Six questions to ask your surgeon before having eyelid surgery
The eyes are often the first feature that you notice about a person so it goes without saying that any surgical procedure on the eyes should be done after careful consideration. We’ve compiled a list of 6 key questions to ask your surgeon when considering eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty).
1) Am I a good candidate for blepharoplasty?
The thin skin around the eye is susceptible to showing the first signs of ageing. One of the main reasons a middle-aged face appears old and tired is excess fat and wrinkled, drooping skin on the upper and lower eyelids. Whilst often just all signs of the natural ageing process, drooping or wrinkled eyelids can occasionally be caused due to other anatomical reasons. One should never assume they are a certain candidate for eyelid surgery. It is best to have a specialist plastic surgeon evaluate your specific circumstances and recommend the most appropriate procedure to achieve the desired result.
The best candidates for blepharoplasty are those who have realistic expectations around what can be achieved, are physically healthy and free from eye problems/have healthy eyes, are non-smokers and are well informed about the procedure. Ideal candidates are at least 35 years of age although certain genetic factors may indicate treatment as being appropriate for younger people.
Mr Mutimer also performs reconstructive eye surgery and corrective eyelid surgery for people with inherited conditions – for example where excess skin obscures the natural fold of the upper eyelids, loose skin from the upper eyelids affects vision, or where lower eyelids are sagging or mal-positioned.
2) What results should I expect to see?
Generally good candidates for eyelid surgery will have realistic expectations for what can be achieved with the procedure. While the surgery will reduce the sagging that makes you look older and more tired, it won’t necessarily correct wrinkles around the eyes (this may require an additional type of treatment or procedure).
3) How is the surgery performed?
There is no “one approach fits all” for eyelid surgery. It can be performed on upper, lower or both eyelids at the same time. Generally incisions are made in the natural folds of the eyelid, in the crease of the upper eyelid and just beneath the lashes or behind the lower eyelid. A consultation with Mr Mutimer will provide him with the opportunity to assess your particular circumstances, assess whether you are a good candidate for the procedure, and allow him to explain how the surgery would be performed. Eyelid surgery is an inpatient procedure performed under either general anaesthesia or local anaesthetic with sedation.
4) What should I expect in my recovery?
Every person will recover differently from surgery – regardless of the type of surgery. Recovery from eyelid surgery generally takes several weeks. Within the first week any stitches will be removed. In the first weeks patients must ensure that their eyes receive plenty of rest. Any redness, bruising and swelling occurring after the procedure will fade over time, generally this takes several weeks up to one month. Patients will be prescribed an individual care plan (which may include specific medications and ointments) to help speed up the recovery process. An important part of recovery is also restricting physical exertion so as to avoid increased blood flow to the eyes, as this will only increase swelling and bruising. Most patients return to work 2 weeks after surgery.
5) How many similar surgeries have you performed?
It goes without saying that you want to feel that you are in safe hands and that the surgeon performing your blepharoplasty is well qualified to do so. Check your surgeon’s credentials and don’t be afraid to ask how many similar surgeries they have performed, how long they have been doing the procedure for etc. A reputable surgeon will have no issue answering these important questions and providing any information and reassurance that you need.
6) Can I get any Medicare or health fund rebates?
Generally no, in most circumstances this is a cosmetic procedure, however rebates may be available for specific corrective or reconstructive procedures. Your circumstances will be assessed during your initial consultation with Mr Mutimer and he will be able to advise whether you qualify for any Medicare of health fund rebates.