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Eyelid Surgery

How Should I Prepare for Eyelid Surgery? continued...

Expect and plan to stay home from work and limit your activities for several days after surgery while your eyelids heal. Some people have dry eyes after surgery, but that rarely lasts more than two weeks. If you have dry eyes lasting more than two weeks, contact your doctor.

At home, you should have the following items ready:

  • Ice cubes
  • Ice pack (or you can use freezer bags filled with ice, frozen corn, or peas)
  • Small gauze pads
  • Eye drops or artificial tears (ask your doctor to recommend the proper type to meet your particular needs)
  • Clean washcloths and towels
  • Over-the-counter painkillers (which your doctor can recommend)

Advil, Motrin, Naproxen, Aleve, and aspirin should not be used due to the increased risk of bleeding.

How Is Eyelid Surgery Performed?

An eyelift usually takes about two hours if both upper and lower eyelids are done together. Your doctor will most likely use local anesthesia (a painkiller injected around the eye) with oral sedation.

If you are having the procedure done at a hospital or surgical center, you will most likely receive IV sedation.

If you're having all four eyelids done, the surgeon will probably work on the upper lids first. The surgeon will usually cut following the natural lines of your eyelids. Through these cuts, your surgeon will separate the skin from the underlying tissue and remove the excess fat, skin, and muscle. Next, the surgeon will close those cuts with very small stitches. The stitches in the upper lids will stay for three to six days. The lower lids may or may not require stitches, depending on the technique used.

Surgery on the lower eyelids may be done using one of several techniques. In one method, your surgeon makes a cut inside your lower eyelid to remove fat. That cut won't be visible. Your surgeon can then soften fine lines in the skin using a C02 or erbium laser.

Another method involves making a cut along the eyelash margin. Through that cut, your surgeon can remove excess skin, loose muscle, and fat. The cut line fades after a short time.

After either of these procedures, your surgeon may recommend laser resurfacing.

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