Eyelid Surgery

Eyelid surgery (technically called Blepharoplasty) is a procedure to remove fat, excess skin and muscle from the upper and lower eyelids. Eyelid surgery can correct drooping upper lids and puffy bags below your eyes-features that make you look older and more tired than you feel, and may even interfere with your vision.

Eyelid surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia which numbs the area around your eyes, along with oral or intramuscle sedatives. You'll be awake during the surgery, but relaxed and insensitive to pain.

Blepharoplasty usually takes one to three hours. In a typical procedure, the incision follows the natural lines of your eyelids, in the creases of your upper lids, and just below the lashes in the lower lids. The incisions may extend into the crow's feet or laugh lines at the outer corners of your eyes.

Working through these incisions, the surgeon separates the skin from underlying fatty tissue and muscle, removes excess fat, and often trims sagging skin and muscle. The incisions are then closed with very fine sutures.

Complications are infrequent and usually minor. Nevertheless, there is always a possibility of complications, including infection or a reaction to the anesthesia. The minor complications that occasionally follow Blepharoplasty include double or blurred vision for a few days, temporary swelling at the corner of the eyelids, and a slight asymmetry in healing or scarring.

Following surgery, some patients may have difficulty closing their eyes when they sleep. In rare cases this condition may be permanent. Another very rare complication is Ectropion, a pulling down of the lower lids.

After Your Surgery
Your eyelids may feel tight and sore as the anesthesia wears off, but you can control any discomfort with the pain medication. You must keep your head elevated for several days and use cold compresses to reduce swelling and bruising. (Bruising varies from person to person. It reaches its peak during the first week and generally lasts from two weeks to a month.)

Your eyelids may feel dry at first and your eyes may burn or itch. For the first few weeks you may also experience excessive tearing, sensitivity to light, and temporary changes in your eyesight, such as blurring or double vision. The stitches will be removed three to four days after surgery.

You should be able to read or watch television after two or three days. However, you won't be able to wear contact lenses for about two weeks. You may be sensitive to sunlight, wind, and other irritants for several weeks, so you should wear sunglasses. It's especially important to avoid activities that raise your blood pressure, including bending, lifting and rigorous sports.

Healing is a gradual process, and your scars may remain slightly pink for six months or more after surgery. Eventually, though, they'll fade to a thin, nearly invisible white line. On the other hand, the positive results of your eyelid surgery, the more alert and youthful look, will last for years. For many people, these results are permanent. You must stay in Costa Rica at least six days after your surgery.