Simple, minimally-invasive procedures like blepharoplasty are popular for several reasons. Outpatient eyelid rejuvenation surgery provides adults of all ages with lasting results that don’t require ongoing maintenance. Most people who undergo upper or lower blepharoplasty never have to repeat the procedure and many don’t require dermal fillers to reduce the appearance of undereye bags or other concerns any longer. If you’re considering how you can refresh your appearance without much upkeep, you may be interested in what blepharoplasty can do for you. Here, we discuss the different blepharoplasty techniques and how to reduce postoperative swelling after this procedure.
Aging affects both the upper and the lower eyelids, sometimes one more than the other. In the upper eyelids, the loss of fatty tissue and firmness in the skin can create a hooding effect. The excess, droopy skin on the upper eyelid can make the face look tired. Sometimes it makes the face look angry. Upper blepharoplasty makes the face look more youthful by trimming the excess skin precisely so the eyelid can close fully but that, when opened, the eyes don’t display folds of skin over the crease of the upper lids.
Like the upper eyelids, the lower eyelids can loosen with age. Here, we don’t see the hooding that we do on the upper eyelids. Instead, we see puffiness. Sometimes, the protrusion of fat under the eyes is so severe that bags hang down onto the upper cheek. These are called festoons and they require surgical expertise for optimal correction. Lower blepharoplasty may reposition the fatty tissue beneath the eye before tightening and trimming the skin to eliminate puffiness.
Swelling after Blepharoplasty
It is unreasonable to think that blepharoplasty can be performed in a way that eliminates the risk of swelling. If you undergo this procedure, know that swelling will be a part of your recovery. This isn’t bad news. There are ways to manage this side effect so you see your new, younger self sooner rather than later.
- Keeping the head elevated. One of the reasons that swelling occurs is because blood flow increases to an area of the body. After blepharoplasty, blood circulates through the tissue to help with healing. To minimize the buildup of fluids in the area, it is helpful to keep the head elevated at all times. When you sleep, put two pillows under your head to prevent blood from pooling around the eyes.
- Eating well. Certain foods increase fluid retention and some foods help the body process and flush fluids. After surgery, it is beneficial to avoid too much salt (which means avoiding packaged foods) and to consume nutrients that support recovery processes. Magnesium is a vital nutrient that can be found in nuts, leafy green vegetables, and dark chocolate. Potassium is found in bananas and tomatoes. In addition to eating well, patients should drink plenty of water throughout the day.
- Sometimes the most productive thing we can do is rest. This is true after any kind of surgery, including blepharoplasty. If you resume too much activity too quickly after your procedure, swelling may be worse than it has to be. Strenuous activity that increases the heart rate speeds blood flow through the body, leading to accumulation in the tissues that have been repositioned. To prevent this, maintain a low level of activity until your surgical follow-up.