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Eyelid Surgery: The Procedure, Risks, and Everything In-Between

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Blepharoplasty at our Honolulu practice has become increasingly popular for a wide variety of patients. Also called eyelid surgery, blepharoplasty can be a great way to enhance your natural features without changing your entire face. We offer both traditional eyelid surgery and Asian eyelid surgery.

What can eyelid surgery do?

Eyelid surgery is a broad term with a few different meanings. Patients can undergo upper eyelid surgery, lower eyelid surgery, a combination of the two, or Asian eyelid surgery. The first 3 are typically performed to help patients look younger, while Asian eyelid surgery is slightly different. Let’s take a look at specifics of each procedure:

  • Upper Eyelid Surgery: Blepharoplasty on the upper lid involves removing excess skin and fatty tissue that can create the appearance of droopy, sagging, or inflated eyelids. It can also improve vision if skin is obstructing your line of site.
  • Lower Eyelid Surgery: Blepharoplasty performed on the lower lid can correct puffiness, under-eye bags, and wrinkles.
  • Asian Eyelid Surgery: Asian eyelid surgery, also known as double eyelid surgery, can make the eyes appear bigger by opening the upper eye area. The procedure can also enhance the upper eyelid fold, define the eyelid crease, and improve the results of eye makeup.

How is the procedure performed?

Each type of eyelid surgery is performed slightly differently to achieve desired results.

  • Upper Eyelid Surgery: Upper blepharoplasty requires making an incision in the natural crease of the upper eyelid and then removing loose skin, excess fat, and a small strip of muscle.
  • Lower Eyelid Surgery: Lower blepharoplasty can be performed by removing fat from the lower lid. Sometimes, this fat can be preserved and moved into a lower position to fill any hollows that cause dark circles. Some patients may need excess skin removed and muscles and ligaments tightened.
  • Asian Eyelid Surgery: Asian eyelid surgery can be performed using the incisional double technique, which involves using an incision and sutures to create the eyelid fold, or the suture method, which involves only tiny incisions and special suturing to create the fold.

Are there any risks associated with eyelid surgery?

Besides risks that come with all surgeries, blepharoplasty has few risks of its own. Typically, most symptoms after eyelid surgery are mild. Patients may experience dryness to the eyes, soreness, numbness, swelling, or bruising. Choosing a board-certified surgeon will minimize the chance of unfavorable outcomes.

What is the recovery process like?

Most patients can return home after their procedure, and recovery can take as few as 3 days or as long as a couple of weeks. Most patients only feel mild discomfort within the first few days and can return to work and other normal daily activities quickly.

What are the best methods for reduced swelling, pain management, etc.?

It is important to stay ahead of the pain for the first few days by taking your prescribed pain medication at the correct times. Then, start to wean off them using over-the-counter pain medication like ibuprofen. Additionally, keeping your head elevated and using ice packs can minimize swelling. If you have any questions during the recovery process, contact your surgeon. Following your post-op instructions correctly is essential for a smooth recovery.

Visit our photo gallery to see actual patient results for eyelid surgery and Asian eyelid surgery.

If you are interested in eyelid surgery, request a consultation or give us a call at (808) 585-8855.

Shim Ching, MD