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Why having an eyelid correction?
Due to aging, skin laxity occurs. The eyelid may become loose and sagging. At the upper eyelid, the reluctant skin of the drooping eyelid will ultimately rest on the eyelashes, so that opening of the eye may become difficult. In addition, fatty bags (propulsion of intra-orbital fat) at the upper and lower eyelids may be deposited, even in young persons. These bags may be interpreted as signs of fatigue. When heavy and drooping eyelids make an otherwise youthful face look older, an eyelid correction can be a solution.
Who needs an eyelid correction?
Whether your eyelid problem can be solved by a correction needs to be established individually. Although skin excesses are diminished by the intervention, small skin wrinkles at the corner of the eye (crow's feet) will not disappear. Eye complaints such as dryness, visual disturbances, or abnormal tear formation need to be addressed prior surgery.
Before the intervention
Generally, eyelid surgery is carried out under local anesthesia. If other corrections are simultaneously planned, general surgery may be preferred. In these circumstances you need to be sober no later than 12 o'clock p.m. on the day prior to the surgery.
Do not forget to inform your surgeon if you use medicines that affect blood clotting, such as aspirin, sintrom, or marcoumar.
If you feel nervous prior to the intervention, you can ask for some sedative. The intervention will take about an hour for each pair of eyelids. The excess of skin are removed, and if needed fatty bags are either reseated or redraped. At the upper eyelid the scar is located in the upper eyelid fold, at the lower eyelid the scar will appear just below the eyelashes. These scars are hardly visible after 1 year.
What happens directly after the intervention?
After the intervention you may go home with steristrips placed on the wounds. In order to prevent swelling and hematoma, you should cool the wounds as soon as possible. You may either use a coolpackage or compresses soaked in icy water. However, do not apply ice directly to the wounds. You are not allowed to drive a car yourself directly after the intervention, so you need to make arrangements for your transportation. The area around the eyes will be swollen and itching for at least 2 days.
Complications, as for instance bleeding or infection, do rarely occur. However, if you experience severe pain in or around the eyeball, or if your vision diminishes within the first hours after the intervention, you need to contact your plastic surgeon immediately. Excessive bleeding around the eyeball may be the cause. If this is not treated immediately, blindness due to optical nerve compression may occur. If treated instantly, this will be prevented. Fortunately, the incidence of this complication is extremely exceptional.
Older patients may show laxity of the lower eyelid preoperatively due to loss of muscle tone. These patients run an increased risk of lower eyelid laxity (ectropion) after lower lid correction. Mostly, conservative treatment using steristrips during a few weeks is sufficient. Sometimes additional suspension of the lower lid under local anesthesia may be required.
What else should you know?
During a few days your eyelids will be blue-colored and swollen. Opening the eye might be impaired. The worst discoloration and swelling will be disappeared after 10 days; the final result will be visible after 3 to 6 months.
After 1 week the application of make-up is allowed. The first days after the intervention, heavy lifting, bending, and straining should be prevented. Between 5 and 7 days after the intervention you will be expected to return to have the steristrips and stitches removed.
A written request needs to be send in advance to your health insurance company in order to request for reimbursement of the costs of this intervention. Principally, approval is only given for an upper eyelid correction in cases of diminished range of vision due to skin excess, which is rarely the case. A medical advisor of your insurance makes the final decision. Lower eyelid corrections never qualify for payment by means of health insurance. If you need to pay for the intervention yourself, ask clear information concerning all costs.