EYELID SURGERY (BLEPHAROPLASTY)
…. to make your eyes look fresher, brighter and more youthful!
In terms of your face, your eyes are your most important asset as they are the first place we look during a conversation.
If your eyes look ‘tired’, you do too, but if your eyes look bright and youthful, so do you!
Eyelid Surgery, known medically as Blepharoplasty, to remove Upper Eyelid ‘hooding’ or Lower Eyelid ‘bags’ can dramatically improve the appearance of your eyes and boost your self-confidence by making you look more rested and alert as well as giving your entire face a brighter, more youthful look!
At Sydney Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery Clinic, we have been performing Eyelid Surgery for over 25 years using both traditional Scalpel as well as Laser Surgery techniques. Although the final result with each technique can be similar, there are differences between the two that your Surgeon will take into account when they are determining what exactly needs to be done.
How Eyelids Change With Ageing
Eyelid ageing signs most commonly become a concern from the early 30’s onwards but they can start appearing much earlier, even in the mid-20’s. Interestingly, whatever the specific changes are, they do tend to run in families with similar appearances often found in siblings and in one or both parents.
Upper Eyelid Changes
As we age, our Upper Eyelids also begin to show signs of ageing such as ‘Hooding’ – initially starting with only excess skin, but with time, variable degrees of muscle laxity and excess fat can also appear and add to the ‘heavy’ look of the upper eyelids.
This ‘heavy’ appearance of the upper eyelids can look even worse if there is also a contributory degree of brow ptosis (drooping of the brow). Accordingly, it is very important at your Initial Consultation for the surgeon to determine if there is any brow ptosis contributing to your upper lid ‘heaviness’. If there is, a Brow Lift may need to be added to the procedure.
‘Hooding’ of the upper eyelids with loss of the youthful crease between the eyelid margin and eyebrow produces the ‘look’ commonly described by patients as ‘tired-looking’ eyes.
Lower Eyelid Changes
As we age, the Lower Eyelids also age and may develop ‘Bags’ with, or without, loose skin. ‘Bags’ are actually protrusions of the normal fat tissue around the eyeball within the eye socket. These fatty protrusions will appear if the tissue layers holding them in place become weaker and allow the fat to fall forward.
Lower Eyelid ‘Bags’ with, or without, loose skin. ‘Bags’ are actually protrusions of the normal fatty cushions around the eyeball within the eye socket. These fatty protrusions can appear if the tissue layers holding them back in place become weaker and allow the fat to fall forward.
How is Eyelid Surgery performed?
Depending on what precisely needs to be done, Eyelid Surgery is performed either in the privacy of our Clinic’s own Operating Theatre under Local Anaesthesia and Sedation administered by our Specialist Anaesthetist, or in a Licensed Day Hospital under General Anaesthesia. In either event, you can go home 1-2 hours after your procedure but only in the company of a responsible adult. You cannot go home alone. Post-operative discomfort is minimal and is easily relieved with simple pain relievers.
Upper Eyelid Technique
After careful pre-operative marking, an incision is made, either by Laser or Scalpel, along the natural crease of the upper eyelid. The excess skin, along with any excess fat and muscle, is then removed. Our Surgeons are always very careful to remove only those tissues which are truly in excess in order to avoid an unnaturally deep eyelid groove. The incision is then closed with ultra-fine sutures which are removed 7 days later. Scars are initially pink but can be camouflaged with make-up until they fade to white over time. You should be able to return to work and social activities after 10-14 days.
Lower Eyelid Techniques
In contrast to Upper Eyelid Surgery, Lower Eyelid Surgery can be performed in either of two ways depending on what exactly needs to be done:
- By Scalpel Incision along the skin just under the eyelashes. This is known as the Trans-Cutaneous Technique.
- By Laser Incision on the INSIDE of the lower eyelid. This technique is known as the ‘Trans-Conjunctival’ Approach. Its advantages over the Trans-Cutaneous Technique are:
- It avoids any external scar on the skin and internal sutures are not necessary.
- It allows direct access to the protruding fat bag from the ‘inside’ and thereby avoids any cutting of skin, muscle or orbital septum – the subsequent scarring of which tissues can cause lower lid deformities such as:
- ‘Scleral Show’ (too much ‘white of the eye’ showing under the cornea)
- Ectropion (eversion of the lower eyelid)
- ‘Rounding’ of the lower eyelid margin.
Unfortunately, owing to the high cost of these lasers, only a minority of surgeons have one. Accordingly, if you wish to consider the laser technique, you need to locate a Blepharoplasty Surgeon experienced in the use of a CO2 Laser.
Our Medical Director, Dr George Mayson, originally trained in Laser Blepharoplasty in the USA in 1994 and in 1998 was invited to present Before/After Segments on a Laser Blepharoplasty patient on Channel Nine’s Midday Show with Kerri-Anne Kennerley.
If you have only small or medium-sized ‘bags’ of fat, and your lower eyelid skin still has good elasticity without laxity or significant wrinkles, nothing more than simple removal of the protruding fat needs to be done.
If, however, you have:
- Large fatty ‘bags’ with eyelid skin stretched over them; or
- Medium-sized ‘bags’ with reduced skin elasticity; or
- Any size ‘bags’ with very loose or wrinkled skin…
… you may be advised to either have the Trans-Cutaneous Technique, or add Laser Skin Resurfacing to the Trans-Conjunctival Approach, to help tighten the skin.
Our Surgeon will carefully assess all your eyelid changes and skin elasticity at your Initial Consultation and recommend whichever technique they believe will likely deliver the best result for you.
IN SUMMARY, THE ESSENTIAL DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE LASER AND SCALPEL TECHNIQUES ARE:
|Laser Technique||Scalpel Technique|
|Post-Operative Bruising & Swelling||Less||More|
|Average Recovery Period||Upper lids: about 7-10 days |
Lower lids: about 4-7 days
|About 10–14 days|
|Final Scar||Upper lids: same |
Lower lids: NO external scar (unless loose skin also needs to be removed)
|Upper lids: same |
Lower lids: Permanent external scar under the eyelashes
|Risk of Deforming the Lower Lid||Negligible||Possible|
|Risk of Blindness from Post-Operative Bleeding into the Eye Socket after Surgery||Never seen by us. The Laser Technique is believed to significantly reduce this risk.||Reportedly 1:40,000 – 1:100,000|
Watch Our ‘UPPER EYELID SURGERY’ Animation Video
Watch Our ‘LOWER EYELID SURGERY’ Animation Video
Before and After
The following is just a representative selection of the many hundreds of cases we’ve done over the years:
Upper and Lower Blepharoplasty
Our Special Offer
All NEW Consultations are $165 until the end of this month and fully redeemable off the cost of your surgery.
I am Ready To Make My Eyes Look Younger!
We accept payments from independent finance providers
EconFinance & Total Lifestyle Credit (TLC)
If you need to finance all or part of your procedure, National Regulations require that you must source your own funding through a bank or any number of Medical Loan Providers such as the above easily found by searching on Google.
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Frequently Asked Questions
The main advantage of the Laser Technique is the CO2 Laser’s ability to cut without causing any bleeding. This means generally less bruising, less risk of post-operative bleeding, and less swelling – all of which lead to a faster recovery and quicker return to work and social activities.
The Scalpel technique makes an incision right across the lower eyelid skin just under the eyelashes, and therefore will always leave a scar. However, fine and unnoticeable as the scar usually is, this approach can sometimes cause deformities of shape and position of the lower eyelid. In contrast, the Laser makes a bloodless incision on the inside of the lower lid which avoids any visible scar on the external skin as well as avoiding the shape deformities of the lower eyelid that are sometimes seen after the Scalpel technique.
Eyelid Surgery is performed in a Licensed Day Hospital under Local Anaesthesia with Twilight Sedation or General Anaesthesia. In either case, you can go home shortly after but you must have someone collect you. You cannot go home alone.
By Laser: Lower lids 4 – 7 days, Upper Lids 7 – 10 days
By Scalpel: Upper & Lower Lids 10 – 14 days
Upper OR Lower Eyelids: Surgical Fee $3,630 + Theatre Fee $1,800 + Anaesthetist $990. Total Cost approximately $6,420. The Total Cost could vary slightly depending on which Hospital is used and their hourly Theatre Fee at the time.
Unfortunately, no. Unless your Upper Eyelids are obscuring vision, Medicare considers the procedure to be purely ‘cosmetic’ and therefore it is not eligible for a Medicare rebate, nor can you claim on your Private Health Insurance.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.