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Eyelid Surgery (Cont’d.)

eyelid-imageDrooping upper eyelids and puffy ‘bags’ below your eyes may make you look much older and more tired than you actually feel. In fact, they may cause problems with your vision too. Dr. Fante, at the Eye and Face Center in Denver, Colorado has been successfully working on aging eyelids for many years. He has developed just the right balance of science and art in doing this delicate surgery.

The general medical term for eyelid surgery is blepharoplasty. It contours the fat and muscle, and removes excess skin from the upper and lower eyelids. Other options include ptosis  repair, and repair of malpositioned eyelids from previous surgery, trauma, or aging.

However, eyelid surgery doesn’t completely solve the problem of crow’s feet, is not appropriate for lifting sagging eyebrows, and won’t eliminate those dark ‘bags’ or circles under your eyes. When desired, blepharoplasty and other forms of eyelid surgery can be performed along within a face lift, cheek lift, brow lift, or other therapies to improve those problems for maximum results.

Individual needs vary widely, so most questions you may have about eyelid surgery are best answered by Dr. Fante during your initial consultation.

Who Are The Best Candidates For Eyelid Surgery?

Eyelid surgery can do wonders for your appearance and can greatly boost your self-confidence! But eyelid surgery is not a magic answer to bad feelings you may have about yourself. People may not treat you differently after your surgery. That is why it is so important to have realistic expectations about the outcome, and to speak frankly to Dr. Fante to make sure all your questions are answered. You need to have a complete understanding of the procedure and the changes you will go through post-surgery.

Physically and emotionally healthy men and women are the best candidates for eyelid surgery. Generally speaking, individuals come to see a facial cosmetic surgeon after the age of 35, when they begin to notice changes due to aging. But depending on family characteristics and your lifestyle, you may want to see us sooner.

Individuals who have certain medical conditions may be candidates for surgery but may need special attention due to the extra complexity of those conditions and increased risks involved. Such conditions would be:

  • Thyroid Eye Disease (Graves’ Disease)
  • Chronic severe dry eye
  • High blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes
  • Chronic use of anticoagulants such as warfarin and clopidogrel
Again, candid confidential conversation with Dr. Fante is needed.

What Is Eyelid Surgery Like?

Blepharoplasty surgery generally takes from one to two hours for both eyes. Repair of other eyelid conditions, such as ptosis, can be performed concomitantly, and can add a half hour or more to the procedure.

  • You will be given local anesthetic to block pain in and around your eyes, as well as a sedative to give you a drowsy and relaxed feeling, but not to put you to sleep completely
  • Dr. Fante’s incisions will follow the natural creases of your upper eyelids and the natural line just below your lower eyelashes
  • He then works below the skin to improve the contours, firmness, and shape of the deeper tissues to improve your appearance and correct any issues that might impair the health of your eyes
  • The incisions are finally closed with very small stitches, which will be removed in a week or so
Transconjunctival blepharoplasty, a type of lower eyelid surgery, is done if you need puffy fat pockets removed from the lower eyelid but don’t need any skin removed. For this procedure, you need to have the healthier, more elastic skin. Dr. Fante will make the incision inside your lower eyelid and use a laser to remove and contour the fat pockets. This method leaves no visible scar and is popular among younger women, as well as men of all ages.

Caring for Yourself After Your Surgery

In finishing up, Dr. Fante will apply special lubricating ointment and ice packs.  He’ll give you a pain medication to reduce the soreness you’d otherwise feel as the anesthesia fades. You may not feel much soreness, as every person is different in this respect.

Dr. Fante will give you post-op instructions. Do follow them exactly to shorten your recovery period as much as possible.

  • Keep your head elevated for several days.
  • Use cold compresses to help reduce bruising and swelling. Bruises will look the worst during the first week and most often resolve during the second week.  In rare cases, they can last up to two months. However, every individual is different and some have minimal bruising that fades quickly.
  • Use Dr. Fante’s recommended eyedrops to keep your eyes clean and moist, as they’ll feel sticky at first, and may itch, or feel dry. Or alternatively, in the first weeks they may produce excess tears.
  • You may want to avoid bright lights to keep your eyes more relaxed
  • Your vision may temporarily change, getting a bit blurry, or becoming double vision for a while.  Occasionally, a change in your glasses prescription may be temporarily needed.
Follow-up visits will be scheduled at one week and over the succeeding months so Dr. Fante can remove stitches and monitor your healing progress. The swelling and bruising will fade and soon, you’ll look fabulous, your recovery period a distant memory!

Returning to Your Daily Routine

Take things easy and be kind to yourself. If you notice extra sensitivity to wind, sun, or other bright lights, avoid them, or wear good sunglasses. Dr. Fante will give you some special sunblock for the eyelids if needed.

If you are a contact lens wearer, you won’t be able to wear them for at least two weeks. Within two or three days of the surgery, you’ll be able to use a computer, watch television, and read comfortably, although it may be 7-10 days or so before you feel able to face the public and go back to work. At that point, once Dr. Fante has given you the go-ahead, you will be able to wear makeup to hide any bruising you still have. In the interests of helping it fully subside, avoid smoking and drinking excessive alcohol.

Dr. Fante will ask you to restrict your activities for about one week post-surgery, and in particular to avoid vigorous activities for about three weeks. Walking and other light activity is recommended but you would not want to increase your blood pressure and cause bleeding during this time by serious running or lifting. Patience will be the key to successful healing and your best new look after full recovery.

Enjoying The New You

When you’re on the road to your improved appearance, it might seem slower than ever as you start to see your new look emerging. But it is important to do everything Dr. Fante tells you in order to heal properly, so you can continue to enjoy the new you in the future.

Do not worry if the little scars remain pink for several months afterwards. They will eventually become no more than a thin whitish line in the eyelid crease that is only visible when your eyes are closed. They’ll be more than offset by the refreshed and youthful look your face will have. With good post-op self-care, you can expect to enjoy the new, younger you for many years to come.

At the Eye and Face Center in Denver, Colorado Dr. Fante has worked with an amazing variety of people. He offers a full range of surgical and non-surgical procedures for you to choose from or combine. His staff is also highly trained and work hard to make every person feel welcome and relaxed during their time here. Please contact us for an initial consultation.