What is an eyelid surgery?
Over the time, the skin around the eyes may lose elasticity and begin to fall, contributing to the appearance of wrinkles and bags under the eyes, this can cause an appearance of sadness, anger or tiredness. In some very severe cases, it can also obstruct the view. Dr. Rodolfo Castillo offers both options, either higher or lower, to remove excess tissue and fat, offering a more youthful and fresh appearance. For this procedure, incisions are created in the fold of the upper eyelids and below the line of the eyelashes, resulting in an almost undetectable scar. Blepharoplasty or also known as eyelid surgery requires minimal recovery time and the results can be very durable.
Which eyelid surgery option is best for me?
There are two types of blepharoplasty available: Lower lid and upper lid. Depending on the patient’s needs, these procedures can be performed separately or together.
In upper eyelid surgery, Dr. Rodolfo Castillo first marks the individual lines and creases of the lids in order to keep the scars as invisible as possible along these natural folds. The incision is made, and excess fat is removed or repositioned, and then the loose muscle and skin are removed. Fine sutures are used to close the incisions, thereby minimizing the visibility of any scar.
In lower eyelid surgery, Dr. Rodolfo Castillo makes the incision in an inconspicuous site along the lash line and smile creases of the lower lid. Excess fat, muscle, and skin are then trimmed away before the incision is closed with fine sutures. Eyelid puffiness caused primarily by excess fat may be corrected by a transconjunctival blepharoplasty. The incision in this case is made inside the lower eyelid, and excess fatty material is removed.
Before and During the Procedure
Before undergoing Blepharoplasty, you will have a consultation with Dr. Rodolfo Castillo board-certified plastic surgeon. He will discuss your Medical History, so prepare to answer questions about past and current medical conditions, previous surgeries, previous plastic surgeries, complications from previous surgeries, history of smoking, and drug or alcohol use. Also, he will ask for all medications you regularly take (name/dosages), including prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, herbal medications, vitamins and other dietary supplements.
Dr. Rodolfo Castillo performs this procedure in a hospital, with a certified anesthesiologist. He injects numbing medication into your eyelids and administers intravenous (IV) medication to help you relax. This may make you groggy. If you have surgery on your upper and lower eyelids, Dr. Rodolfo Castillo generally works on your upper lids first. He will make an incision along the natural fold of the upper eyelid. Then excess skin and some muscle and fat beneath the skin are removed. The incision is closed with tiny stitches that leave a nearly invisible scar. Sometimes surgical tape or skin adhesives are used instead. The incision on the lower lid is made just below the lashes in your eye’s natural crease or inside the lower lid. Dr. Rodolfo Castillo removes or redistributes excess fat, muscle and sagging skin. Depending on where the initial incisions are made, stitches may follow the lower lid’s natural crease or be placed inside the lower eyelid.
Lower eyelid blepharoplasty is primarily designed to remove and accumulate fat and redefine the area under the eyes. In this procedure an incision is created just below the lash line. Once again, the precise location of the incision makes it almost invisible. Depending on your treatment goals, Dr. Rodolfo Castillo can perform upper and lower blepharoplasty at the same time. If you are thinking of getting a completely rejuvenated appearance, it can be combined with some other aesthetic procedure.
After the Procedure and Recovering
Eyelid surgery is an outpatient process, recovery time is minimal. The doctor uses absorbable internal sutures to close the incisions. You may experience slight swelling and bruising, which can be treated with compresses of cold water and medication. You will have to sleep with your head slightly higher than normal for two to three days after surgery. Your vision may be a bit blurry and Dr. Rodolfo Castillo can prescribe drops to relieve any dryness that may occur. Attending a review appointment is ideal, the first at five days and then at two weeks.
As recovery proceeds, the results will be more noticeable. Excess skin and fat bags can be reduced or eliminated and you will look younger and alert. Although the shape of the face may change over the years, the results of blepharoplasty are lasting and you can enjoy a youthful appearance for years.
Self-care at home during the first weeks will help your recovery and minimize the risk of complications, Dr. Rodolfo Castillo will likely suggest you take the following steps:
- Lubricating ointment will be applied to your eyes to protect them and prevent dryness
- Use ice packs on your eyes four to five times throughout the day
- Gently clean your eyelids and use prescribed eyedrops or ointments
- Avoid straining, heavy lifting and swimming for a week
- Avoid strenuous activities, such as aerobics and jogging, for a week
- Avoid smoking
- Avoid rubbing your eyes
- If you use contact lenses, don’t put them in for about two weeks after surgery
- Wear darkly tinted sunglasses to protect the skin of your eyelids from sun and wind
- Sleep with your head raised higher than your chest for a few days
- Apply cool compresses to reduce swelling
- After a few days, return to the doctor’s office to have stitches removed, if needed
- For about a week, avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB, others), naproxen sodium (Aleve, others), naproxen (Naprosyn), and other medications or herbal supplements that may increase bleeding. If needed, use acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) to control pain.