Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, can help revitalise a tired, heavy appearance. By lifting the eyelids, and excising excess fat and skin from the upper and lower lid, the eyes are opened up and the face appears alert and more youthful.
Sydney plastic surgeon Dr John Flood takes an individualised approach in eyelid surgery to achieve precise, effective and predictable results for each patient.
‘People seek eyelid surgery for both cosmetic and functional reasons,’ he says. ‘Some patients complain of the weight of heavy eyelids on the lash line, or have impaired vision due to excess skin hooding the eyes. Cosmetic patients are looking to reduce the appearance of tiredness, or wish to be able to apply mascara without getting ink all over their eyelids. No matter what the motivation for treatment, the benefits are always double-fold.’
One of the happy by-products following blepharoplasty surgery is the release of the brow area, often seen in patients seeking surgery for functional reasons.
‘Many patients don’t realise it but there is often tension in the forehead that comes from elevating the eyebrows to counter the weight of the eyelids,’ Dr Flood explains. ‘The brow usually settles down around 10 weeks post-operatively; the tension alleviates and the deep furrows sometimes seen in the forehead relax.’
Dr Flood performs blepharoplasty as day surgery, with patients under general anaesthetic. He was trained in the procedure by eyelid and breast surgery pioneer Dr John Tebbetts in Texas, and uses a unique surgical approach to achieve greater precision and control over the final outcome.
‘First of all, I measure the eye area using ophthalmic callipers when the patient is sitting, and again when they are lying down,’ Dr Flood explains. ‘I then use a very fine cataract blade during the surgery, which helps increase precision of skin removal, and a needlepoint cautery pen which helps seal blood vessels and control intra-operative bleeding and post-operative bruising.’
Unlike many surgeons, Dr Flood does not inject local anaesthetic into the eyelid skin during blepharoplasty. He explains these injections can impede the surgical approach and affect the recovery period. ‘Even if one, two or three millilitres of fluid are injected, this immediately makes the eyelids puffy – adding to post- operative swelling,’ Dr Flood explains.
In typical cases, Dr Flood recommends patients have a week off work following eyelid surgery. Side effects in the days following the procedure will typically include bruising and swelling.
Blepharoplasty can be performed as a stand-alone treatment, or in conjunction with other facial rejuvenation modalities. ‘Eyelid surgery, when used with anti-wrinkle injections or structural fat grafting, can achieve a subtle but effective overall rejuvenation of the eyes and face.’
Rejuvenating the eye area can have a powerful anti-ageing effect and, according to Dr Flood, often waylays the need for more invasive facial rejuvenation treatments. ‘If a patient comes to me hoping to return youthfulness and counter a tired appearance, I often recommend eyelid surgery – if they have lovely eyes, why not show them?’ he says.
‘Oftentimes, I see blepharoplasty patients in their follow-up consultations and, although they might have been considering more surgery, they don’t usually feel the need for further treatment after seeing the results of their blepharoplasty,’ Dr Flood explains. ‘Patients look less tired, have a wider field of vision, and the furrows in their brow are often improved. This affords an anti-ageing result that revitalises the entire face,’ he concludes.