Project Description

Blepharoplasty is the medical term to describe eye surgery / surgery around the eye region. Upper and lower blepharoplasties are performed on both men and women to remove excess skin and fat from around the eyes. Upper blepharoplasties are often performed when upper eyelid skin obstructs vision. The Upper Blepharoplasty is realitively simple procedure performed under local anaesthetic as a day stay. Lower blepharoplasties are performed to remove ‘bags’ under the eyes, this is not as simple and I prefer to put my patients to sleep during this procedure. Both upper and lower blepharoplasty procedures vitalise the appearance and take away the tired look that is often a concern to the patient.

 

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Blepharoplasty removes the heaviness of the eyes, simple, quick and relatively minor it is a very popular surgery.

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Considerations

Depending on the consultation the upper eyelid surgery may be covered by medicare and therefore a health fund however, it will depend on where the heaviness of the eyes is coming from ie. The eyelids or the brow? Eyelid lifts or blepharoplasty is covered but Browlifts are not. This is something we would discuss together and decide what is the best option for you. If a blepharoplasty (eye surgery) is combined with a browlift it is performed under general anaesthetic.

It is very safe to perform minor procedures under local anaesthetic in the doctor’s room or clinic and taking around one hour in theatre the Upper Blepharoplasty falls comfortably into this category. Here at CAPS we have access to a fantastic facility in Sole’vita Surgery and so this is not really an issue for our patients. Your surgery will take place in the theatre and you will be monitored by our nursing team for a couple of hours before you can go home.

However if you decided to undertake Lower Blepharoplasty (eye surgery) or a Browlift this is very different story. Operating on these areas under local anaesthetic may be more economical but I can promise you – you won’t enjoy the experience. These procedures are better performed under a General Anaesthetic with the option of an overnight stay.

The world is moving towards to ‘shorter stay’ surgery but is this really what we want as patients?  Certainly some surgeries are minor, require simple anaesthetic and minimal recovery, these surgeries are well suited to a ‘day stay’ procedure.  However the issue faced by these facilities is the ‘what if’.

  • What if the patient does not recover well from surgery?
  • What if the patient is nauseous after surgery?
  • What if the patient cannot cope with the pain of the surgery?
  • What if something happens in theatre which may delay the recovery of the patient?

Surgery should only be performed as day case if the hospital has the ability to keep the patient overnight or transfer them to a private licensed hospital.  The patient should be made aware of any costs incurred if this is required.

Some surgeons prefer to perform this surgery as a day case, at CAPS we believe in providing an overnight stay.  We want our patients to take their time to rest and recover.  It also provides us an opportunity to ensure their pain relief and post op nausea (if present) is well controlled before being discharged to the care of their family or friends. 

No matter what type of surgery you end up undertaking the recovery from facial surgery is the same as the main issue is brusing and swelling.
Patients undertaking this procedure need to plan a day or overnight stay in hospital, will have sutures in their eyelids for five days following surgery, and will need to allow two weeks for the noticeable bruising to subside. All patients are encouraged to refrain from physical exercise or contact sport for up to six weeks. Your eyes will swollen and sore, prolonged reading or looking at screens will tire the eyes quickly. We recommend the hour on – hour off principle.

Time is your enemy here. Facial surgery is generally not too painful and can be well managed with pain relief. Sutures come out on day five and once this occurs the tightness seems to settle quite quickly. Sleeping elevated and the use of cold packs can be an effective method of reducing swelling but really it is just time that works.
Another handy tip “if you sweat – you swell”.

In the excitement of the surgery patients often overlook the importance of preparing for it.  What  patients do in the lead up to surgery and knowing how to plan appropriately for your recovery can make the difference between an anxious process or a more relaxed one.

Because we were frequently approached by patients who wanted to know what they could do in preparation for the surgery we put together a “pre-surgery program”.  Now seven years later we know the value of this program and offer it to our patients as part of the service we provide.

If your surgeons doesn’t offer this then you can do it yourself.  We use a multivitamin to ‘detox’ the body which aids recovery getting patients back on their feet faster.  We also use a herbal medication to reduce the bruising and swelling associated with the surgery, again we have found this to be highly effective.

Knowing what to expect is vital to the planning of your recovery.  Understanding what you can and cannot do will ensure you are not put in a position where you put yourself or the success of your surgery at risk.  All this will depend on your personal situation.  How much time do you need off work? Do you need to drive?  Do you live alone?  Do you have a family that relies on you? Do you have small children? Do you have to lift children or heavy objects in your day to day life? Do you play sport? What is going on in your life for the first six weeks after surgery?

Again answering these questions will ensure you have planned appropriately for your surgery and your recovery.

With the operation behind you, you may be feeling sore and anxious about how you will cope over the next few weeks. The best thing you can do is REST. The body cannot heal and function at the same time – that is why you need to SLEEP.

Taking regular pain medication will ensure you remain comfortable – follow the instructions given to you at discharge – DON’T BE HERO – there are no prizes for not taking it.

Results may be compromised by complications, always contact us if you;

  • are unable to cease or slow bleeding of the wound after applying pressure to the area.
  • feel any heat or increasing pain developing in your wound.
  • notice excessive swelling and bruising accompanying pain and tenderness.

Rapid intervention will reduce the chance of a complication becoming a real issue.  Ensuring you have planned appropriately for your recovery will make an enormous difference.

Most importantly – Relax and ENJOY IT.  When else are you going to get the opportunity to catch up on the lastest DVD series or read that book getting dusty in the corner?

 

 

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner (eg. your GP).