The skin around the eye area is very thin, and is therefore susceptible to showing the first signs of ageing.
One of the main reasons a middle-aged face appears aged is due to excess fat and wrinkled, drooping skin on the upper eyelids.
Any surgical procedure on the eyes such as eyelid surgery should be done only after careful consideration. We’ve compiled a list of 10 key questions to ask your surgeon when considering blepharoplasty in Melbourne.
Part one: education and consultation
During your initial consultation at Brighton Plastic Surgery, we expect you will have many questions about the procedure, including whether it is the most suitable surgery to help you achieve your goals as well as risks and associated complications.
Question 1) Am I a good candidate for blepharoplasty?
One of the first questions you must unpack is whether you are a good candidate for this procedure.
You must never assume; 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 in good health
- Are free from eye problems and have healthy eyes
- Are non-smokers
- Are well informed about the procedure
Ideal candidates are usually at least 40 years of age although certain genetic factors may indicate treatment as being appropriate for younger people.
Candidates for reconstructive eye surgery
In addition to cosmetic eye surgery, our plastic surgeons in Melbourne Mr Keith Mutimer and Associate Professor Ramin Shayan also perform reconstructive eye surgery and corrective eyelid surgery for people with inherited conditions.
Drooping or wrinkled eyelids can occasionally be caused due to other anatomical reasons but are usually just a sign of the natural ageing process.
For example, where:
- Excess skin obscures the natural fold of the upper eyelids
- Loose skin from the upper eyelids affects vision
- Lower eyelids are sagging or mal-positioned
Question 2) What are the risks and possible complications?
Any surgery can carry some level of risk, and it is important you are aware of this. But choosing a professional and highly skilled plastic surgeon in Melbourne and a competent medical team will significantly decrease the likelihood of any issues occurring.
Brighton Plastic Surgery will discuss the risks of eyelid surgery with you, which can vary from dry eyes and temporary impaired vision to the possibility of some scarring.
Question 3) 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 skin above or below the eyes, it won’t necessarily correct all the wrinkles around the eyes (these wrinkles can be softened using wrinkle reduction treatments). This is a common misconception. Patients often think that a blepharoplasty will remove all wrinkles; this is not true.
It is important to remember that no plastic surgeon, no matter their skills or experience, can ever guarantee results, so don’t be afraid to ask your questions.
Part two: the procedure
Question 4) 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 or A/Prof Shayan will provide them with the opportunity to examine your particular circumstances, assess whether you are a good candidate for the procedure, and allow them to explain how the surgery will be performed.
Eyelid surgery is an inpatient procedure performed under either general anaesthesia or local anaesthetic with sedation.
Part three: recovery
Question 5) 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. This includes not using screens and using lots of icepacks (don’t worry, we will show you what to do).
Any redness, bruising and swelling occurring after the procedure will fade over time; generally, this can take several weeks to one month.
Most patients can safely return to work 2 weeks after surgery.
Question 6) Is there anything I can do to speed up recovery and get the best results?
Your recovery and health is of utmost importance, and while there are some things you may be able to do to speed up recovery, we do not advocate for ‘shortcuts’ that may hinder your recovery and therefore your results.
Patients will be prescribed an individual care plan (which may include specific medications and ointments) to help speed up the recovery process whilst also ensuring you prioritise adequate rest and do not rush back to activities too soon.
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.
Generally we advise no strenuous activity for 6 weeks post your operation.
Part four: about your surgeon
Now that you are familiar with the particular procedure, we invite you to ask your surgeon the following questions to uncover insight into their experience, skill, and qualifications.
Question 7) 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 and how long they have been doing the procedure for. A reputable surgeon will have no issue answering these important questions and providing any information and reassurance that you need.
Question 8) How many years have you been performing eyelid surgery?
In addition to the number of surgeries performed (as well as similar surgeries), we encourage you to ask how many years’ experience your surgeon has.
You can also ask them to provide you with before and after photos from past patients. Please note that we do not share these images on our website out of respect for our past patients’ privacy, however we can provide these to you during your confidential consultation with a plastic surgeon. (Photos shown are only of patients who are happy for us to do so.)
Part five: cost and rebates
Question 9) Can I get any Medicare or health fund rebates?
Some patients might be eligible for Medicare rebates for blepharoplasty, provided they have an optometrist assessment and meet certain clinical criteria. But in most circumstances, eyelid surgery is considered a cosmetic procedure.
Your circumstances will be assessed during your initial consultation with Mr Mutimer or A/Prof Shayan, who will advise you if you should consider the assessment.
Question 10) How can I find out more?
If you are considering eyelid surgery, visit our eyelid surgery procedure page for more information.
If you would like to submit an enquiry about this type of plastic surgery in Melbourne, we encourage you to get in touch with us today. Call (03) 9592 0522 or submit a confidential enquiry online.