Dr. Mark Barlow MD, Plastic Surgeon in Houston, Clear Lake, Texas

450 Medical Center Blvd., Suite 207, Webster, Texas 77598

(281) 333-8999

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Eyelid Surgery - Blepharoplasty

A blepharoplasty, or eye lift, is a surgical procedure to improve the appearance of the upper and/or lower eye lids. Time, environmental factors and genetics all affect the way our eyes age. Common changes include poor skin tone, excess skin and fat herniation or prominence. If upper lid skin excess obscures upward vision, your insurance may cover removal of the excess skin. Dr. Barlow may refer you for a formal, computerized visual field test with an ophthalmologist or optometrist. If your lower lids have become lax, a canthopexy (suture tightening of the lower lid) or canthoplasty (shortening of the lower lid) will be required for lower lid procedures. In all cases, Dr. Barlow strives to provide a natural-looking result while ensuring your safety.

During your personalized consultation, Dr. Barlow will discuss your eyelid changes with you. Together, you will formulate a surgical plan. You are encouraged to bring photographs of yourself taken when you were younger. This will facilitate Dr. Barlow’s analysis of your age-related changes and allow formulation of the most appropriate surgical plan. Dr. Barlow uses various surgical techniques depending upon your specific needs. During your second consultation, any questions you may still have will be answered and your plan reviewed.

The next office visit will be your pre-operative appointment. This will occur approximately two weeks prior to your surgery. Your current health status will be reviewed, Dr. Barlow will complete a pre-operative physical examination and you will receive prescriptions. You will also have the risks, benefits and alternatives to your surgery explained to you. You will then register at the hospital if the surgery is to occur there.

The surgery is performed as either an office procedure or as a day surgery at Houston Methodist St. John Hospital. When performed at the office, a light oral sedative can be utilized in combination with local anesthetic. If the surgery occurs in the hospital, either deeper sedation or general anesthesia will be used; in either case, local anesthesia will still be used for post-operative pain reduction and to minimize bleeding during the procedure. Two lid surgery typically takes about an hour while surgery on all four lids will take approximately two hours to complete. Sutures will be placed to close the incisions: upper lid incisions are made in the natural crease while lower lid incisions are made just below the lashes. You will need to have a responsible individual drive you home and stay with you for the first 24 hours following surgery.

Although all surgical procedures have discomfort, most patients find that this procedure is very well tolerated. You will be provided with a prescription for pain medication for your comfort. You may take your first shower on the second day following surgery. Your first office visit is usually one week after the procedure. At one week, the sutures are removed. You will be seen weekly for the first month, biweekly for the next month and then at four and six months. After that, you will be seen each year for an annual review of your condition. Your post-operative appointment schedule will be given to you at the time of your pre-operative visit.

A variable amount of bruising and swelling can be expected. Bruises may take a few days to appear and may descend down to the cheeks. Swelling typically improves daily but will likely be noticeable to you for several weeks, especially for the lower lids. Numbness around the incisions is also common and may take months to resolve. As with all invasive procedures, your scars will take time to fade. Scars are not typically considered fully mature for over a year.

You will be restricted from exercising for a month following your surgery. This will allow your body time to recover from the surgery and avoid any unnecessarily prolonged swelling. During the early recovery period, increased activity will often lead to increased swelling.

Dr. Barlow looks forward to meeting with you and discussing your options. Call or e-mail today to schedule your appointment!

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