What is blepharoplasty?

Eyelid Lift (also called Blepharoplasty, eyelid surgery or eye plastic surgery), is one of the most commonly performed facial cosmetic procedures in South Africa. Blepharoplasty involves the plastic surgeon removing excess skin and fat from the upper and/or lower eyelids to address drooping eyelids or excess, bulging fat around the eyes. Eyelid lift surgery aims to achieve a refreshed youthful appearance of the eyes, which are, after all, said to be the windows to one's soul. In some instances, of severely "hooded" eyelids, an eyelid lift can help improve one's vision.

Fast Facts:

Length of procedure: 1– 2 hours
Type of anaesthesia: Local anaesthesia or General anaesthesia.
Length of hospital stay: 24 hours (or less if local anaesthesia)
What to expect post-op: Immediate post-op swelling may make it difficult to read comfortably for about 3 days. Avoid contact lens use for one week.
Avoid the prolonged use of digital screens as this will strain the eyes and may exacerbate swelling.
Expect to return to work 7 -10 days after the surgery.
Recovery time: Initial bruising and swelling last for 7 -14 days. Final results are usually visible at 2 – 4 weeks.

Who might benefit from a blepharoplasty?

Women and men with noticeable signs of ageing around the eyes are likely to benefit from an eyelid lift. Ageing in the periorbital area (around the eyes) results in excess baggy skin and bulging fat in the upper eyelids, or in some cases a hollowing of the upper eyelid area. For some patients 'hooding' at the outer extremes of the upper eyelid may impair the peripheral visual fields necessitating an eyelid lift to improve peripheral vision. The lower eyelids might also have excess loose skin and fat and sometimes pull away from the eye.

In some individuals, periorbital ageing also results in a lowering of the brow. In these cases, it is necessary to consider a brow lift at the same time as an eyelid lift to achieve a balanced, natural and rejuvenated result.

What does a blepharoplasty procedure involve?

A blepharoplasty can last anywhere between 45 minutes to two hours. Dr do Vale’s philosophy for aesthetic surgery is that the results should always be attractive and natural-looking. As such, she takes care to avoid an over-done or exaggerated look. Dr do Vale will take you through a full consultation and examination to establish your reasons for wanting eyelid surgery as well as your aesthetic goals and desires. In understanding your goals and needs, Dr do Vale will customise your eyelid lift surgery to match your individual needs. It is often useful to review old photographs from 10 or 15 years ago. Please bring such photographs with to your consultation.

For upper blepharoplasty, Dr do Vale makes an incision in your natural eyelid creases where the scars will be well hidden. She then removes a crescent-shaped strip of skin and muscle from the upper eyelid, and excess fat is removed if necessary. In lower blepharoplasty, Dr do Vale makes a fine incision just under the lower lash line- this is usually done when there is some excess skin to be removed or when the lower eyelid needs to be tightened or repositioned. A canthopexy is sometimes performed to provide extra support for the lower eyelid. A transconjunctival blepharoplasty involves the plastic surgeon making a hidden incision inside the eyelid. This type of lower eyelid lift can be performed in patients who only require fat removal or repositioning.

Typically, blepharoplasty is done under local anaesthesia, meaning you are awake, but may also be performed with general anaesthesia, especially when it is combined with other surgeries. The procedure is done in 1-2 hours, and you can usually go home afterwards. A blepharoplasty may be performed in conjunction with a brow lift, face lift or skin resurfacing.

Recovery after a blepharoplasty:

An eyelid lift creates a refreshed appearance around the eyes that not only "opens up" the eyes but makes them appear more noticeable and attractive. Blepharoplasty enhances the overall facial appearance.

Immediately after your blepharoplasty surgery, there will be some degree of swelling and/or bruising around the eyes. Over the subsequent 7 to 14 days, most patients will see a significant reduction in this swelling and bruising and are usually comfortable to return to work after about 7 to 10 days. Immediate post-op swelling may make it difficult to read comfortably for about 3 days after the eyelid plastic surgery. Avoid the prolonged use of digital screens as this will strain the eyes and may exacerbate swelling. Avoid contact lens use for approximately one week after blepharoplasty surgery.

For more information on eyelid lift/blepharoplasty or to find out if it’s the right procedure for you, request a consultation below or call 0109003999 to schedule your detailed consultation with Dr do Vale.