Dr Taylor performs both cosmetic eyelid surgery (Blepharoplasty, eye lift) on the upper and lower eyelids, and reconstructive eyelid surgery to correct functional problems associated with changes to the eyelids from ageing, surgery, cancer, trauma or congenital defects.
Eyelid surgery alters the appearance of the eye by addressing drooping or hooded eyelids, and excess eyelid skin. These features may be present in younger patients as a result of genetics. Excess skin is removed, muscle laxity is corrected, and fat can be removed, repositioned or replaced.
Reconstructive eyelid surgery is performed to correct a range of conditions and functional problems, including:
- droopy eyelids (ptosis) causing visual obstruction
- eyelid cancers and reconstruction
- ectropion (lower eyelid eversion) and eyelid malposition
- exposure of the eye e.g. due to facial nerve injury/palsy
You will have an in-depth consultation with plastic surgeon Dr Alaina Taylor lasting approximately 45-60 minutes, during which your general health, specific concerns, and desired outcomes are discussed to determine whether or not eyelid surgery will address your concerns. Your medical history will be addressed, including previous eye surgery or pre-existing eye conditions. A comprehensive physical examination will be performed, including taking clinical photographs, and further tests may be required, including visual field testing.
During your consultation, the information you provide will help to determine which surgical approach is required to meet your specific concerns and outcomes.
Most eyelid surgery procedures are performed in an accredited hospital facility under either general anaesthesia or local anaesthetic +/-sedation. The procedure takes approximately 1-2 hours (for upper or lower eyelid surgery, longer when combined) and may be performed as a day procedure. In some cases an overnight stay is necessary.
For upper eyelid surgery, a small incision is made in the natural eyelid crease through which excess fat/skin/muscle is removed. Skin only upper eyelid surgery may be performed in the rooms under local anaesthetic for suitable patients.
For lower eyelid surgery an incision is made just under the lash line to remove excess skin, lax muscle and to remove or reposition (fat transposition) fat.
When fat removal or reposition only is required, the incision may be placed within the conjunctiva of the eyelid (on the inside, known as the transconjunctival approach), so there is no external scar.
Once the surgery is complete, cool packs will be applied to the eye area and any ointment, eye drops and dressings customised for your surgery will be applied and provided to you. Any sutures will be removed at your post-operative appointment 5-7 days after surgery.
The initial recovery period takes 1-2 weeks but bruising and swelling can persist for longer.
Side effects, risks and potential complications
There are some common side effects associated with blepharoplasty. These include bruising, swelling, eye watering, itchiness, irritation and conjunctivitis. You may be recommended lubricating eye drops and if you wear contact lenses, they should be avoided for approximately 2 weeks post operatively
Risks and complications include:
- ectropion (eversion of the lower eyelid)
- wound healing problems
- corneal injury
- skin necrosis
- exacerbation of dry eyes
- small cysts along the incisions line (lower eyelid)
- droopiness of the eyelids
Visual changes are uncommon but can include blurred vision, double vision and rarely, blindness.
Cost and Rebates
Medicare and Private Health Insurance will provide a rebate for patients undergoing eyelid surgery for functional impairment and medical problems according to specific criteria as stipulated by Medicare. for example if vision is obstructed. As all patient’s individual needs and circumstances are different, the pricing will vary, so please make an appointment to see Dr Taylor to discuss further information and pricing.