Updated August 6, 2019
Fort Worth Eyelid Surgery
Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can be performed on both upper and/or lower eyelids at the same time. Upper eyelid blepharoplasty is the correction of excess or stretched upper eyelid skin and displaced fat that may obstruct your vision or cause your eyes to look tired and puffy. Lower eyelid blepharoplasty removes excess skin, fine wrinkles and bags of the lower eyelid. Droopy eyelids that are bothersome can be repaired during surgery as well. Following eyelid surgery, there is a more youthful, rested look to the eyes. Eyelid surgery does not get rid of crow’s feet (see Botox Treatment) or completely eliminate dark circles under the eyes. Eyelid surgery does not lift the eyebrows (see Brow Lift).
Where will my incisions be?
Incisions for eyelid surgery are designed so that the permanent scars are well hidden within the natural structures of the eyelid region. Droopy conditions of the upper eyelid can be corrected through an incision within the natural crease of the upper eyelid allowing repositioning of fat deposits, tightening of muscles and tissue, and/or removal of excess skin. Lower eyelid problems may be corrected through an incision just underneath the lower eyelashes called a subciliary incision. Excess skin in the lower eyelids can be removed through this incision. A transconjunctival incision, or an incision hidden on the inside of the lower eyelid, is occasionally used to correct lower eyelid conditions and to redistribute or remove excess fat.
How long will my surgery last?
Upper eyelid blepharoplasty typically lasts 1 to 1.5 hours. If both upper and lower eyelid blepharoplasty is performed, the procedure is typically closer to 3 hours. If you have other procedures performed at the same time, the operating time will be longer.
What kind of anesthesia will I have?
Blepharoplasty can be performed under general anesthesia or under intravenous sedation that delivers medication through an IV in your arm that makes you drowsy. Dr. Kirby will review your specific medical history so that the best choice can be made. In most cases eyelid surgery is performed as an outpatient surgery, with plans for you to return home the same day of your surgery.
What are the risks?
Possible complications of eyelid blepharoplasty surgery include, but are not limited to, problems with healing or scarring, temporarily blurred vision, dry eyes, difficulty closing your eyes, ectropion, bleeding, infection, numbness, aesthesia risks, deep vein thrombosis, cardiac and pulmonary complications, possibility of revisional surgery, and loss of eyesight.
The practice of medicine and surgery is not an exact science. Although good results are expected, there is no guarantee. In some situations, it may not be possible to achieve optimal results with a single surgical procedure. Another surgery may be necessary. Following Dr. Kirby’s instructions is key to the success of your surgery. It is important that your surgical incisions are not subjected to excessive force, abrasion or motion during the time of healing.
How can I prepare for surgery?
It is important that you discuss with Dr. Kirby any eye conditions that you have prior to your surgery, including glaucoma, dry eyes, retinal problems, and thyroid disease, including Graves’ disease. It is also important to discuss ongoing medical problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, etc. Prior to any procedure, it is necessary to review medications you are taking that may affect your surgery. You may be asked to stop or adjust some medications you are on. As always, it is important to include supplements on your list of medications. Aspirin and aspirin products (Alka-Seltzer, Carisoprodol, Excedrin, Goody’s, Midol), anti-inflammatory medications (except acetaminophen, or Tylenol), and herbal supplements must be avoided for 10 days prior to your surgery. For more details about which medications and supplements to avoid, click here. Dr. Kirby will discuss your medications with you.
Depending on your medical condition, you may be asked to get lab testing or a medical checkup prior to your surgery.
Tobacco products impair your body’s ability to heal. You will be asked to stop smoking for 6 weeks prior to any surgery. Tobacco step-down products such as chewing gum and Nicoderm continue to provide your body with tobacco and must be stopped as well. Please ask Dr. Kirby if you will need assistance with quitting.
Be sure to arrange for a responsible adult to drive you to and from your surgery. You will need someone to stay with you the night following your surgery as well.
You will receive specific instructions for your surgery from Dr. Kirby’s office.
If upper-lid surgery is sought to improve your vision, the procedure may be covered by insurance. Most insurance companies require preauthorization with pre-operative assessment of visual fields and photos. Dr. Kirby’s office will help coordinate this with you.
What is my recovery from surgery like?
For several days to weeks following your eyelid surgery, you will have bruising and swelling around your eyes. After surgery, your eyelids may feel tight and dry and you may have an itching or burning sensation. This is normal and will gradually resolve, revealing a smoother, better-defined eyelid with a more alert, rested, rejuvenated appearance. Some patients have double or blurred vision temporarily after surgery which typically resolves after a few days. You may experience excessive tearing or light sensitivity for a few weeks. If you wear contacts, you will be asked not to wear them for at least 2 weeks after surgery. You may need eye drops to adequately restore moisture to your eyes for a few weeks after surgery. You should expect to rest your eyes for 2-3 days following your procedure – this includes not reading or watching television. Most patients return to work after 5-7 days. Normal exercise and strenuous activities may resume about 3 weeks after surgery.