Excess skin on the upper eyelids can cause a reduced visual field, eyelid irritation, infections and headaches due to the constant activity of the forehead muscles trying to elevate the heavy excess skin. In addition, heavy, puffy eyelids can give the whole face a tired appearance and can make both men and women look older than they feel.
Similar to fatigue of any muscle in the body, ocular and brow muscles are very active during the day and are prone to muscle overuse. This can be due to long hours of focusing on a specific activity such as staring a computer monitor for hours. Chronic allergies, sinus infections, and sun exposure may also exacerbate the heaviness of the eyelid causing swelling and increasing the probability that the excess skin will interfere with vision and will affect the individual's appearance.
Upper eyelid surgery (or upper blepharoplasty) aims to address these concerns by removing excess skin from the eyelid. In addition to heavy, excess eyelid skin, the brow can also be very low. It may be a consideration to combine upper eyelid surgery with a brow lift for optimum results.
At Avery, we welcome the opportunity to have an open conversation with you to understand the changes you are looking for with surgery. Our patients’ stories matter a great deal to us. You can discover some of our wonderful patients’ journeys here.
Wherever you are on your personal journey, we would like to assist you. Dr Avery will listen to your concerns and what you want to achieve with surgery. Dr Avery will assess your health and medical history to ensure any surgical procedure you are considering is a safe and appropriate choice for you.
Conceptually a relatively simple procedure, upper eyelid surgery aims to remove excess skin and, in some cases, fat tissue from the upper eyelids to correct any unevenness.
Once a local or general anaesthetic has been administered, a small incision is made within the natural eyelid crease, where scarring will generally be well hidden. Excess skin and fat are trimmed away and if necessary, the muscles may be repositioned. The remaining skin is then lifted and the incision closed with sutures.
Upper eyelid surgery generally takes less than one hour, this surgery may also be combined with other surgery to the face and body. If upper eyelid surgery is performed without other surgery after a short time in recovery, you can be taken home by a responsible adult.
There are two main pathways to a consultation with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon. Your GP or another health practitioner can make a referral to Dr Avery. Alternatively, it is possible to refer yourself for a consultation. This decision may be made after talking with family or friends, or following your own research into plastic surgery and Dr Avery.
Plastic surgery is a varied specialty with a number of surgeries to treat a variety of conditions or concerns. A unique feature of plastic surgery is the ability of the surgical procedures to pro-duce physical changes that can also impact psychological functioning in a positive way.
The purpose of your initial consultation with Dr Avery is to discuss both your concerns and your goals. It is an opportunity to openly communicate what you want to change, alleviate, improve, restore, enhance, or remove. We will discuss any concerns you may have about your potential surgery and its outcome. We will also collect information that is specific and tailored to you, to add to the knowledge you acquired through your research outside of the consultation process.
When you arrive at Avery, you will check in with our front-desk team and complete a medical history form, if not already completed. We encourage you to bring a supportive family member or friend who can remain with you throughout the consultation if you like, and be a sounding board during your decision-making process following the consultation process.
The consultation with Dr Avery will include an examination of the area of your body that you are concerned with and considering changing. Our aim will be to determine if plastic surgery can achieve what you hope it will, and if so, what specific plastic surgery procedures will ad-dress your concerns and meet your expectations in a realistic way.
We will discuss what the surgery involves, how it relates to you specifically given your unique-ness and current state of health, what the possible risks of the surgery are and then decide if having the surgery is a safe and appropriate choice for you as an individual.
After your consultation, our support team will be there to talk through any further questions you have including the cost of the surgery.
Plastic surgery procedures generally impact both physical appearance and your psychological response to the new changes in your body. Besides all the advantages to having plastic surgery, it is important to be fully aware of any potential limitations of the operation and how they apply to your unique situation. This includes possible complications and what can be done if these occur. Dr Avery and the Avery team will be available to answer all of your questions.
There will be some bruising and swelling, which generally subsides about 1-2 weeks after the operation. Frequent application of a cold compress and keeping your head elevated can help to minimise the pain and swelling following surgery. Exercise and other strenuous physical activities should be avoided in the first few weeks.
As with any operation, it is recommended that you have another adult stay with you during your first night after surgery and is able to drive you home.
A customised pain relief program will be created and issued before leaving the hospital. If circumstances change at any stage during the recovery period, pain medication can be adjusted accordingly.
Scars from upper eyelid surgery are generally well hidden within the new crease of your eyelid. They will generally fade to almost invisible, although this can vary depending on how well your skin copes with scarring.
The financial aspects of your surgery are as important as the medical elements when planning for surgery. At Avery, the surgeries we offer fall into three different financial categories: Self-funded – aesthetic surgery; self-funded – plastic and reconstructive surgery; and health insured – plastic and reconstructive surgery.
To make sense of these three financial categories, we have created a detailed price guide to help you understand what may or may not be covered by your health insurer/Medicare and your out of pocket expenses.
For more information or to book a consultation, please contact our team on 02 4002 4150.
Upper Eyelid Surgery FAQs
Visual obstruction, scarring from previous trauma or functionality issues of certain nerves in the face, may make you eligible for Medicare rebate.
The most common reason for surgery is to correct visual obstruction which usually progresses with time once it becomes symptomatic. To qualify for a Medicare rebate and have some coverage from your health insurance based on obstruction, you will need to have an assessment by an optometrist or ophthalmologist to determine if the excess skin is obstructing your visual field.
Find out more about the different financial options for plastic surgery here.
Typically, a week off work is sufficient however, you may still have some visible bruising.
Scars are well hidden within the new crease of the eyelids and will generally fade over time.
Upper eyelid surgery can be performed alone or it may be combined with other surgical procedures to the face or body.
Pain following surgery will vary depending on the extent of surgery. Pain immediately after surgery may be reduced by the use of local anaesthetic at the surgical site given during the surgery. The pain will also be managed with tablets or injections as required. Physical measures such as the dressings and for some surgeries, supportive garments, as well as limited movement and possibly ice packs will all help minimise any pain. Pain is usually well tolerated within a few days after surgery with all these measures. If your pain is increasing following surgery this is usually a sign that you may need a review to ensure your recovery is proceeding as expected.
Dressings and in some cases surgical garments will offer support to the wounds and the areas of your body that are still recovering. You will be also be advised to restrict excessive movement of the surgical area in the first two weeks after surgery. A good general rule throughout your recovery is if an increase in movement or activity does not increase any discomfort or swelling, then it is probably safe and this gradual progression back to ‘normal’ will be encouraged.
Please allow an hour for your time with Avery. This will include meeting with Dr Avery and the Avery care team.
Dr Avery operates at the accredited Lingard Private Hospital. This is to ensure your operation takes place in an environment governed by the guiding principle of safety to ensure your surgical experience is the best it can be.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner. Dr Avery is a member of the two leading professional associations for plastic surgeons in Australia, ASAPS and ASPS. Their websites provide additional information regarding plastic surgery in Australia that you might find useful, please visit ASAPS and ASPS.