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Upper Eyelid Lift - Reducing the 'Tired' Appearance

Hi, Daniel Bunker here, Specialist Plastic Surgeon.

What is it?

An Upper Eyelid Lift or Blepharoplasty is a common procedure which aims in its most basic form to remove excess skin from the upper eyelids. Some patients enquire about blepharoplasty from a purely cosmetic perspective - in these cases patients are usually younger and desire a 'freshened' appearance. The other end of the spectrum are older patients with significant skin excess causing functional issues such as heaviness of the upper lids and visual obstruction, often described as a curtain coming down over the visual fields. In these cases, patients can also suffer with headaches and tiredness of the eyes at the end of the day. Due to the forehead muscle (the frontalis) activating to lift the excess skin away from the upper lids, the forehead is often strained and wrinkled as well. An upper eyelid lift can help to alleviate these symptoms.

Upper eyelid lift blepharoplasty daniel bunker before and after

The Work Up

Any patient requesting blepharoplasty needs a thorough assessment prior to any surgery being offered. There are many elements which I consider such as the health of the eyes and any use of glasses, lenses or drops. The ligamentous support system of the eyelid needs to be assessed as well as any contribution from bulging upper eyelid fat pockets (of which there are three). The retracting muscle of the eye (the levator palpabrae superioris) also needs to be assessed as some patients will have upper eyelid skin excess as well as drooping upper lids (which we call ptosis) from other anatomical causes which needs to be addressed concurrently. As you can tell, eyelids lifts are individualised surgeries! A surgical plan will be discussed with you after your examination. If you are taking blood thinners, these need to be ceased before surgery.

What to Expect

Blepharoplasty is performed as day surgery and takes about an hour to complete. It leaves a scar in the upper lid which may extend laterally into a crows foot in cases where a lot of skin needs to be removed. I prefer patients to have some form of anaesthesia (usually simple sedation) to help them feel relaxed and optimise the surgical experience. I also feel it makes the procedure safer as local anaesthetic can be patchy and the risk of moving during the procedure needs to be minimised.

Eyelid skin usually heals very well leaving a nearly invisible scar in most cases. Sutures are removed in 5 - 7 days times in the rooms. It is not uncommon to have some bruising after eyelid surgery and this usually goes away after 2 - 3 weeks, but can be concealed with makeup in the interim. Eyelid lift surgery can make a tremendous improvement to the tired and 'worn out' appearance, as well as improving symptoms of fatigue and strain. Like all surgery, there are risks and these are discussed thoroughly at your consultation.

Note: Mr. Daniel Bunker is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon (MED0001670175). Any information does not constitute medical advice. All surgery carries risks and individual results vary.

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