another type of treatment. For this reason it is very important that the ophthalmologist understands the patient's expectations.
  • The operation must be performed carefully as the eyelid and fat tends to bleed. Applying ice to the affected area after surgery is sufficient to reduce this tendency.
  • One must not remove too much skin as this can prevent the eyelids from closing normally, with consequent problems involving eye dryness.

The operation is performed as out patient, requiring the patient to be in clinic for about 4 or 5 hours. A local sedative anaesthetic is used, so the patient is awake but calm thanks to this.

The patient must arrive at the clinic with an empty stomach (no food or drink should be consumed 6 hours prior to the operation). During one full week leading up to the operation the patient should not take any pharmaceutical which increases the risk of bleeding (such as acetylsalicylic acid or anti-coagulant). For some days following the operation, the patient may experience swelling of the eyelids. If there are symptoms of dryness, he/she will be prescribed ocular lubricants for a few days. A week after the operation, the stitches will be removed.