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What Happens During Upper Eyelid Surgery?

Functional upper eyelid surgery, also referred to as upper eyelid blepharoplasty, involves the removal of excess upper eyelid skin. The procedure is complex and must be performed by an expert facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon like Dr. Babak Azizzadeh of the CENTER for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills.

Dr. Azizzadeh is a dual board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon who has performed many upper eyelid procedures over the years. He teaches his patients about upper eyelid surgery and what happens during treatment. In doing so, Dr. Azizzadeh ensures his patients know what to expect during an upper eyelid blepharoplasty. And, if a patient moves forward with an upper eyelid procedure, Dr. Azizzadeh enables this individual to achieve the best treatment results.

What Is Functional Upper Eyelid Surgery?

An upper eyelid surgery differs from a blepharoplasty. Whereas a blepharoplasty addresses the entire eyelid, an upper eyelid procedure corrects issues that affect only one area of the eyelid.

With an upper eyelid procedure, a patient can reduce and tighten excess eyelid skin, resulting in more natural- and youthful-looking eyes. The treatment allows a patient to raise the position of the upper eyelid, minimizing or eliminating the appearance of a droopy eyelid.

An upper eyelid procedure can remove loose skin from the upper eyelid. If upper eyelid skin droops low enough to impair a person’s vision, a functional upper blepharoplasty can be used to correct this problem.

Other conditions that can be treated with functional upper eyelid surgery include:

    • Excess folds of the upper eyelid skin that rub together to cause skin irritation
    • Overused muscles that strain to lift sagging skin in the upper eyelid area, resulting in forehead pain
    • Difficulty wearing glasses and/or contact lenses due to baggy upper eyelids

The eyelids are delicate, so it is important to find a surgeon who has experience performing upper eyelid procedures. This surgeon plans ahead for surgery and explains how the procedure is performed. He or she also discusses surgery recovery and how their patient can achieve the optimal results of treatment.

What to Expect During an Upper Eyelid Procedure

An upper eyelid procedure can be performed at an outpatient surgery clinic or hospital. A surgeon may provide a patient with general anesthesia to minimize pain during the procedure.

To perform an upper eyelid treatment, the surgeon makes an incision on the upper eyelid. The incision is made along the natural crease of the lid to limit scarring. Next, the surgeon repositions or removes fat, muscle, or skin. The surgeon then closes the incision.

An upper eyelid treatment can be completed in about two hours. Additional time may be required, depending on the amount of fat, muscle, or skin that needs to be repositioned or removed.

Upper Eyelid Surgery Recovery

A patient can usually return home soon after an upper eyelid surgery. He or she receives postoperative care instructions to limit the risk of complications during the upper eyelid surgery recovery period. These instructions can include:

    • Get plenty of rest in the first few days after surgery.
    • Keep the head elevated while sleeping.
    • Avoid putting pressure on the eye.

The total upper eyelid surgery recovery time lasts about one to two months. Swelling and bruising can occur in the days after surgery, but these symptoms usually will disappear on their own. It can take four to six weeks for all of the swelling to subside.

A patient can typically return to work within five to seven days of functional upper eyelid surgery. In addition, a patient should be able to resume their regular exercise routine within two to three weeks of treatment.

Most patients achieve the full results of an upper eyelid procedure within a few months of treatment. Patients should meet periodically with their surgeon to ensure their treatment recovery stays on course. If patients experience extreme pain or other severe side effects after surgery, they should get medical attention immediately.

What Is Upper Eyelid Ptosis?

Ptosis refers to drooping of the upper eyelid and causes the upper eyelid to partially cover the pupil. As such, an individual who experiences ptosis may appear tired and sleepy and suffer from impaired vision.

There are two common causes of ptosis:

    • Involutional: Involves gradual stretching of the tissue that supports the upper eyelid.
    • Muscular: Refers to ptosis caused by a weakened levator muscle, which raises the upper eyelid; both children and adults may experience muscular ptosis.

Furthermore, a person may develop a droopy upper eyelid after cataract surgery or other eye surgeries due to manipulation of the eyelid during a procedure. Stroke and other trauma also has been shown to cause ptosis.

What Is Upper Eyelid Ptosis Repair?

Upper eyelid ptosis repair is designed to correct ptosis by minimizing excess skin and fat in the upper eyelid.

Like functional upper eyelid surgery, upper eyelid ptosis repair often is performed by a facial plastic or oculoplastic surgeon. In many instances, upper eyelid ptosis is performed by a surgeon who specializes in eyelid surgery.

Recovery from Upper Eyelid Ptosis Surgery

An upper eyelid ptosis repair patient may experience blurred vision in the days after surgery. The upper eyelid may be swollen, and an individual should try to keep the head elevated and use cold compresses to reduce swelling.

Also, the upper eyelid may be stiffer than normal following upper eyelid ptosis surgery. A patient may require lubricating ointment and/or drops for several weeks after treatment to manage upper eyelid dryness.

A patient will need to consult with a doctor at least one week after surgery to ensure the upper eyelid is properly lubricated. This individual should complete follow-up doctor appointments regularly until he or she can fully close the upper eyelid.

Are You a Candidate for an Upper Eyelid Treatment?

For those who are considering an upper eyelid treatment, meet with an eye doctor. This allows a patient to undergo an eye consultation and receive insights into how to correct any upper eyelid issues. The patient can also learn about various eye surgeries and evaluate myriad treatment options.

In the event that an initial upper eyelid treatment does not deliver the intended results, Dr. Azizzadeh can help. Dr. Azizzadeh can evaluate a patient and address any upper eyelid issues.

To date, Dr. Azizzadeh has administered many upper eyelid treatments for patients from around the world. Dr. Azizzadeh also performs Asian blepharoplasty and other highly specialized eyelid procedures.  Dr. Azizzadeh can assess a patient and determine their eligibility for an upper eyelid procedure. He can verify that a patient can achieve the full results of an upper eyelid treatment, too.

Explore Upper Eyelid Treatment Options with Dr. Azizzadeh

Dr. Azizzadeh can meet with patients who are considering upper eyelid treatment options. He offers in-person consultations in Beverly Hills, along with virtual consultations via Zoom. Schedule your consultation online or call us today at 310-620-3755.

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